Trades unions representing the council’s workers are launching a “Save Our Croydon” campaign to protect jobs and services, with a virtual rally on Facebook this Tuesday.
They will be protesting against job cuts that are being made and express “legitimate concerns” as a result of what a senior union figure has called the council’s “risky financial decisions”.
Unite, Unison and the GMB are working together in opposition to Croydon’s bankrupt council’s wide-ranging cuts, which include more than 500 posts being axed in an effort to claw back this year’s £66million budget deficit.
Among the speakers at Tuesday’s online event is Sarah Jones, the Labour MP for Croydon Central. Jones has already staged an event where it was suggested that volunteers might replaced profession librarians in an effort to reduce the council’s costs and so keep open the borough’s under-threat public libraries, such as at Shirley, in Jones’s constituency.
Clare Keogh, Unite’s local organiser, told Inside Croydon, “The event is not only in response to the consultation process now underway on the next round of job cuts at the council, but is also the launch of a broader campaign opposing continued cuts to services in the area, opposing outsourcing and a race to the bottom on terms and conditions as a solution to the crisis, like we have seen in Northamptonshire.
“It is also as a call to central government to pump resources back into local government, particularly in light of the covid-19 pandemic.
“As unions, our priority is of course to protect our members’ jobs and terms and conditions, but we are also deeply concerned about the impact on the local community and residents who rely on public services.
“There are legitimate concerns about how finances have been handled locally and they must be fully investigated and learnt from.
“However there is also an important broader context to consider – and that it one of local authorities across the entire country being starved of funds over 10 years and being ill-equipped to handle a pandemic because of this.
“It is also within this context that risky financial decisions have been made in Croydon.”
According to Keogh, there will be speakers from the three trade unions at this event, as well as a local council worker, a community volunteer and the MP.
“We will also look at what the future might hold.”
The unions’ rally is actually being held two days after the council’s online consultation on where the cuts might be made closes, tomorrow evening (read more about the council consultation by clicking here).
Keogh said, “I would urge anyone, in or outside of Croydon, who cares about decent, well-funded local services to watch on Tuesday.”
- Here’s another chance to listen to council leader Hamida Ali being interviewed about the Labour council’s cuts on the Vanessa Feltz radio show…
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