Cuts campaigners demand the heads of Dudley leaders as budget battle gathers pace

Coalition Against Cuts campaigners at Dudley Council House are calling for new leadership at the authority

Coalition Against Cuts campaigners at Dudley Council House are calling for new leadership at the authority

First published in Local

ANGRY campaigners are demanding the resignation of Dudley’s leaders as the row over council cuts intensifies ahead of a crucial budget meeting.

The Labour-run council will next week debate a three-year spending plan which proposes £33.6m in cuts after reductions in grants from central government.

Dudley Coalition Against Cuts has turned against former allies from the Labour Party to call for new political leaders to fight harder for more cash.

Coalition members took their message to the steps of Dudley Council House ahead of a meeting of the authority on February 24 and called for the heads of senior council cabinet members including deputy leader and finance chief, Cllr Pete Lowe.

Jerry Langford, spokesman for Dudley Coalition Against Cuts, said: “These cuts are going to savage what we have come to expect from the council, it’s the wholesale slashing of services.

“It’s a sham, people like Pete Lowe two years ago were standing on these steps campaigning against cuts – where are they now?

“There is not the wherewithal or wit to fight it, the council’s leaders should resign, they don’t need to co-operate with the government.

“Two years ago they knew these cuts were coming, they won an election on the basis of being against cuts, we are saying why aren’t they fighting them?”

The Coalition Against Cuts is calling for local authorities to join together to force the Westminster government to reverse cuts to local authority grants and find the extra cash by pursuing big business and rich bankers for uncollected tax.

Cllr Lowe hit back hit back, insisting Dudley Council was in daily contact with central government and other local authorities but some of the protestors’ arguments were unrealistic.

He said: “We are committed to getting a fair deal for the people of Dudley, you don’t do that just by waving placards but by holding this government to account.

“Whilst doing that we have to take a responsible position to protect the most vulnerable in society.”

He added the government’s communities secretary, Eric Pickles, would replace elected politicians with administrators if the council failed to balance its books.

Cllr Lowe said: “If we did what the protestors call for there would be no local government in Dudley, Pickles has made it clear he would remove the democratic process and bring in officials.”

Dudley Council's budget debate will be on Monday March 3.

Comments (4)

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2:15pm Wed 26 Feb 14

dj1917 says...

It's very depressing to see formerly principled campaigners like Pete Lowe abandoning their principles to toe the New Labour party line. I wonder if his volte-face has anything to do with his being a prospective parliamantary candidate for Labour?
It's very depressing to see formerly principled campaigners like Pete Lowe abandoning their principles to toe the New Labour party line. I wonder if his volte-face has anything to do with his being a prospective parliamantary candidate for Labour? dj1917
  • Score: 1

7:56am Thu 27 Feb 14

Pensnett Wammel says...

'Cllr Lowe said: “If we did what the protestors call for there would be no local government in Dudley, Pickles has made it clear he would remove the democratic process and bring in officials.”..'

If this is the case then they should put the gov't in the position of overtly removing the democratic process. Central gov't taxes us ostensibly in return for providing us with services (quid pro quo) . If they are (mis)using the money raised through taxation for spurious purposes, for example overseas aid (which apart from cases of emergency should be provided privately according to conscience) this can only be justified if the services that the money should pay for have been provided.
'Cllr Lowe said: “If we did what the protestors call for there would be no local government in Dudley, Pickles has made it clear he would remove the democratic process and bring in officials.”..' If this is the case then they should put the gov't in the position of overtly removing the democratic process. Central gov't taxes us ostensibly in return for providing us with services (quid pro quo) . If they are (mis)using the money raised through taxation for spurious purposes, for example overseas aid (which apart from cases of emergency should be provided privately according to conscience) this can only be justified if the services that the money should pay for have been provided. Pensnett Wammel
  • Score: 1

6:20pm Thu 27 Feb 14

Nigel Bayton PCS says...

To all opponents of the cuts and privatisation,Last Mondays protest was very good with some new faces.
However the crucial date is next Monday 3rd March when the council budget is voted on. We intend to repeat our protest and urge as many people to get there as possible. If we get enough we could fill the public gallery and let the councillors know how we feel.

So PROTEST - NO CUTS NO OUTSOURCING
MONDAY 3RD MARCH. DUDLEY COUNCIL HOUSE . 5.0pm
BRING BANNERS AND PLACARDS.

LOBBY THE SCRUTINY MEETING
TUESDAY 04th March 6.0pm DUDLEY COUNCIL HOUSE.
CHALLENGE THE COUNCIL BUDGET
To all opponents of the cuts and privatisation,Last Mondays protest was very good with some new faces. However the crucial date is next Monday 3rd March when the council budget is voted on. We intend to repeat our protest and urge as many people to get there as possible. If we get enough we could fill the public gallery and let the councillors know how we feel. So PROTEST - NO CUTS NO OUTSOURCING MONDAY 3RD MARCH. DUDLEY COUNCIL HOUSE . 5.0pm BRING BANNERS AND PLACARDS. LOBBY THE SCRUTINY MEETING TUESDAY 04th March 6.0pm DUDLEY COUNCIL HOUSE. CHALLENGE THE COUNCIL BUDGET Nigel Bayton PCS
  • Score: 0

1:58pm Mon 3 Mar 14

PeteLowe says...

To dj1917 I am pleased to state that my 'principles' remain intact and open to scrutiny. As deputy leader I have passed policy protecting the most vulnerable groups in our community via the Council Tax Rebate Scheme (the first authority in the country to say this....others (some) then followed). I proudly supported the campaign to overturn the Bedroom Tax....well before Labour followed. I joined the march in Manchester and again am working with UAF to bring a Love Music Hate Racism event to Dudley this April. Just because I dont agree with setting a 'illegal budget' in isolation and without widespread support does not indicate a loss of 'principle'....indee
d I would argue doing so would play directly into our opponents hands. Whilst I am the Parliamentary Candidate for Stourbridge as you kindly mentioned I am proudly supported by UNITE, UNISON, CO-OP, COMMUNITY etc etc. Pete Lowe
To dj1917 I am pleased to state that my 'principles' remain intact and open to scrutiny. As deputy leader I have passed policy protecting the most vulnerable groups in our community via the Council Tax Rebate Scheme (the first authority in the country to say this....others (some) then followed). I proudly supported the campaign to overturn the Bedroom Tax....well before Labour followed. I joined the march in Manchester and again am working with UAF to bring a Love Music Hate Racism event to Dudley this April. Just because I dont agree with setting a 'illegal budget' in isolation and without widespread support does not indicate a loss of 'principle'....indee d I would argue doing so would play directly into our opponents hands. Whilst I am the Parliamentary Candidate for Stourbridge as you kindly mentioned I am proudly supported by UNITE, UNISON, CO-OP, COMMUNITY etc etc. Pete Lowe PeteLowe
  • Score: 0

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