This February and March, local councils will vote on whether to pass their annual budgets. If they do, they will be making vast cuts to our public services and jobs as our libraries and health services and our youth and welfare centres all come under attack. Town Halls are now the front-line of the government’s attack on our public services.
Last year’s total council budget funding cut was £4.7bn, biting hard into the lives of millions of people. Councillors across the country toed the party line and voted through these cuts. But local government does not have its hands tied. Last year there were examples of councils refusing to rip apart the services that so many of us rely on: Tower Hamlets kept it’s EMA and Hackney Council refused to make the harsh cuts to front line services that the government were imposing on the country.
Town Halls are supposed to be a place for the people, a place where democracy rules. But instead the government has made them the arena where their harsh, unnecessary and unfair cuts are implemented. People around the UK are responding to this injustice by reclaiming their Town Halls and coming out to demand an end to these shameful budget cuts.
The government claim that these cuts are necessary, and that ‘we are all this together’- but this is a lie. There are alternatives to the cuts. Here is one: make the richest companies and individuals pay the tax they owe. Whilst the government cuts services that help the poorest in our society, £25 billion in tax is dodged by corporations and rich individuals every year. Vodafone’s £6bn tax dodge alone could pay for all of the cuts to council budgets.
There are already actions, lobbies, demos and occupations planned across the country. Check out the map below to find one near you- let us know if you’d like us to list one we’ve missed.
View Block the Budget in a larger map
If there isn’t already one being organised in your area, consider calling for one. Get in touch with your local council to find the date of the budget vote. Consider if you want to meet outside or inside your Town Hall, and what activities you want to do while you’re there- such as a musical protest, a people’s assembly, or a teach-in.
Solidarity is what can stop the cuts. Support your local Town Hall action so that together we can block the budgets!