Spent a pleasant morning (despite the weather) leafleting and talking to people around the Uplands Market about why I'm standing for the Trade Unionists and Socialist Coalition in the Uplands by-election on November 20.
We met a lot of council workers furious that a Labour council is cutting jobs and outsourcing services, that it employs workers on less than the Living Wage and makes use of zero hours contracts. Other Uplands residents told us how they fear for the future of services in Swansea as Labour continues to pass on Con-Dem cuts - they intend to take £26 million out of jobs and services this year and £70 million over 3 years.
Not everybody was pleased to see us though. One Labour councillor went past shouting about how if he and his Labour colleagues didn't make cuts then they'd be made by Jack Straw (Chief Executive of the Council - not the former Labour Government Minister). That would be the same Jack Straw that a number of Labour councillors thanked in the budget-setting meeting earlier this year, for helping them to put together their budget of cuts to jobs and services then?
In any case as I wrote yesterday, I can't see how it's better to have your services cut or your job axed by a so-called 'left' Labour councillor than by council officers. We want councillors who will vote against all cuts and who will instruct officers to protect, not cut, jobs and services.
It was great to get the campaign up and running, our leaflets went down well and our new TUSC banner looked fantastic. We aim to show over the next 4 weeks that it is possible to have an alternative - representatives prepared to vote against and fight all cuts. If you've had enough of Labour councillors being paid to make Tory cuts then help us build TUSC as that alternative.