The working class has a right to leisure

Submitted by Matthew on 26 January, 2011 - 11:15

The fight against cuts can happen in the most unexpected of places.

Tendring District Council, a Conservative-led administration in north east Essex, has announced the first round of cuts to close a budget deficit of £4.3 million by 2014.

The cuts are from the “leisure” portfolio: the council is justifying the cuts in the name of “maintaining front line services”.

Among the cuts is the ending of more than £100,000 of small grants to voluntary organisations who plan to lobby the council against it.

The fees levied on beach huts are also set to rise. Beach hut owners are not renowned for their left-wing tendencies — yet the head of one association plans to organise a march on the next council meeting.

The left should be ready to defend the leisure facilities of the working-class, especially those who can’t afford to go abroad on holiday. And any fightback creates an arena for discussion of wider politics.

The council opposition is a rainbow alliance of Labour, Liberal Democrat, independents and other small, local, groupings though this has officially broken up ready for the elections in all wards in May.

At present there is no anti-cuts group in Tendring, although neighbouring areas do have grass-roots campaigns. Perhaps this will change as we get closer to 5 May.

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