Our public services are key to how we care for each other as a society. Our schools and hospitals, teachers and care workers should be able to put us first and provide a quality service. When private companies buy up our public services, they get run for profit and people pay the price. Greens have always seen good quality publicly run public services as essential to building a caring society.
Locally and nationally public services are being run down and sold off. In Oxford we have seen closures, privatisation and cuts in services like never before. Large cutbacks have been introduced by the Conservative controlled County Council plus deep cuts in the local Health Service and many other public sector bodies. Whilst Labour, Lib Dem and Conservatives have been voting for cuts, Green councillors have been there voting against reductions in services. We’ve defended our libraries, children’s centres, youth centres. We’ve called for protecting the elderly and vulnerable from the impact of an uncaring government’s spending cuts that are falling most heavily on the services they use. We’ve shown that small increases in council tax (of around 40p a week) could keep services open for the most vulnerable, and called for people to decide whether they wanted to chip in for the sake of their neighbours. But Labour, Lib Dem and Tory politicians wouldn’t put their careers on the line to stand behind this proposal to save local services.
Meanwhile the Labour-run Oxford City Council have held money back and cut back on staff and services when they could have been investing in our city. When Cameron’s government wants to run down our services, it’s more important than ever for councils to put their communities first by supporting the organisations helping people leave homelessness behind, the food banks that are providing meals to people in deprived areas, and the advice centres helping people with their finances.
Council-provided services support all of us in different ways in Oxford and are crucial to the wellbeing of our communities. While other political parties won’t promise to reverse the damage done by government cuts, Greens will campaign to see public funding restored to councils and other public services.
Greens recognise the value of public services and want to see them kept in public hands. We value and encourage working with trade unions to deliver effective services.
- Repeatedly proposing legal alternative budgets to illustrate how vital frontline services could be protected in the face of relentless central government grant cuts.
- Fought consistently to maintain the principle of free education and an end to Labour and coalition tuition fees and charges.
- Successfully convinced the Council to retain control of council housing.
- Campaigned to reopen the Oxford Community Hospital.
- Stopped the closure of municipal toilets around Oxford.
- Opposed the privatisation of leisure services.
- Supported campaigns locally to keep our NHS public and stop privatisation.
- Worked with campaigning groups and trade unions to oppose the cuts.
The Green Party will:
- Continue to oppose the cuts in our public services and press for the reestablishment of lost services to our elderly and young citizens. We will continue to move budgets to protect the most vulnerable and to save our services.
- Fight against privatisation of Oxford’s health and education services and resist government pressure to privatise ever more public services.
- Stop further council house sell-offs and protect our community centres.
- Work to return public transport to public ownership.