Bristol is one of the two cities in England that they have a mayor. Mr. Ferguson, architect and founding director of The Academy of Urbanism, was elected 15 months ago has decided to transform Bristol to the paradigm of ‘entrepreneurial city’, to the paradigm of city-enterprise. He has been planning this transformation focused on the interests and the profits of the few, of the entrepreneurs without accounting for the future of the workers, especially the workers of the City Council, and the quality of life in specific neighbourhoods of Bristol, especially the poor and degraded ones. This is the plan of Mr. Ferguson, the mayor of our city, ‘our’ mayor.
Mr. Ferguson has been extremely consistent to his ideas. His promises in the pre-election period have started to be realised in the last 12 months. Initially, the liberal mayor has promised tens million pounds cuts of housing, transport and local care services. Afterwards, he decided to apply the anti-social Bedroom Tax in the area of Bristol ‘contributing’ to the murderous policies of Con-Dem government.
Eventually, in December 2013, he decided to reveal the whole of his plan. He proposed £90m of City Council cuts. This is more than the 25% of the current budget. As a result, 1,000 more people will become unemployed. Many services, such as libraries, kindergartens, care services, public toilets and public parks, that Bristol residents relied on will be greatly affected. We demand that the City Council (is meeting on 18th February and we will be there!) opposes the cuts!
This is not an accidental decision. It is positioned in the broader policies that have been applied in the last five years by the urban, regional and national States under the European Union directives in order to confront the consequences of the current global crisis. These policies have been focusing on murderous austerity and budget cuts and have led to deeper economic recession, increase of unemployment and degradation of workers’ living standards. Rich have become less and richer while poor are more and poorer. These divergent trends are the only way of confronting the crisis in favour of the rich businessmen and against the workers.
Since December 2013, major reactions and protests took place in the city of Bristol against Ferguson’s decisions. The outcome has been the emergence of the campaign ‘Save Our City’ which is supported by, among others, Bristol Trades Union Council, GMB, Unison, Unite, NUT. The next important date is 8th of February and the demonstration at 13.00 at Castle Park.
Real Democracy Bristol supports and participates in this demo and, in overall, in this struggle until we cancel Ferguson’s plans! We will not take the cuts lying down!
We demand that our elected mayor withdraw these proposals to cut £90m from local services and sack 1,000 workers. Instead he should defend Bristol and demand back money taken from our city by the Con-Dem government.
We call all the people of Bristol to join the demo on Saturday, 8th February, 13.00, Castle Park, and reject these policies!
We oppose City Council budget Cuts!
Real Democracy Bristol