Last-ditch bid to stop privatisation of £85m of Southampton Council assets

Yet another backhander: the Tory government, by withholding funding for councils, is forcing them to sell off their assets to the private sector. It’s a huge bung for private businesses who will be able to profit from the sales in future years while the councils’ finances worsen.

Service-users in Southampton were set to launch a desperate, last-ditch attempt to save £85 million of council assets as the council itself prepared to approve the sale – that will take place in secret.

The council is one of many facing bankruptcy due to Tory government funding cuts totalling £500 million since 2012.

It seems clear that the cuts were never about improving efficiency; they were always intended to force councils like Southampton to sell off their assets – the buildings and property they need in order to provide services.

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The knock-on effect is that the council must then rent its own assets back from the new private-sector owners at a higher price, meaning services quickly become unaffordable and the people who need those services lose vital help that they need in order to make their lives possible.

This is what the Tories in Westminster want.

Denial of service to sick and disabled people caused 600 suicides in three years up to 2015 (according to the United Nations at a meeting on Monday, March 18) and nobody in government took any blame for the deaths.

It seems likely that this latest Tory wheeze will create even more carnage across the UK.

Are they trying to kill us all?

You may think that’s a wild extrapolation from the sale of a few council assets. If so, you need to take a look at the bigger picture.

Across the UK, billions of pounds has been withheld from councils by the Tories since 2012, meaning they have been unable to provide services properly – and several are now declaring themselves bankrupt.

They would not be in that position if the Tories had not withheld funding – and for no reason, remember; austerity was a lie.

You’d better hope that councillors see sense and refuse to sell.

Otherwise the implications are horrifying.

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