Cardiff voters turned out in their thousands last year to reject the coalition of Liberal Democrat and Plaid Cymru councilors initiating the despicable implementation of cuts demanded by the Westminster government. Earlier this month the Labour-controlled authority publicly announced a package of cuts which many will see as a harsh punishment for those who loyally supported the party in 2012.The council hopes to slash its 2013/2014 budget by £22 million, cut 300 council jobs, close Splott swimming pool and Plasnewydd community centre, close the council-run riding school used mainly by disabled children and hand it over to a ‘partner’ and sell off the Flat Holm, an island in the Bristol Channel, immediately ending funding for school visits there. Other proposals include reducing opening hours for libraries and leisure centres in mainly working class areas, ending respite breaks for parents of disabled children and cutting subsidies to Cardiff buses.
Voters across the city will be asking why a Labour-controlled council is contemplating such shameful cuts. In the past, had a Labour-run council contemplated a fraction of such cuts, all hell would have broken loose in Welsh Labour. This is clearly no longer the case, as it appears that both the party and a vast majority of its councillors are prepared to quietly do the dirty work of these Con-Dem crooks for them. Cardiff Against the Cuts, a body established by Cardiff Trades Council, unites trade unionists and community groups with those representing the disabled in a campaign to oppose all cuts introduced by this pernicious government. The onus now falls upon organisations like CTF to build a mass campaign of opposition to all council cuts in the city, and to show councillors that if they are unprepared to defend the communities that elected them, they will be cast aside and replaced by those who will.