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Socialist coalition names 90 West Midlands local and general election candidates

Socialist coalition names 90 West Midlands local and general election candidates

🕔07.Apr 2015

The hard-left Trade Union and Socialist Coalition will have 78 candidates in the West Midlands local government elections and 12 contesting the General Election, all standing on platform of refusing to implement public spending cuts.

In Birmingham the TUSC will contest 17 of the 40 seats up for grabs, whilst in Coventry all but one of the 18 wards will have a coalition candidate with the charge being led by the city’s former Labour MP Dave Nellist.

TUSC’s manifesto suggests that if enough councils and councillors refuse to implement spending cuts the Government of the day will be forced to back down.

A suggestion that Birmingham city council set a “needs budget” based on estimates of the level of services that are actually required has been rejected by Labour council leader Sir Albert Bore who said such a course of action would be illegal and could result in councillors being surcharged by the Government.

He convinced Labour councillors to approve a £100 million-plus cuts budget for 2015-16 as part of an £830 million budget reduction between 2010 and 2018.

Formed in 2010, TUSC says its mission is to provide a platform for “trade unionists, community campaigners and socialists” to stand candidates against “pro-establishment parties”.

The coalition claims its candidates’ average vote in the 2012 local elections was 6.2 per cent “despite a media black-out”.

It has received support from the RMT transport workers’ union, the PCS civil servants union, the National Union of Teachers, the Fire Brigade Union and the Prison Officers Association. Former RMT general secretary Bob Crow, who died last year, was a member of the TUSC steering committee.

The TUSC agenda threatens a return to the poll tax protests of the early 1990s when councils were encouraged by Militant insurgents in the Labour party to refuse to set or collect the tax.

In its local and general election manifesto TUSC argues that austerity and spending cuts will continue whichever political party wins power.

With all the establishment parties – and UKIP too – committed to austerity, the best that will happen in the Westminster elections is that there will be a change of ‘management style’ at the top.

That’s why it is important to have local councillors who will refuse to vote for cuts in the council chamber. And why TUSC is appealing to trade union members, anti-cuts campaigners, young people – everyone in fact who opposes the austerity agenda – to themselves come forward as council candidates.

It is not true that councils have ‘no option’ but to pass on government cuts. If just a handful of councils used the powers they have to refuse to implement the cuts the Westminster politicians could be made to back down.

The manifesto commits TUSC councillors to:

  • Oppose all cuts to council jobs, services, pay and conditions
  • Refuse to implement the bedroom tax, write off all bedroom tax-related arrears, withdraw all court proceedings and eviction orders
  • Support all workers’ struggles against the cuts, privatisation and government policies making ordinary people pay for the crisis caused by the bankers and the bosses
  • Reject increases in council tax, rent and service charges to compensate for government cuts
  • Oppose racism and fascism and stand up for equality for all
  • Campaign for the introduction of a Living Wage above the minimum wage, including for council employees and those working for council contractors
  • Support action against climate change and for a future where sustainability comes before profit.

TUSC candidates:

General Election

Birmingham Erdington – Ted Woodley

Birmingham Perry Barr – Robert Punton

Birmingham Yardley – Eamonn Flynn

Coventry Coventry North East – Nicky Downes

Coventry North West – Dave Nellist

Coventry South – Judy Griffiths

Dudley North – Dave Pitt

North Warwickshire – Eileen Hunter

Rugby – Pete McLaren

Stoke-on-Trent South – Matt Wright

Walsall North – Pete Smith

Worcester – Pete McNally

Local Elections:

Birmingham

Acocks Green – Eamonn Flynn

Bordesley Green – Theo Sharieff-Winston

Erdington – Joe Foster

Hall Green – David Wright

Hodge Hill – Marie O’Connor

Kingstanding – Ben Perry

Lozells & East Handsworth – Alistair Wingate

Moseley & Kings Heath – Michael Friel

Northfield – Clive Walder

Oscott – Brian Beddowes

Quinton – Nick Hart

Selly Oak – Keturah Prendergast

Sheldon – Mark Andrews

South Yardley – Siobhan Friel

Stechford & North Yardley – Laura Cross

Stockland Green – Ted Woodley

Tyburn – James Redfern

Coventry

Bablake – Dan Crowter

Binley & Willenhall – Paul Smith

Cheylesmore – Judy Griffiths

Earlsdon – Andy Pettit

Foleshill – Jim Hensman

Henley – Tony Jones

Holbrook – Ryan Rochester

Longford – Lee Cooper

Lower Stoke – Rob McArdle

Radford – Dave Anderson

St Michaels – Dave Nellist

Sherbourne – Jason Toynbee

Upper Stoke – Nick Harrison

Wainbody – Ian Wardle

Westwood – Jim Donnelly

Whoberley – Richard Groves

Woodlands – Sarah Smith

Wyken – Gregory Crabb

Newcastle-under-Lyme

Audley & Bignall End – Guy Hamnett

Chesterton – Craig Forman

Kidsgrove – Rebecca Carter

Knutton & Silverdale – Jack Williams

Silverdale & Parkside – Richard Steele

Wolstanton – Stephen Wheeler

Rugby

Benn – Bill Smith

Bilton – Steve Roberts

Eastlands – Rob Johnson

Hillmorton – David Allen

New Bilton – Marian Wahehin

Newbold & Brownsover – Clive Dunkley

Rokeby & Overslade – Julie Weeks

Wolston & the Lawford – Pete McLaren

Sandwell

Abbey Ward – Lynn Wadding

Stoke-on-Trent

Baddeleley, Milton & Norton – Denise Keen

Blurton East – Neil Singh

Blurton West & Newstead – Matthew Wright

Broadway & Longton East – Liat Norris

Dresden & Florence – John Barbrook

Fenton West & Mount Pleasant – Christopher Parton

Hollybush & Longton West – Kristopher Caci

Meir Hay – Lee Stockley

Meir North – Andy Bentley

Meir South – John Morrey

Sandford Hill – Lucy Williams

Weston Coyney – Amanda Marfleet

Walsall

Birchills-Leamore – Alan Davies

Blakenall – Dave Church

Bloxwich East – Stephen Baggott

Bloxwich West – Michael Ross

Palfrey – Martin Lynch

Short Heath – Nadia Welsh

Willenhall North – Alan Paddock

Willenhall South – Stephanie Peart

Warwick

Kenilworth Abbey – Rhiannon Frenguelli

Worcester

Bedwardine – Pete McNally

Cathedral – Andrew Morgan

St John – Mark Davies

Wyre Forest

Franche & Habberley North – Nigel Gilbert

Franche & Habberley North – Ingra Kirkland

Habberley South – Kevin Young

Offmore & Comberton – Lawrence Boyle

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