Appendix 12B : Press Release from Manchester City Labour Party

5th April 1988 Press Release from Manchester City Labour Party

No Surrender

“Manchester will not surrender to Mrs Thatcher’s attacks on local democracy, jobs and services” announced Marilyn Taylor, Chair of Manchester District Labour Party, introducing the Labour Party’s Manifesto for this May’s Council elections.

“The Tories have consistently attacked local government since 1979. They do not believe that local people have the right to decide on what is right for them. They are dismantling the Welfare State and moving to a system based on cash not compassion. The NHS has been cut to ribbons, mining and steel industries destroyed, and telephone and gas services handed over to private interests with no regard for the needs of the community as a whole.

“In Manchester, over £600 million have been taken away by this government since 1979. Manchester needs £120 million to invest in housing this year, just to take us back to 1979 levels, and the government is only allowing us £25 million. The Tory answer is to force Council house rents up and up, while repairs and maintenance are cut.”

“Marilyn Taylor praised the past efforts of local councils and councillors to stave off the Tory onslaught. “There have been demonstrations, petitions, creative accounting, and for 79 Councillors surcharge and disqualification from office. Manchester Labour Party salutes all the efforts made to defend local communities.

“We are proud of the achievements that have been made by this Council based on Labour Party policy. New libraries, the first new swimming pool to be built in Manchester for ten years, and new facilities for the under 5s are welcomed. Manchester Direct Works department employs over 300 apprentices, creating homes and jobs.

“But the government is railroading legislation through Parliament to restrict local democracy even further. The Education Bill will take schools out of local control; the poll tax unfairly penalises large families.

“The gross injustice of the Social Security Act will come into force on 11th April. This will force local authorities to reduce housing benefit and take away councils’ discretion to provide free school meals, and force LEAs to charge for school milk.

“The Tory budget proved that the money exists in society to pay for our local services. But what did we get? Tax cuts for the rich, and benefit cuts for the poor.

“The Labour Party in Manchester believes that local government and health services are a right for everyone, not a privilege for those who can afford to pay.

“The health workers in Manchester have led the country in showing the opposition to health cuts. Now it’s up to the rest of us to show our support for public service not private profit.

“The Tories don’t care for the people of Manchester. They have shown this over and over again. Only the Labour Party can show Mrs Thatcher what we really think of her and her government. We urge the whole population of this city, its trade unionists, its tenants, its young people, its parents and grandparents, to join together with Labour and give us back our jobs, our services and our freedom.”

Editor’s Comments

This text is taken straight from the document written by Kath. This Appendix relates to chapter 12.

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