Wolverhampton and Black Country branch of Socialist Party

Wednesbury Can't Go On Like This!

October 9, 2022

On 27th October, a by-election is taking place in Wednesbury South. The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition is standing Socialist Party member Gareth Knox as the anti-establishment, socialist candidate to give a voice to workers fighting back against the rising cost of living on Sandwell Council.

Working class people in Wednesbury have been thrown under the bus for years now. And now price rises in gas, food and electric are hammering us.

Energy bills are twice what they were this time last year. In the 21st century, in the world’s 6th richest country, someone working full time shouldn’t be scared to switch the heating on!

The Labour Council in Sandwell has cut £96m million from local services since 2010, robbing over 1000 jobs in the process.

Many of our communities have been slowly left to decay as jobs, shops and prospects move elsewhere. The Tory government and Labour council lack the will to tackle dodgy and exploitative landlords, still less build the good quality council homes needed to tackle the housing crisis.

You don’t have to waste your vote on the same old establishment parties

Socialists don’t just want to defend the scraps the government have left us. A fighting council could win back the funding stolen from our borough by the Tories over the last 12 years.

We demand Sandwell council use its £70m of reserves to take emergency action to help local families:

  • Warm home grants should be widely available to prevent families falling into arrears
  • The council should start an emergency programme of home insulation
  • The Household Support Fund should be expanded to provide more assistance to the thousands of local families struggling
  • All school kitchens should be open in the morning and at weekends, and free school meals should be offered to all students
  • Public buildings like libraries and community centres should be kept open this autumn and winter so that people, particularly the elderly, have somewhere warm to go

Workers Fight Back

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The bosses and the political establishment want to make working class people pay the price for the current inflation crisis. But workers are standing up and saying enough!

Here in the Black Country, workers at Cab Auto, Sandwell Leisure Trust and Midland Metro have joined rail workers, posties and BT staff in the growing strike wave. Gareth Knox and the socialist team have been proud to stand alongside striking workers who are coming under attack just a short while after being praised as key workers.

The solution to the cost of living crisis

Families can be protected against the profiteering of the energy companies - but we need to change how society is run. Essential services should be for need, not profit. We want the nationalisation of the energy, transport, water and mail companies. Their obscene profits should be used to cut bills for ordinary people.

Everyone should have a warm home, a well paid job, free education and health, while protecting our environment. If the capitalist system can't afford that, we need to change the system along socialist lines to one that works for us!

We say:

  • End the cost of living squeeze! Cut energy bills now, renationalise energy companies and other privatised utilities
  • Restore youth services, reverse social care cuts and rebuild council services
  • For a proper future for young people: free education and training and decent jobs for all
  • For a mass council house bilding programme, reject council tax and rent increases
  • Fully fund the NHS, stop privatisation
  • Combat climate change with a free to use, expanded, publicly owned transport system. No to congestion charges.
  • End low pay. Wage rises for all that at least keep pace with inflation. A £15 an hour minimum wage now
  • Take the wealth off the 1%. We need socialist change!
See also  Vote TUSC in the Tividale By-election!

This post promoted by Nick Hart at 342 Highfield Lane, B32 1SD on behalf of Gareth Knox

Written by workers for workers.

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