Phil Gunn signed Open Letter: Nottingham City Council lobby for end to austerity 2017-08-08 10:19:28 +0100103 signatures
***Update: Jon Collins has tweeted to say he will support Mayor Rees and his campaign to call an end to austerity in local government. Well done everyone!***
Dear Jon Collins,
Bristol City Mayor Marvin Rees has called on all 8 Core Cities in Britain to unite behind his call for an end to austerity. He has organised for a mass lobby of Parliament on 12th September demanding an end to vicious public sector cuts which have brought Local Authorities to their knees. He is also supporting a local demonstration in every city on Saturday 9th September.
Nottingham City Council has seen cuts of £200 million over the last 6 years, with a further £46 million of cuts to come over the next 2 years. These cuts have meant services cut to the bone, redundancies and wage cuts at the council, and a rise in homelessness in our city.
Cuts to Council Tax support for the poorest in society have added an extra burden on the City Council, whilst the Bedroom tax has forced up rent for hundreds of city residents. Our social services have suffered as the Council make cuts to balance a shrinking budget.
The most visible sign of deepening austerity is the increase in homeless people sleeping on the streets. Cuts to Framework have led to a rise in rough sleeping in common with the other Core Cities.
Before the election Theresa May told a nurse ‘there is no magic money tree’ for wage rises. Yet when her party failed to win a majority they could find £1.5 billion to buy the DUP’s 10 votes. This year we mark 10 years since the beginning of the financial crisis. When banks needed a bailout the money was there.
We know that money is available for public services. We know because the government have bcut taxes for the rich while claiming ‘we’re all in it together’.
We the undersigned call on our Council to join Bristol and other cities by supporting a demonstration in Nottingham on Saturday 9th September and by joining Mayor Marvin Rees at a lobby of Parliament on Monday 12th September.
Nottingham is a vibrant, creative, caring and multicultural city. Hate, division and prejudice have no place here. Our diversity and openness is something that we not only celebrate – these things make Nottingham a special place.
Time and again our city has shown that we will not tolerate those who seek to disrupt our communities. We have come together to oppose racists and fascists; we unite to defend our interests and we organise to make our city a better place.
The new President of the United States of America, Donald Trump, has been invited to the United Kingdom for a State Visit. This means that no expense will be spared to pamper and promote a man who can fairly be described as a vicious racist. We think the plans for his visit are deeply disturbing. We are not alone.
Close to two million people have already signed a petition calling for the State Visit to be cancelled. Parliament will discuss the demands of the petition on 20th February. Tower Hamlets and Gateshead Councils have declared themselves a ‘No Trump’ zone. In Nottingham, thousands of people signed the petition and two thousand took to the streets to protest Trump’s racist ban on Muslims entering the USA.
We want Nottingham to join a growing list of towns and cities in becoming a ‘No Trump Zone’. This means that we want as many people as possible to declare themselves opposed to Trump and the plans for a State Visit. It also means that we ask Nottingham City Council to publicly declare that Donald Trump will never be officially welcomed to our community.
Nottingham City Council has announced that it will sell the building on Angel Row that currently houses our Central Library. The property will be sold to a private developer who will turn it into office space.
Our city has been home to many great writers. Many wonderful writers live here today. Nottingham was recently named a UNESCO City of Literature in recognition of our past and present contributions. Yet during the week of the city’s ‘Festival of Literature’, the council made the decision to sell the Central Library without confirming whether or not the service will be continued elsewhere in the city centre. It is as yet unclear how widely the council consulted on these plans before making a decision. This is an alarming situation.
This is not just about famous writers past and present. It’s about the people who use the Central Library today and those who will use it in the future. This is about saving a library from an uncertain future.
Our fear is that a lack of clarity about the future of our library indicates a lack of clarity on the part of the council about whether or not such a service is needed. We say that our libraries are precious institutions and that we will campaign to keep a central library open.
This petition calls on the council leadership to clearly state that a central library will be retained and that there will not be a long period of interruption to the service. Additionally, we ask for confirmation that:
• no library staff will face redundancy;
• Local History and Archival material will remain easily accessible;
• library stocks will not be diminished;
• a programme of investment and renewal will be put in place.
Most importantly, we ask that regular library users are closely consulted on any and all future plans.