1 Dec 2010

Darren Johnson fights the cuts in Lewisham!

Green councillor to vote against "massacre of council services"

Lewisham's Green councillor, Darren Johnson, has confirmed he will be voting against the cuts package which is being presented to Lewisham Council on Monday evening.

Cllr Johnson said, "The Government is forcing local authorities to make cuts by slashing the amount of funding each council gets. I strongly oppose what the Conservative/Lib Dem Government are doing nationally. But I am also appalled with how Labour are going about this locally. Labour's plans amount to a massacre of local services."

He continued, "Rather than making cuts to frontline services I want to see Mayor Steve Bullock make savings by slashing senior executive pay, cutting the millions spent on expensive private sector consultants and cutting down on glossy PR and council spin."

The Mayor's cuts programme, which will be presented to councillors on Monday, includes closing the Early Years Centre in New Cross, cuts to nurseries, street cleansing, parks and schools improvement teams.

Rather than cutting vital services Greens want to see the Council make savings by:

- cutting senior pay for top council executives

- reducing the millions spent on expensive private sector consultants

- cutting down on glossy PR and council spin

- reducing council fuel bills by making our schools, libraries and other buildings more energy efficient

- working more closely with other public sector bodies to cut admin costs

As well as attacking Labour for their ill thought-out plans locally, Darren was strongly critical of the Conservative/Lib Dem Coalition's plans nationally.

Darren said, "The Government argue that these cuts will help clear the deficit. But experts have warned these cuts will harm the economy, not help it. Cuts this big will simply increase unemployment, meaning that the government raises less in taxes and will have to spend more on benefits. Green MP, Caroline Lucas, has set out an alternative plan to tackle the deficit. Instead of hitting public services she has shown how we can tackle the deficit by increasing taxes for the very wealthiest, introducing a Robin Hood Tax on financial transactions, clamping down on the billions lost through tax evasion and tax avoidance, and scrapping the Trident nuclear weapons programme."

Cllr. Darren Johnson AM
Green Party

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