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WALTHAM FOREST

COMMENT

JULY 1987

VICTOR

What can we say about the General Election not already said?

An unknown Tory yuppie took theWalthamstow seat from Eric Deakins,Poor Eric had the 62 per cent raterise to contend with, not to mention the SDP, the local paper andthe Fleet Street dunghill.

But what of Harry Cohen's Labourvictory in Leyton?

Against some adverse factors he actually increased his majority! Was it his Socialist principles; his closeness to the local electorate; his reportage during the year; or perhaps his support et al, for animal rights?

He was helped by the invisibility of the Tory candidate,who after being 'parachuted' in from Milton Keynes didnot seem to have 'landed' in Leyton.

Harry Cohen seems to have found the right electoral formula that can overcome little local difficulties. Hooray for Harry!

PROFIT IS THE NAME OF THE GAME

It has been suggested that SAINSBURYS have shut theirstore in Leytonstone because of the rate rise. What aload of old rubbish: Since the advent of Leo's their profit margin has been cut. And Large profits come before customers loyalty or convenience every time. That'show big business operates in the best Thatcherite style.
That 62% rate Increase

The 62 per cent rate rise in Waltham Forest,apart from providing the ammunition to unseat oneLabour M.P., is causing ever-increasing problemsfor Waltham Forest Labour Party and Councillors.

The leaked letter from Labour Councillor RichardSlack, reported in the Waltham Forest Guardian ofthe 5th June, shows how all priority projects puton the list by Council officers, whether A, B, Clor C2, were ALL made priority and ALL consideredof importance 1

With the massive cuts in Government grants toWaltham Forest of £40 million over the last 8years, in no way could rates be set to replaceeven a fraction of this amount without creatingjust the sort of outcry and backlash which tookplace.

Since their election victory in the CouncilElections of May 1986, Labour have allowed a yearto go by without any kind of public consultationswith local people and lo^al organisations. Ifconsultations had taken place everyone would knowwho was responsible for poor local services and whywith only a smaller rate rise limited improvement could be made.

Even now many Labour Councillors do not seemto appreciate how they isolated themselves frommany lifelong Labour supporters and also providedthe Tories and the Alliance with a propagandabeanfeast.

Public participation in discussion of localsocial needs and how they can be met must be priorityNo.l for the Labour Council. The responsibilityfor poor local services must be put where it belongs- on those Tory Ministers who cut back on localgrants and on those Tory Councillors who rubber stamped those policies to the detriment of the needs of local people.
Up, up and AWAY

WILL THE RATES GO UP FOR EVER?We seem to be paying for more and morefor less and less.

How can we stop the rates explosion?And how can we protect the services weneed?

* First, the government should reversethe cut in council grant. It should berestored to its former level of 66%.

* Second, we need a complete change inthe way council spending is financed.

Communists believe the rates systemshould be scrapped and replaced by alocal income tax. It would be based upona person's ability to pay, and wouldbenefit (he majority at the expense of arich minority. Central government grantswould he used, as before, to redistributefunds between rich and poor areas, sothat all councils could offer the servicesneeded by their community.

THE NEW TORYPOLL TAX. In our nextissue we look atthis latest gimmick.


EDUCATION in WALTHAM FOREST

Waltham Forest schools are riddled with problemsright now, and the signs are that things are going to get worse.National problems such as shortages of equipment and cash, industrialac r ion and low morale among teachers, have been added to by localmistakes and difficulties,

The Tories have been denying the education service adequate fundsfor years, with the result that all resources, even basics likebooks and paper, are in short supply. Teachers have suffered fromcontinuing low pay causing many to leave their jobs and an angry response and industrial action from those that remain.

The secondary school re-organisation in Waltham Forest carriedout by the previous Tory Council has been botched with a largely unnecessary transfer of staff causing massive disruption of our Children's education spreading over a period of at least two years. Manysecondary teachers have left the borough in frustration and many areresentful of what they see as sabotage of their careers.

In primary schools 15 classes are already without teachers andsome 60 others are covered on a day to day basis. 100 primary teachers have signed from the borough this term and only 30 newly qualified teachers have been appointed after a half-hearted recruitmentcampaign.

And now Thatcher plans to re-introduce selection in schools,encourage opportunities for the better off to find their childrenplaces in elite schools, and limit the range and quality of educationour children will receive in ordinary schools.

All concerned with education should be demanding:

The rejection of Government plans to turn the clock back in education.More spending resources for education. A fitting wage for our teachers and the restoration of their negotiating rights. A wide and anongoing campaign by the local Council to recruit teachers by givingspecial incentives such as help with housing and attract them to theborough.

I wish to join/have more information about the Communist Party/ Young communist League

NAME .............................

ADDRESS ........ .................Communist Party/YoungCommunist League.

Printed and published by Waltham Forest Communist Party, 7, Albert Rd. E.10,