My Opinion by Mercury reader Christian Smith: Can our new council oppose the cuts?

Christian Smith
Christian Smith

I’m somewhat happy that we now have a Labour led council, and really quite happy that a union representative has been voted in. Although the shadow cabinet is leaning to the right, I feel that local Labour councillors understand what is in the interests of the average person.

The question is what can be done with a limited budget? For example the Green-led Brighton constituency has been cutting rather hard, even with the anti-austerity ethic of the Greens; it seems it is difficult to oppose cuts when budgets are against councils.

I very much hope that we will see some opposition to cuts, and some policies aimed at helping small businesses. I’d also hope that there will be challenges to landlords who charge extortionate rents around areas such as Matlock, not only for the sake of younger or un/underemployed peoples sake, but also for a way of reducing the housing benefit bill of this country which doesn’t hurt those who need help.

Now my semi-support of Labour in local terms does not mean that I don’t think that the Conservatives and Lib Dems of the past haven’t done a fair job. We’ve seen quite an astounding public expenditure from them, which I feel has saved the town from a severe local economic depression.

However, I welcome the change with open arms, but a head which has some doubts about the ability of this new Labour-led council to oppose Job and public service cuts.