The Axeman Cometh – Southampton braces itself for the Spending Review

Posted on October 18, 2010 by


Demonstratin' in the rain - SUPS's last demo

Campaigners and residents in Southampton are bracing themselves for the results of the ConDem Coalition government’s Comprehensive Spending Review, in which the degree of cuts to public services will be revealed, whilst activists will take to the streets in Southampton as well as in London to protest the cuts.

The Coalition government is using this Spending Review to work out where the cuts they have promised will be coming from, and many in the Public Service sector expect their budgets to be heavily slashed, with many jobs on the line.  At least 25% of most government departments’ budgets is expected to be cut, with up to 40% expected in some departments.  Campaigners warn that this degree of cutbacks will severely endanger the quality of public services and make many people unemployed, but many politicians say their hands are tied and cuts cannot be avoided.

Southampton has already started to feel the cuts as Southampton City Council and the local NHS have begun reducing their spending, with Library closures, Bitterne Walk-In Centre (which has 1000 signatures in support of keeping it) and Crowling house threatened, along with up to 200 jobs from the University of Southampton as Higher Education faces the squeeze too.  The Tory-controlled City Council have already voted through 20% cuts in July at an Emergency Budget meeting even before the government have finalised their plans for cuts, showing how keen they are at the Civic Centre to carry out this agenda.

Public Sector Unions and concerned residents have come from across Southampton to form ‘Southampton United for Public Services’ in response to these proposals, and following their well-attended protest at the Bargate in September are planning a demonstration again at the Bargate on the day of cuts itself.  The Demo will be held from 5pm a the Bargate, Wednesday 20th (with a proposed theme of ‘NIGHTMARE ON DOWNING STREET’ due to the proximity of Halloween, dressing up welcome), and a nearby venue is apparently available to host a meeting afterwards, and organisers say all members ofthe public are welcome.  Many from SUPS are also planning to attend a national demo in London on the 23rd organised by various Unions, along with demonstrations occurring on Wednesday in London outside parliament as the review is announced.

Posted in: News, Southampton, UK