Labour council 'dutifully imposing Tory cuts', Socialist Party candidate in Wakefield claims

Mr Griffiths is standing for election in Wakefield East.
Mr Griffiths is standing for election in Wakefield East.

Wakefield Council should refuse to make cutbacks despite the government slashing their budgets, according to one left-wing local election candidate.

Mick Griffiths, who is standing for the Socialist Party in Wakefield East, has criticised Labour-run authorities for "undermining" Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity policies by "dutifully" imposing "Tory cuts".

In his manifesto ahead of Thursday's poll, Mr Griffiths argues that local government is under "immediate threat" as a result of austerity.

Mr Griffiths has previously stood for Parliament on behalf of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, and is now competing against five other parties for votes in the local elections.

Mr Griffiths said: "The Labour council has dutifully implemented Tory cuts with no resistance being offered.

"The consequences are all too real. A recent council report pointed to a significant rise in homelessness applications. Health and social care budgets have been cut to the bone.

"The government aims to reduce councils to being no more than administrators of contracts for private profiteers.

"Councillors have a choice. They could use their reserves and borrowing powers to fund no-cuts, needs-based budgets. This would make 'for the many not the few', more than just a slogan."

Mr Griffiths said that Jeremy Corbyn should call on local authorities to use their reserves to prop up council services and pledge to refund the cash if and when a Labour government is elected.

And he called on Labour councils to stand "in solidarity" with trade unions in the battle to defend communities from cutbacks.

But he added: "If Labour councillors are unwilling to refuse to implement government cuts, they should stand aside for those who will.

"Enough is enough, the fightback needs to start now in the council chambers. Vote to oppose all cuts and defend jobs and services."

Mr Griffiths also said that he would vote against increases in council tax, rent and service charges if elected as councillor.

This article is part of a series of profile pieces about the political parties and independent candidates standing in the local elections in Wakefield. Each profile will appear on our websites in the run-up to polling day.

Other candidates standing in Wakefield East

Terence Emmingham - Green Party

Mick Griffiths - Socialist Alternative

Stuart Heptinstall - Labour

Dianne Presha - Conservatives

Stuart Rick - Yorkshire Party

Colin Thornton - UKIP

Local Democracy Reporting Service