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Labour councillors draw Red Lines ahead of Government Spending Review

23 November 2015
Red Lines Labour councillors from across London have come together to launch Red Lines, a new campaign to stand up for Londoners against further damaging Tory government cuts.

Labour’s local representatives are joining forces across the capital to speak out against the government’s short-sighted austerity and to protect the vital public services on which Londoners rely. 

Ahead of the publication of the government’s Spending Review, the Red Lines campaign is focusing on the need to avert yet more deep cuts to funding for London’s young people. Young people have already had a raw deal from the Conservative government which has taken away their educational maintenance allowance, told them they don’t count in terms of its new minimum wage and cut back their housing support. 

In almost every area of public policy, young people in London are set to suffer as a result of previous and planned government cuts. For example: 

Community safety 

Last year 1,686 young people were stabbed in London, up by 23%, and yet the government plans to cut up to £1 billion from the budget for the Met Police. 

Mental health 

1 in 10 young people in London have a mental health problem, and just 1 in 4 of them receive effective care, yet the government has cut £35 million from the budget for children’s mental health. 

Further education 

More than 90,000 teenagers study in the capital's colleges, but the government cut funding for London's colleges by 23% this year, and, with more cuts to come, up to 40% of them could be forced to close. 

A generation jilted by a government that believes they will not vote, London’s young people deserve better. 

Further down the line, the Red Lines campaign will work with and for other groups of Londoners likewise hit hard by regressive government cuts. 

Councillor Fiona Colley, Cabinet Member for Finance and Modernisation at Southwark Council, said: 

“Londoners rely on local authority services and Labour councillors have done and will continue to do everything possible to protect public services, defend local communities and set balanced budgets. However these essential services are being threatened by the deep, on-going and unfair cuts to local government funding. Southwark has lost 40% of our funding through government cuts and we’re facing another third of our budget being cut. Many other local authorities are in the same boat.”

“In Wednesday’s spending review, we need the Chancellor to change course. What we need is investment in our families’ futures and our children’s life chances. Instead, the government is trying to balance the nation’s books on the backs of those who can least afford it. Labour councillors across London are coming together to say that enough is enough.” 


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