In April 1996, when local government in Scotland was reorganised, the
Tories deliberately ensured the new authorities had less money than they
needed to run the services we rely on. They did this by cutting
central government grants, capping spending and vindictively redrawing
boundaries, particularly in Glasgow, where it's more affluent suburbs
have been given to neighbouring councils.|
Services including schools, nurseries, community centres,
sheltered housing schemes, libraries and sports centres are facing
redundancies and savage cuts. These cuts are largely being made by
Labour politicians who are more interested in their own power, position
and perks than standing with the working class to fight the Tories. And
New Labour have made it clear that there will be little change if they
win the general election.
Across Scotland, people who use services, workers and other
members of local communities have been coming together to fight this
calculated, premeditated attack on working people. They are building on
last years victories when a number of services including schools and
neighbourhood centres were saved by community occupations and campaigns.
Despite initial inaction and delaying tactics, demands from
grass roots members has forced the leadership of several local
government unions to successfully ballot for days of strike action,
including 6 March when tens of thousands of council workers were out on
strike across Scotland. In Glasgow, this forced the Council to abandon
its budget meeting until the following Monday, when again, thousands of
staff walked out and lobbied the Council. Other actions have included:
Jan. Self-organised group of disabled people force the council to
reverse their plan to evict them by staging an overnight occupation.
25 Jan. 20,00 people march through city centre to protest at education cuts.
10 Feb. Cuts in transport for voluntary groups are reversed after users lobby the Labour Group meeting.
17-24 Feb. Library staff strike.
20 Feb. Thousands of council workers strike, mass lobby and
illegal march outside City Chambers. Residents of sheltered housing
scheme in Govan, including one man aged 100 who took part in the hunger
marches of the 1920's and 30's stood side by side with a new generation
of activists to address a rally to protest at the scrapping of the
warden scheme. Residents not able to leave their homes, showed support
by hanging towels from their windows.
4-6 Mar. Hundreds of staff in Property Services strike.
5 Mar. Over 100 social work staff walk out in disgust as cuts in jobs and services are announced.
9 Mar. 30+ social work staff picket on Sunday morning to uphold a ban on overtime working.
10 Mar. OCCUPATION on 10th March of City Chambers, Glasgow by
Community Halls & cuts activists angered by the closure of their
22 Feb. Over 500 people marched in protest at cuts in jobs and services.
Stornoway, Western Isles
3 Mar. Children and parents lobby Scottish Secretary Forsyth over education cuts.
21 Jan. Families demonstrate over cuts at meeting of Wester Hailes Partnership Board.
6 Feb. 500 demonstrators march in protest at council cuts - roads blocked, apparently inspired by actions of French workers.
12 Feb. Launch of Save Our Services campaign
13 Feb. Catering workers hand councillors cold packed lunches in protest at plans to axe hot school meals.
20 Feb. Disabled people demonstrate against cuts in access project.
22 Feb. Children and parents from 3 schools held marches to protest at school closures. Petition handed to Scottish Secretary.
6 Mar. Over 600 strikers and service users demonstrate at council meeting.