Cuts Continue To Bite In Brum

Below we publish a letter sent to The Socialist by a Socialist Party Member in Birmingham

Workers of Birmingham are facing attack after attack since the Blairite Labour councillors have been in charge of running the City Council. In 2010 the city council, which is the largest in Western Europe, employed a workforce of 21,000. It has now been reduced to 11,000 with still more cuts to come! It has reduced the wages and benefits of the remaining employees. 


We have seen a vicious policy of outsourcing vital services to private companies, who if taking on those council workers which are transferred over, have received worse terms and conditions of employment. The public have also received a hopelessly reduced and inadequate services from these private businesses!   

Homecare Woodcock Street
Homecare workers picketing the council's Woodcock Street office


Already since 2010 up until 2017, £642 million has been taken from the budget, with £350 million cuts demanded by the Tories by the end of 2021. This will make a grand total of £992 million from the total budget that is received today of £3 billion!!


We have 17,040 households queuing up for council housing, although the council has, by asking those on the register for housing to make a new application, through sleight of hand suddenly made 8000 families dissapear from Birmingham's council house waiting list by applying tougher rules and 'stricter' means testing.


You may think that this council is getting away with blue murder but you would be wrong. We have seen the magnificent struggle of the bin workers who struck for 12 weeks against the loss of 103 jobs and won a victory in defeating the Blairite councillors in retaining their workmates jobs, terms and conditions. This has inspired the Home Care workers who are under attack to fight back. The Socialist Party has supported these workers in their struggles and fought against the austerity policies that these cowardly Blairite Labour councillors have carried through.


We are confident that we will build the forces of socialism and win more workers to the ideas and programme we stand for:

  • Councillors should set a needs budget and use the reserves along with prudential borrowing.
  • Trade Union rights of council workers must be respected, along with the restoration of all lost terms and conditions.  
  • No to privatising council services, all those services privatised should be brought back in-house.
  • For a mass campaign among council workers and the workers of Birmingham in support against austerity and demand that the Tories hand back the money stolen from the budget of Birmingham City Council.


We also ask Jeremy Corbyn that if these Blairite Councillors persist in their attacks on workers and implementing Tory austerity programme that they should be suspended from the Labour Party.

Bill Murray. Birmingham South East Socialist Party Branch.

Note: The finance information has been taken from Birmingham City Council Budget 2017/18 which can be found on its website          


Written by workers for workers.

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