A LABOUR leader has pledged to attend a protest against cuts being implemented by his own council, the Star can reveal.
Councillor Ranjit Banwait is leader of Labour-run Derby city council.
On March 4 the council’s annual budget meeting will implement the next swathe of cuts to services due to the coalition government’s vicious austerity programme. Over three years the council has to save £69 million.
Derby area Trades Union Council and Derby People’s Assembly will protest outside the council headquarters at 5pm before the budget meeting takes place.
And Councillor Banwait has said he will attend and speak out against the cuts.
Moz Greenshields of the Trades Council said: “It may seem strange to some people but it is perfectly rational to us that Ranjit Banwait would support a protest against the budget cuts that his own party is proposing.
“Ranjit came to discuss the whole matter with us a month or two ago, and pointed out strongly that the budget cuts are forced on Derby city council — and all councils all around the country — by the Tory-Lib Dem coalition government in Westminster. If the council refused to make the cuts, the government would have them removed from power, and would put in senior civil servants to do the dirty work.
“We told Ranjit that we wanted to build a big movement of people in Derby prepared to defend the town and its council services, and he agreed — so we invited him and the Labour Group to take part in pointing the finger of blame at those responsible — the Tories in Westminster.”