Hull councillors defy cuts

Submitted by Matthew on 6 March, 2013 - 10:58

200 people protested both in and outside the council hall in Hull throughout the day on 28 February as the ruling Labour group passed its cuts budget.

The protest was called by the local government unions and backed by Hull Labour Representation Committee and the three Labour councillors who were committed to voting against the budget.

After five hours of dire speeches from all the parties, the budget passed with 38 Labour councillors voting through 600 job cuts and a spending cut of £350 per head of population

Three councillors — Dean Kirk, Gary Wareing and Gill Kennett — took a stand and voted against the budget, urging their colleagues to join them.

After each speech by the three, the public gallery cheered, clapped and stamped its feet in approval.

Each of these councillors stood up in favour of what they were elected on and have committed to building a broad campaign within the community and labour movement to defend jobs and services and defend their right to remain Labour councillors.

The councillors spoke to a packed meeting of local activists after the vote. The platform also included John Dunn, a member of the Clay Cross Labour councill which, in 1972, defied the Tory government over council rent rises.

In Warrington, councillor Kevin Bennett also defied the Labour whip and voted against cuts.

Gill Kennett said: “I send my support to Councillor Kevin Bennett for his great stand against the cuts. Having been in the same position I am aware of how difficult it is and want to say we in Hull are wholeheartedly behind him.”

Councillors Against Cuts meets for its first conference in Birmingham on Saturday 16 March.

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