Mayor Bullock responds to Lewisham anti-cuts protests

Mayor Bullock has released a statement in response to last night's demonstrations:

On 29 November Lewisham Council met to consider a package of savings which had been proposed by the Mayor and agreed by the Labour Group. The measures in this package concentrated on making cuts to "back office" services and increasing efficiency. I firmly believe that if a Labour Government had been returned in May we would have been able to balance the budget with relatively little impact on the service areas we consider to be a priority. The fact that this Tory/Lib Government is forcing us to make half of the 28% cuts this year means that we will forced to continue to make cuts that will generate these kinds of protests.

At the meeting of the Mayor and Cabinet the previous week a minority of members of the public attempted to stop the meeting taking place. During the following days this group made threats via social media to disrupt the council meeting with the intention of stopping the meeting continuing. They encouraged members of the public to bring paint, flour and shoes to throw from the public gallery. Peaceful protest and the right of residents to raise issues they are concerned with must be protected, however it is being undermined by these attempts to prevent meetings taking place

It is clear that there was an organised attempt to prevent a democratic meeting taking place. The Labour Party must always support the democratic process and anyone who believes that direct action to subvert democracy is appropriate has no place in our Party. I have made clear that I will not make decisions on the basis of who shouts the loudest. Those people who will be most affected do not always have the ability to make their voices heard and I have a duty to make sure that their needs are taken fully into account as we make the difficult choices.

The Coalition will announce the funding allocation for London boroughs in the next few days. If this is as bad as feared it will force Labour councils to take even more difficult measures early next year. The Government has the legal power to force councils to balance their books even if the majority of members of that council believe that the funding is inadequate to deliver the services the borough needs. It is easy for other parties to either vote against or abstain from voting on these proposals, but no other party in Lewisham has come up with a fully costed budget alternative detailing how we should make these cuts.

When the Government makes its announcement we will expose the real threat that it contains and look to our parliamentary colleagues to challenge the government by every means at their disposal.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Does he expect those who protested to listen?

They are full of hate, don't listen to reason and demonstrated last night if they ruled they would use force against anyone who opposed them.

Anonymous said...

yes, Sue Luxton. A notorious violent revolutionary...get a grip.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 20:25
You appear full of hate, don't listen to others and demonstrated tonight that if anyone expressed an opinion different to yours that you would use forums and comment against anyone who opposed them. Express some constructive comments and facts and not so much rhetoric. FFS

Anonymous said...

Whats this about bringing shoes to throw ??

Tamsin said...

"Alternating prints of boot and sock"

Sceptical said...

Did anyone throws anything refered to by Mayor Bullock, and did the police confiscate any of those items? Perhaps it was just hearsay but conflated to fact for political purposes.

Jarrow Marcher said...

Sue Luxton was an excellent hardworking Councillor who lived locally and fought for her constituents. I personally do not vote for the Green Party but I do admire Sue for her committment to causes she feels passionate about.
There is nothing wrong with protest but a democratic meeting does have to take place and if the idea of the demonstration was to disrupt r even stop the council meeting then this isn't a good thing.
If we don't like what the Labour Council does we have the opportunity to vote them out at the next election. A high turn-out this time around caused the Green's to lose their seats-the public gets what the public wants.
I wonder how many of the people-about to be most affected by the cuts-were actually out there protesting?
My guess is there were plenty of left-wing activists there trying to stoke up civil unrest fro their own political gain.
We should all remember that these cuts-and the hard choices we have to make-are above party politics. We are all in this together-there are no easy solutions.

Anonymous said...

Look on any of the organisers websites and any mention of their aggression, abuse, violence or threatening behaviour has been written out of history.

A smoke grenade was let off in the reception area, but the so called socialist peaceful protestors have ignored that.

No the police did not confiscate the smoke grenade, as the socialist armed with it lobbied it at the members of the working class who were on reception.

Monkeyboy said...

"working Classes" I find that term about as useful as "back office staff". The median income is around £25k, even that is not that helpful unless you understand how much of it is disposable. If you've inherited a house, £25k would be an OK wage. If you're renting at £700 a month and have a child it isn't. Life eh?

John Lilburne said...

Aparently there was wrestling! No Undertaker or Hulk Hogan though.

http://www.newsshopper.co.uk/news/lewgreen/8710660.CATFORD__Protestor_and_councillor_in__wrestling_match__at_Lewisham_Town_Hall/?utm_campaign=Lewisham&utm_medium=Twitter&ref=rss&utm_source=SNS.analytics

John Lilburne said...

And on a different note it seems we're not all in it together...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/patrick-butler-cuts-blog/2010/nov/25/council-cuts-rich-get-richer

Anonymous said...

Bullock *is* on another planet - the Council had already outlined cuts before the last general election - now they're blaming it on the coalition.

If the Council had any balls they'd make a stand against the coalition *because labour are in opposition* but this council blows over at the first hurdle.

Oh, I forgot, labour is the same as all the rest now...

max said...

It's worth remembering that these approved on Monday were only the pirst round of these year's cuts - the easy ones.

A double digit reduction of Lewisham Council's budget is a massive damage on so many levels.

This has got nothing to do with the demo of Monday or with the students' fees, this is the bulk of the services that are delivered by the Council and must be opposed.

As the figures now clearly poorer Council will suffer more than the richer and this is unacceptable.

Anonymous said...

As was stated, the Mayor had already announced he was due to make £60m of cuts before the May elections.

With a high turnout, the public voted overwhelmingly for the old codger to be ruturned to power.

More recently the voters of Ladywell, voted labour candidate Carl Handley back onto the council.

But I suspect those who 'broke' through the police line, charged through reception, knocked people out the way, detonated a smoke grenade have little time for elections.

Anonymous said...

Bullock describes the protest as "a minority of the public". It would be a mighty spectacle if the majority of the public of Lewisham turned up outside the town hall!

Bullock should remember that it was a minority of the electorate that put him in office!

Anonymous said...

In a Big Brother all up for election style vote in May the current Mayor obtained 47,861 votes compared to 26,445 to the person in second place.

Overall 107,569 votes were cast.

And the number of votes for the extremely aggresive protestors....a big fat ZERO.

I see the organisers of the demo are still in denial about their violence towards others.

The actions at the Mayor's meeting, the messages exchanged on social networks and the active encouragement of disruption shows these are people who, like the BNP, like nothing better than a fight.

BrockleyBiker said...

"It is clear that there was an organised attempt to prevent a democratic meeting taking place. The Labour Party must always support the democratic process and anyone who believes that direct action to subvert democracy is appropriate has no place in our Party."

That is one of the funniest things I have read in a long time.

Anonymous said...

I read that some local union reps have offices and facilities provided by the council, is that true?

Also some council staff get paid not to work because they are union reps, that can's be true can it?

ket said...

The Government has the legal power to force councils to balance their books even if the majority of members of that council believe that the funding is inadequate to deliver the services the borough needs.
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