Angry unions, campaigners and residents prepare to march

Cuts to jobs, schools, teachers and adult services will prompt hundreds of residents to march on Haringey Council

UNIONS, health campaigners and angry residents will gather together on Monday to protest against job losses and service cuts in Haringey.

Council leaders announced last year they will be forced to make �85million of cuts over the next three years – �46million of them in the first year – due to a combination of swingeing cuts to government grants and changes in the benefits system, which will see demand for their services increase.

The Haringey Council trade unions – NUT, Unison, Ucatt and Unite – will join with other groups which fall under the coalition of Haringey Alliance of Public Services, the TUC and residents to march from Ducketts Common, up Wood Green High Street, to the Civic Centre, where a full council meeting is taking place.

As well as at least 1,000 Haringey Council employees facing redundancy – almost 25 per cent of the authority’s payroll – the TUC says schools are set to be hit hard by the cuts this year, with teachers facing redundancy in the summer and 50 school improvement staff members already axed.

The first cuts, announced in December, involved �23million and mostly focused on adult and community services, with care home, drop-in centres and crisis units being axed across the borough. But more cuts are set to come this and next month to make up the remaining deficits.

Tony Brockman, Secretary of Haringey NUT, said the government had cut schools funding in real terms by not allowing for inflation and ordered them to make 1.5 per cent efficiency savings. He also claimed the much-heralded Pupil Premium is not new money, but instead is funded by a cut in the Dedicated Schools Grant.

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Additionally, the council will cease schools improvement funding from April after a series of cuts were made to their grants.

Mr Brockman continued: “This government simply does not understand how school improvement works. They are cutting all but the most minimal support for Haringey schools.

“Instead of supporting schools, their policy risks school failure which will only be identified after children’s education has been damaged. Their approach runs counter to all research and evidence on school improvement.

‘‘It will dissipate the expertise and local experience of highly respected school professionals in Haringey.”

Dave Morris, spokesman for Haringey Alliance of Public Services, which has already organised a series of rallies, branded the cuts devastating.

“Together we can reverse the cuts programme if we take action and say no,” he said. “We call on residents, community groups, workers and trades unions to link together and stand up for what’s right. Councillors must resist privatisation, oppose all cuts and refuse to implement them – or stand down.”

The march on Monday will assemble at Ducketts Common opposite Turnpike Lane tube station from 5pm before continuing to a rally outside the Civic Centre.