Our activists across the country play a valuable role in exposing waste, supporting local council tax payers, and raising media awareness of our campaigns
Islington Council threw away £100,000 on a ‘living wall’ that, inevitably, soon died. Our local activists brought significant media attention to the waste, with local coordinator Tim Newark appearing on the front page of the Islington Times.
Activists in Worcester took to the streets to collect signatures and spread the word about our campaign to cut council taxes, with local residents expressing their particular annoyance at money wasted on perks for councillors and officers. Similar campaigns took place in Tynemouth and Birmingham, where hundreds of signatures were collected and petitions presented to local representatives. We were also at Haywards Heath magistrate’s court to support resident Terry Reilly, who was protesting his above-inflation council tax bill increase.
In Manchester, local supporters joined forces with the Drivers’ Alliance and Manchester Against Road Tolls in a successful campaign against a new congestion charge that was set to cost families an extra £1200 per year.
As more evidence of the failings of the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy emerged, we joined environmental campaigner David Bellamy and Global Vision in dumping fish on the doorstep of the European Parliament’s London office to focus attention on the incredible number of dead fish being dumped back in the sea.
Activists in West London joined forces with Guide Dogs for the Blind and the West London Residents Association in a successful effort to stop a dangerous, expensive shared space scheme for Exhibition Road from going ahead.
In Hull & East Riding, activists organised a long-running campaign against a £364,000 pension pot top-up which enabled a senior local council officer to take early retirement. Thanks to our campaign, the rules over discretionary pension payments have been changed to limit the size of any future payouts.
Andrew Allison discusses taxpayer-funded trade union officals in Hull
Our Tameside branch revealed the £5,000 cost of the local council’s iPhone app, which only 222 people downloaded – at a cost of £21 per user to local taxpayers. Tameside council went on to excel themselves, as supporters uncovered how they’d spent another £5,000 on ‘walking lessons’ (no, really) for staff.
In Cardiff, activists hit the front pages with their first report, revealing how much Cardiff council paid out in compensation to people injuring themselves on defective pavements – payments that, over 4 years, amounted to more than the council’s annual bill for fixing the pavements!
Lee Canning questions Welsh leaders on public sector cuts
Freedom of Information requests submitted by activists in Northern Ireland revealed how MLAs were living it up at taxpayers’ expense – some of whom even had the cheek to expense souvenirs from their jollies!
In Shropshire, supporters launched a campaign to cut the pay of Telford & Wrekin council’s chief executive. Similar campaigns were launched in Bristol and in Bath, where the council agreed to reduce the salary of the new chief executive by 15 per cent.