We have now suffered from Conservative austerity for more than a decade. The result? A decimation of our public services. A shrinking of local government funding. A intolerable burden falling on the people who can afford it least.
During my time as a county councillor, I spearheaded a number of campaigns fighting against brutal Conservative cuts in Ipswich and across Suffolk. Whether it was health visitors, school transport or children’s centres, I was there leading the opposition to decisions which would have a devastating impact on thousdands of people.
Our children’s centre campaign, in particular, was crucial. The campaign, which lasted for the best part of two years, showed the power of politicians, unions and families coming together to protect crucial public services. We knew it would be a long campaign, so we worked with stamina and resilience to stand up for affected families. We poured over stats in the briefing papers, and forced more than one embarrassing u-turn once we exposed the flaws. We marched, raised awareness in the local media and spread the word on social media to urge the Conservatives to reverse their brutal cuts.
Though we couldn’t stop all the brutal cuts to children’s centres, we were able to save some, ensuring the continuation of support for many children and families in Ipswich and Suffolk.
We know the coming months and years will see yet more cuts to public services, and that the people who can least afford it will be hit time and time again. We must be ready to stand up and fight against these cuts.