Brent Central Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidate John Boyle has declared that if he was elected he would only take the average wage of a skilled worker in the constituency and donate the rest back to campaigns fighting cuts, privatisation and austerity.
John said “This is an example of our commitment to follow through our words with action and be a genuine political voice for the interests of ordinary people”.
This declaration follows in the footsteps of Dave Nellist national chair of TUSC who was an MP for 9 years in the eighties and only accepted a workers wage for his whole period of office.
John went on to say “We reject the current political establishment where MP’s of all parties award themselves with huge pay raises and get embroiled in expenses and cash for questions scandals. I will stand to champion the concerns and campaigns shoulder to shoulder with ordinary people. I think this kind of stance is needed to win people back to politics and prove that we amount to more than a bunch of slick PR soundbites. I challenge other candidates in Brent Central who claim they are standing in the interests of ordinary people in Brent to back up their words and make the same pledge”.
Dear John Duffy and other disenfranchised Labour Group councillors
We are writing to you in relation to recent press reports that some of you have felt excluded from the decision making process in the preparation of the Brent Council budget for 2015-16 to be voted on at the full council meeting on the 2nd March 2015. Councillor John Duffy was quoted in the Kilburn Times on 19th February as saying in a letter that budget cuts have been made “without the endorsement of the Labour Group”, adding “We as a Labour group haven’t decided the budget. Cllr Michael Pavey (the council’s deputy leader) has decided it and won’t allow us to amend anything.”
Considering the cuts included in this budget amount to £54million over next 2 years we call on you to demonstrate your dissatisfaction, oppose this budget and vote against it in the budget meeting on the 2nd March. While TUSC does not support the raising of council taxes to meet funding gaps left by cuts to central government funding we do oppose all cuts and austerity and feel that if Labour councillors vote against this budget it would signal the start of resistance in the council chamber. This would strengthen those who are already engaged in campaigns heroically resisting the cuts and offer those suffering from them some hope of an end to austerity in Brent.
TUSC believes the right response to Con/Dem austerity in Brent instead of passing cuts onto the residents of Brent would be for the Labour council to set a “needs” budget based on what is required to meet Brent residents and workers needs. This should then be the launch point for a huge campaign involving Trade Unions, Campaigners, Tenants, Councillors, MP’s etc. to lobby the government to meet that budget and provide extra funds needed. This campaign could link up with other councils resisting austerity around the country to present the government with a united front to further cuts.
TUSC refutes the idea that austerity is needed at all. As we see huge financial resources exist amongst the elite and wealthy corporations. Daily we hear about the continuing corruption which exists amongst the financial, banking and political sector and the super-rich continue to get richer. It was these financial powers who mismanaged their affairs to a point where they almost collapsed and tax payer’s money was used to bail them out. Now we are paying again with the dismantling of health, education and all other vital public services creating a nightmare existence for many people now and for the future generations to come.
TUSC in Brent stood in last year’s local elections on this programme and received good votes for a small, new party. In Harlesden ward we even beat the government coalition parties. I will be standing as TUSC candidate for Brent Central in the coming general election along with 100 other candidates throughout the country committed to opposing all austerity cuts and privatisation.
In different parts of the country Labour rebels have linked up with TUSC, in particular we are very happy locally to be working alongside former Labour mayor of Harrow Nana Asante. We urge you to join us in standing up to this government’s cynical attempt to privatise, cut and dismantle local councils. Start by opposing the Budget proposed by the Brent council Labour leadership on the 2nd March and we can work together in future to maximise resistance to Austerity. Brent TUSC will be joining the lobby of this meeting waiting and watching for your response.
John Boyle -Brent TUSC prospective parliamentary candidate for Brent central constituency
TUSC will be holding a protest outside Brent council’s budget setting meeting on Monday 3rd March at 6pm to vote on the 2014-15 Budget which incorporates £17.8m reduction in services on top of the £100 million it has already pushed through over the last four years. TUSC says councils should not meekly accept the cuts made by the Con-Dem government. Councils should use their reserves and borrowing powers to avoid cuts in their 2014/15 budgets. This would buy time to build a campaign to force the government to properly fund local government. They should set a ‘needs’ budget that actually provides what is needed in the borough. We say no all cuts!
TUSC is planning to stand a range of candidates including trade unionists, students and community campaigners in Brent in the May 2014 council elections to challenge those councillors who are not prepared to oppose these council cuts. Our candidates will be standing on a programme of opposition to all cuts. Our lead prospective candidate is Isabel Counihan, the well-known housing campaigner in Brent.
Today at the Civic Centre in Brent, the Council executive met to discuss the introduction of the government’s rent restructuring regime. Concretely it means aligning the rents of social landlords (Local Authorities and Housing Associations) with the private market.
TUSC completely opposes Brent council’s implementation of the rent convergence regime that will see a massive rent increase for Brent Housing Partnership tenants (up to 100%) . This policy will have a devastating effect on individuals and families in Brent who are already facing huge pressures on their incomes in addition to big rises in their gas and electric bills.
Rather than squeezing people’s spending even further, Brent Labour lead council should be leading a campaign to demand that the government puts in the necessary extra funding to stop these rent increases. Brent council should also refuse to pass on Tory cuts and demand the government provides funding to reverse all the other council cuts as well as to build new Genuinely affordable council housing.
If Brent councillors are not prepared to stand up and fight in the interests of the vast majority of the population in Brent and oppose these cuts then they should stand aside in favour of candidates who will oppose these cuts.
In the 2014 council elections Brent TUSC will be standing a whole range of anti-cuts candidates who are fighting against the cuts and will oppose any cuts as councillors should they be elected. These candidates include trade unionists, socialists and other anti-cuts candidates including Isabel Counihan-Sanchez from the Housing 4 All campaign previously named “The Counihan-Sanchez Family housing campaign”.
For more information on Brent TUSC contact please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
At the TUSC meeting, in Brent on 23rd July 2013, Isable Counihan-Sanchez announced that she will be standing as a councillor for next year local election, in the Borough of Brent.
Isabel had prepared her speech which she tried to read on her phone… this is what she said:
“I’m not a politician so this is how I’m feeling. Firstly I would like to thank the organisers for inviting me to speak at this public meeting.
The divide between the rich and the poor is getting bigger and bigger.
We have to start with the council, we need councillors who will start to fight for us and who will try to change things! We can’t be afraid to rock the boat! We need change and we can’t wait for it, we need to act. I can’t give you facts and figures I’m talking from my experiences & with some councillors in Brent they will agree to help you for you to go away, then they don’t end up helping you at all. We can’t have councillors that are going to stay quiet & watch the poor suffer.
As for my family’s situation, we are now back in Brent, but this is of no thanks to Brent Council.
I for one am willing to stand as councillor & even if it just gives hope to those fighting back these savage cuts it will be worth it.
What does London have to offer culture, history one of the most diverse cities in the world but we also have a rich ConDem government who are attacking the most vulnerable. The sick having to attend ATOS assessments on a regular basis; the stress alone is leaving them suicidal.
The bedroom tax is a joke I would like to invite David Cameron to spend a day in a council home, surely his bathroom would be bigger than any of our bedrooms. We need people in a position of power that are really working for us and for the greater good. I for one and scared for my children’s future & have to take a stand. That’s all. Thank you.”
Note that the Counihan-Sanchez Housing Campaign is organising a day event to celebrate one year of existence on Saturday 31 August at Kilburn sq from 3pm.
Come to TUSC Brent public Meeting on Tuesday 23rd July, 7.30pm
Torch Pub: Function room, 1-5 Bridge Rd, Wembley, Middlesex, HA9 9AB, Nearest tube station: Wembley Park on the Jubilee line.
A good selection of speakers that have stand for the people of Brent will be speaking at the meeting. Hank Roberts known for whistleblowing over the £1.9 million bonus scandal at his school, was suspended but ultimately reinstated and victorious. Isabel Counihan-Sanchez and her fight for affordeable housing and others speakers that are fighting the cuts will tell us why we the people of Brent need to stand for next year elections.
Steve Hedley – RMT Assistant General Secretary
Hank Roberts – Association of Teachers and Lecturers, ATL National President and Brent ATL Secretary (speaking in a personal capacity)
Helen Davies – Barnet UNISON and UNISON NEC (speaking in a personal capacity)
Nancy Taaffe – TUSC candidate in GLA, library worker made redundant through cuts
Isabel Counihan-Sanchez – Counihan Sanchez Housing Campaign
The Con-Dem government’s austerity program is destroying public services and the pillars of the welfare state.
The NHS, schools, social services, council housing are all being chopped or privatised. From pensions to tuition fees, frozen wages to benefit cuts – ordinary people are facing severe difficulties.
Not a single council has stood up against the cuts.
Brent’s Labour Council is failing to protect the people who elected them. It doesn’t have to be like this. The money is there – just half of the £13 billion the Office for National Statistics officially recorded as being paid out in city bonuses in 2011-12, for example, would have been more than enough to avoid all the council cuts made that year.
Councillors have a choice.
They don’t have to vote for cuts. Even if just a handful of councils defied the Con-Dems and refused to implement the cuts – and linked with the growing opposition of trade unions, young people, and community campaigners – the government could be made to back down and fund council services properly.
But it needs people to come forward as council candidates to put that case.
In May 2014 there will be elections across London, including Brent. We want to elect councillors who will build up the fight against the cuts by refusing to implement them.
Are you prepared to be a candidate in these elections? Or at least build support in your trade union or your local community for candidates who will fight back? Get involved in a serious discussion about how we can do this.
This weekend TUSC Brent supporters were out petitioning outside Sainsbury in Willesden high road to make brent residents aware of the scandale unveiled by Channel 4 Dispatches. The programme reveals the councillor who lives 70 miles from his constituents but whose party still claims an allowance. This councillor is Cllr Revd David Clues, a LibDem councillor for Dudden Hill Ward in Brent currently living in Brighton.
During the week, TUSC supporters also knocked on doors in Dudden Hill ward with a petition demanding that Cllr Davies Clues resign from his position. Few residents were outrage about this councillor still holding his position while not providing regular surgeries for local constituents.
Brent Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) believe that Brent Liberal Democrats have been responsible for the totally undemocratic situation in which Rev Cllr David Clues has remained as a LibDem councillor for Dudden Hill ward since he moved to Brighton, 80 miles away, in December 2011.
In this time he has continued to claim his £7974 per year in expenses despite no longer offering surgeries in his ward for residents and only attending 33% of council meetings.
In a recent “Dispatches” documentary called “How Councils Waste Your Money” Councillor Clues announced that he was resigning but as yet he still holds his position.
We think its is a disgrace that this councillor has been able to remain in position for so long under such circumstances, especially in the light of the cuts, closures and job losses which Brent residents have endured. This is an affront to local democracy and it is down to Brent Liberal Democrats to correct this situation by removing Councillor Clues.
TUSC reject the austerity policies of the establishment parties and oppose all cuts to public services and welfare. A council by- election will offer residents of Dudden Hill Ward the opportunity to elect someone who will truly stand in their interest and against further destruction of jobs and services.
Brent & Kilburn Times wrote an article based on this press release called “Brent councillor who lives in Brighton is to resign”.
Brent TUSC will be further discussing this and other issues at their next public meeting:
In preparation of May 2014 local election, TUSC has re-activated the TUSC Brent steering committee, launched in 2012.
In Brent, 63 Councillor seats are up for election in 21 wards. Brent is currently labour-countrolled.
On Tuesday 11th June at the Torch in Wembley at 7:30pm, local trade unionists, anti-cuts campaigners and socialists were invited to the Brent TUSC organising committee meeting.
At the meeting, we had a representant of the RMT (Cat Cray), POA (John Hancock), SWP (Sarah Cox), SP (John Boyle) and the Independent Socialist Network (Paul Summers).
We discuss future events and activities to raise TUSC Brent profile locally. As a result, we set a date for a public meeting to discuss standing anti-austerity candidates in next year’s council elections in the borough.