- Created: Thursday, 14 February 2013 16:49
- Written by James Bell
Over the next three years Newcastle City Council will slash £100m from its budget, devastating working-class communities with service cuts and job losses. The proposed closure of 11 out of 18 libraries and the abolition of the arts budget have drawn huge opposition. Youth services across the city are to be destroyed: the entire play service is to be cut and only two youth workers are to be retained. Four out of seven leisure centres in the city are to go. Bin collections will become fortnightly. It is a ruthless onslaught on the working class. James Bell reports.
The city’s Labour council refuses to challenge the government’s cuts programme. Council leader Nick Forbes has repeatedly complained that he is in an ‘impossible situation’ and that he intends to ‘continue lobbying central government’. However, without a single councillor in the city taking an anti-cuts position, this will be an empty promise. He is more concerned about preserving his position than about the impact these cuts will have on the city he claims to represent.