The open meeting called to launch the campaign passed this resolution unanimously!
CAMBRIDGESHIRE Against the Cuts is being formed to mobilise the broadest possible resistance to cuts in public services in Cambridgeshire, in the face of the most drastic attacks on our services we have known.
Cambridgeshire County Council is making £95 million cuts, with the loss of some 300 jobs, hitting essential services such as adult social care, children’s services and libraries. Cambridge City Council is axing jobs in vital departments like housing, and other local authorities are also making severe cutbacks.
It is not only local government: health services in Cambridgeshire are being privatised by stealth through commissioning, Addenbrooke’s is attempting to save £40 million whilst maintaining current service levels, and Hinchingbrooke stands to become the first NHS hospital to be taken over by a private health company.
Higher education is set to be hit by the most serious funding cuts ever known, and vital government departments such as job centres and tax offices are threatened with mass sackings as a result of the drive to cut redundancy payouts, currently being heroically resisted by staff through industrial action.
These attacks are all coming thick and fast, as government attempts to cut public spending in response to the demands of the banks and big business. These are the same banks which have taken hundreds of billions of pounds from the taxpayer, whilst continuing to help themselves to huge bonuses, and refusing to lift a finger to stimulate the real economy.
All the main parties have made it clear that whoever wins the election, the pace of the assault on public services will be rapidly stepped up. There is no major difference between the ideological offensive of the main parties. The attacks are an attempt to shrink the welfare state and continue the drive for market controlled services that suit the banks and transfer wealth from the majority to the few.
So we have to act now! It is essential that we unite workers in the public services with users of those services in a programme of action to stop the cuts going ahead, to reverse them and to fight for an improvement in those services. Cambridgeshire Against the Cuts will comprise trade union
branches working alongside community groups, and anyone who signs up to
these common aims.
The exact nature of the action will depend on the circumstances, but the cuts must be fought by any means necessary, from a petition to industrial action to the occupation of threatened amenities. The most important thing is that we commit ourselves to fight every cut, to defend every job, to save every service under threat, and that we will rally and support anyone in our county who is taking action. No-one can be left to fight alone!
We resolve to:
1. get the biggest possible attendance at the national demonstration to defend the Welfare State on April 10th, so as to link up with other movements around the country taking similar steps.
2. set up a steering group from this meeting to coordinate our next activities, and start publicising all activities relating to our common aims.
3. encourage and support initiatives that aim to stop job and service cuts, wage cuts and freezes or privatisation of services.
4. Support struggles in the private sector.
5. Organise a demonstration against library cuts outside the opening of the new central library on Wednesday 31st March.
6. Look to publishing an initial campaign newspaper to draw together the campaigns and help win the argument against cuts. This could then be distributed through the community and trade union networks, funded through bulk pre-orders.
7. Support and build the campaign to stop Hinchingbrooke Hospital from being privatised.
8. Support and jointly host the Election hustings being organised by Cambridge & District Trades Council in Cambridge on Wednesday 28th of April.
Together we will defeat the cuts, save our services and protect them for the future!