Ted Knight, chair of the Croydon Assembly, has launched the People’s Manifesto for the council elections, calling for a mobilisation of communities against the government.
The General Election of last year made it very clear that communities in Croydon, as in Britain at large, wanted austerity, an end to rising inequality and the loss of services.
Speaking at the ‘Save Our Schools’ Croydon Assembly on February 24, he added: “We want a properly funded social care system , a decent education for our children and young people, social housing at rents we can afford and real full-time jobs at decent wages.”
What he called “racketeers” had made millions in profit from the privatisation of our essential public services and now people were demanding that their voices be heard – not just on election day but in all decisions that have an impact on the wellbeing of their families.
“Our Manifesto has been drawn up by local people from their own experiences of day-to-day life since the greed of the banks and major corporations crashed the economy in 2008
“It spells out not only what is wrong but also what is needed in our borough. We call on those who want to be councillors to refuse to be the managers of austerity and facilitators of the vicious funding cuts imposed by a Tory government
but instead to build on the anger of our communities against the destruction of essential services.”
Ted Knight said that people were “rightly suspicious” that developers were getting more and more involved in the affairs of Croydon and alarmed at the way schemes were pushed through without the support of local communities.
So the Manifesto called for open and binding ballots of the residents whose homes are affected.
It also demanded the end of the so-called cabinet system of local councils where power and all decisions are in the hands of a select few.
He concluded: “We want councillors to mobilise our communities to demand the financial resources that are necessary, to confront this government in a unity with the people who need the services and the workers who provide them and whose jobs are threatened.”