PACT to Challenge City Council Cuts Package with Alternative Needs Budget

Media Contact: Ben Norman
07889 022 879 Portsmouthagainstcuts@gmail.com

Press Conference Prior to Lobby of Council Budget Meeting Offers Councillors an Alternative Strategy For Voting Against Cuts

2nd February 2011 – Portsmouth Against Cuts Together, the community anti-cuts campaign backed by the city’s trade union movement, will hold a press conference before lobbying the City Council’s budget meeting to unveil an alternative Needs Budget to challenge the government’s austerity programme.

The council’s current proposed budget, which will be voted on at the full council meeting on the 8th February, reveals how local councillors are acting as the axe men for central government’s austerity agenda.

The first wave of cuts amounts to over £17 million, including cuts to the children’s service budget of £3,210,800 and £2,599,500 of cuts from the education budget.

These attacks on our services are accompanied by a projected 183 job losses, both for full and part time council workers. This is on top of the 400 council workers currently fighting against cuts to their terms and conditions.

At a press conference before the lobby representatives from PACT, the Trades Council and local council workers will present a Needs Budget; detailing the impact the cuts will have on the city, while proposing an alternative strategy for councillors to oppose the austerity agenda.

“The PACT Needs Budget makes it clear that there is an alternative to cuts and that councillors have a serious choice to make on the 8th February,” said PACT spokesman Ben Norman, 24. “They can either carry out the cuts or they can take a stand and work with the community and the unions to defend jobs and vital services.”

* Copies of the PACT Needs Budget will be available at the press conference.

* The Press Conference will be held at 12.30pm, Portsmouth Guildhall, Room 2, Third floor, February 8th, 2011

* The lobby of the council will take place at 1.30pm. PACT representatives will be making a deputation to the council at 2:00pm.

For more information contact Portsmouthagainstcuts@gmail.com or 07889 022 879. Images and quotes from the conference and lobby will be available on request.

Portsmouth Against Cuts Together (PACT) is a community based campaign group, supported by Portsmouth Trades Council, which opposes the government’s austerity programme of cuts.

The campaign group opposes all cuts, noting that they are driven by ideology not economic need. Furthermore PACT supports clamping down on corporate tax evasion and avoidance by millionaires and supports the creation of sustainable new jobs. PACT also argues that no jobs should be lost in the defence industry, but sustainable alternative jobs should be created for any that are lost.

http://www.portsmouthact.wordpress.com

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