Community Groups invited to attend conference on Council Budget on 1st Oct 2016

Edinburgh Labour Anti Cuts Conference – Challenging Scottish Government Funding Cuts – Saturday 1 October, 9.15 am – 4.00 pm, St Thomas of Aquin’s High School, 2- 20 Chalmers Street, Edinburgh, EH3 9ES

 

 

Background to the Conference

Earlier this year 4 of the 6 Edinburgh Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) passed motions calling for a Conference involving trade unions, community representatives, tenants’ associations, the council workforce, Labour politicians and CLPs to gather evidence about the effect of the cuts and how best to bring these to the notice of the electorate. A steering group was set up to organise this comprising representatives from each CLP, the Labour Group, the Council Trade Unions, and the Edinburgh TUC.

Our Objectives

The steering group agreed the following objectives which have guided their work so far:

  • gather evidence of the past, current and potential future impact of cuts in funding to CEC
  • shape public opinion so there is a better appreciation of the Westminster and Holyrood governments' role in cutting Local Government funding and services
  • shape public opinion so there is a better appreciation of the positive need for, scale of and positive impact of public services
  • influence the 2017/18 CEC budget setting process
  • feed into the drafting of the Labour Party manifesto for the 2017 CEC elections
  • highlight the beneficial impact of unfreezing the council tax and using the existing/new powers of the Scottish Parliament to mitigate the effects of Westminster driven austerity
  • demonstrate the significant individual/community bonus to be secured from local tax increases
  • devise ways of putting pressure on the Scottish Government to change its local authority funding policy and ensure its rhetoric matches the reality on the ground

 

Outline Agenda

 

The Conference is not an end in itself – it is an integral part of our campaign. We want participating organisations to consult locally bringing that feedback to the Conference, which is itself designed to stimulate further discussion and action. This is how the agenda is shaping up:

  • Council budget cuts and their effect – speakers from the Labour Group and “Just Fair” setting the scene
  • Showcasing the community response: tales from the front line – reports from community groups, the council workforce, their trade unions and our MSPs
  • Working groups – alternative funding, legal issues, community engagement in the manifesto, future lobbying/political options, community resources and other subjects drawn from the pre conference consultation
  • Reports back
  • Keynote speaker
  • Conclusions & next steps/actions

 

Action required to attend the conference 

  • Firstly please arrange to discuss your group’s views on these important issues, and let us know what you think. Soon we hope to provide you with a list of core key issues so we’re asking the same questions across the city, hopefully including an online survey
  • Secondly please consider sending delegates to the Conference. 50 places have been set aside for community groups, so please don’t register more than 2 delegates for now. After the initial deadline of  9 September we’ll review the take-up and may make additional places available. You can register your delegates here, being careful to register under community groups (there are other options for CLPs, Trade Unions and elected representatives):

 https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/edinburgh-anti-cuts-conference-tickets-27190820476 

When you enter the name and email details of your delegates they will receive a confirmation email, at which stage they will be asked if they require childcare or have access issues which they need to bring to our attention. If you experience any difficulties with registration, please contact Ian Watson on iancwat@gmail.com

 

Best wishes

 

 

Andrew Burns

On behalf of the Conference steering group