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Rebel councillor’s backing for Corbyn

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REBEL councillor Kevin Bennett has written an open letter to all Labour members of Warrington Borough Council asking whether they support Jeremy Corbyn’s call for councils to stand together and refuse to implement government cuts.
Cllr Bennett – a former Labour councillor who now represents the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) says he was the only councillor in Warrington who endorsed Jeremy Corbyn for the Labour leadership.
In his letter, he says: “TUSC believe that Jeremy Corbyn is right to highlight the potential that councils have to resist austerity.
“In our view that can only mean setting a needs-budget to defend jobs and
services which will meet the needs of our town, as the start of a fightback against the Tory government.
“The government’s localism agenda gives local authorities a ‘power of competence’ to do anything apart from that which is specifically prohibited. This allows councils to resist cuts – if they wish to use it.
“The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), co-founded by the late Bob Crow, is determined that working class people should not pay for a crisis they did not cause and we are happy to work together with Labour councillors who take the same stance.
“As a Labour councillor, by voting against any further cuts, you could play a role in building a powerful anti-austerity movement which will be vital in resisting the continuing Tory onslaught.
“TUSC will give full support to those councillors who vote against further cuts. TUSC will also stand anti-austerity candidates against those councillors who continue to vote for cuts.
“Our campaign will also send a clear message to the austerity supporters in the Labour Party that any attempt to undermine Jeremy Corbyn will not be tolerated by those who have given him such magnificent support.
“One reason for implementing the cuts was that each council Labour group felt itself to be facing the government’s cuts on its own. But surely that wouldn’t be the case now, with Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader?
“TUSC believes that in the new situation opened up by Jeremy Corbyn’svictory, there really is no reason why Labour councils should not combine together and refuse to implement the Tories’ brutal austerity agenda.
“TUSC would like to have a face-to-face meeting with any one of you to discuss the possibilities of joint action against austerity, based on our council joining with others to present no cuts budgets at the budget-making meetings in early 2016.”

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