Paul Viney, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidate for High Harrogate, won 60 votes (2%) in the local council elections. This compares with 66 votes (4.5%) in the same ward in 2014.
Paul Viney (right), with Socialist Party members and TUSC supporters, campaigning in High Harrogate
Paul says: “TUSC represented the only real voice against austerity in these elections. Although we were not able to increase our vote in Harrogate this time, I would like to thank all those who voted for me and supported our campaign.
Some parties made references to “fairer cuts” and “affordable housing” during the course of the election, but never defined what “fair” and “affordable” actually mean in practice. It was only TUSC who stated that councillors do have a choice and can set an alternative “people’s budget” which defends local jobs and services. TUSC was the only party to call for an end to Harrogate’s housing crisis by establishing a local rent council and a rent cap, setting up a not-for-profit council-run letting agency and a mass programme of council house building. We will continue to fight for a genuine alternative to the austerity of the establishment parties and stop the cost of central government cuts being passed on to our communities.”
Nationally, there was good news from Southampton where Councillor Don Thomas, a TUSC supporter who was expelled from the Labour Party for opposing the cuts, won his council seat with 2,500 votes, a majority of 1,000. For further analysis of the national and local elections, see the following articles:
Save our fire service!
North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service have proposed a number of cuts to local fire services, including reducing the number of fire-engines, potential reductions in front-line fire-fighters and no guarantees over redundancies. There are also plans to increase turnout times from 5 minutes to 15 minutes and up to 1 hour in certain areas.
Paul Viney (left) with Simon Wall, FBU Brigade Chair for North Yorkshire
TUSC are campaigning with the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) to defend our local fire service. Our next meeting is Tuesday 12th May where we will be discussing the next steps in the campaign, along with the election results. The venue is the Stone Beck pub on Jenny Field Drive. The meeting will start at 7.30pm. All welcome!
If you are unable to attend the meeting but would like to support the TUSC/FBU campaign to defend our fire service, please contact harrogatesocialists[at]gmail.com