Two initiatives at the Labour Representation Committee (LRC) conference on 19 November may open new possibilities.
One lunchtime caucus initiated a new LRC youth and student group. Another, initiated by Broxtowe (Notts) Labour councillors Greg Marshall and Andrea Oates, started to organise a network of Labour councillors committed to vote against cuts.
The anti-cuts Labour councillors have issued a statement:
The budgets set by local councils for 2011/2012 imposed swingeing cuts without significant opposition from Labour Party councillors. We cannot allow this to be repeated in 2012/2013. Labour Party councillors need to do more than ‘oppose Tory cuts’ — we should vote against them and fight for the preservation of jobs and services.
We will vote against the cuts budgets in 2012/2013 and in their place propose needs-based budgets. We will give our full support to trade unions taking industrial action to defend jobs, conditions and services. In the coming months, we will build and extend links with trade unions and anti-cuts campaigns to build labour movement opposition to this government.
To facilitate these activities, we support the development of a network of anti-cuts Labour Party councillors to provide solidarity, support and coordination in the coming months.