Back to index of Nerve 25 - Winter 2014

Library Cuts Shelved

The conjuring up of over £1.6m by Mayor Joe Anderson to keep all Liverpool libraries open is a testament to how, if enough people push together, they can make a real difference.

But libraries should not be seen as a special case; all public services in this city are important. They provide a fabric of culture, care and humanity that, if lost, will rob working class people of the means to enjoy life in the way that wealthy people have always been able to.

In 2010 Liverpool received £500m from central Government, and has now lost 58% of this as a yearly income. With the government planning to slash spending even further, this could go down to 20% by 2018.(1) So by then Liverpool City Council will only get about £100m, which will have a massive impact on our public services.

The councils' job is to maintain and improve the standard of living for the people of this city. But they still say they have no choice but to cut services. Public services are ours by right; they have been fought for and built up by workers over generations. They can't be taken from us just because of the ideology of a government. If the Mayor and his Council can't see any alternative to making cuts, then they should stand aside and make way for people who are more determined to save our services and to lead a fight back!

A Matter of FACT

Councillor Nick Small, Liverpool Council’s Cabinet member for employment and skills has called for a boycott of Picturehouse, based inside FACT, until all staff are paid the living wage. This is something that Nerve demanded for FACT workers (see Nerve 24). Picturehouse are now paying a living wage of £7.85 an hour to staff in their Brixton cinema after a strike by workers.

Small has stated that: “In-work poverty and low pay are a blight in our city"(2) Yes, well said Nick. Now extend this philosophy to all the organisations that the Council give money or contracts to, like the care services.

Also while you're at it, end all the contracts you have with dodgy firms such as G4S and Carillion, who have the contract to build the new Royal Hospital. Nerve supports the motion put by Liverpool Friends of Palestine to Liverpool City Council that urges them “not to commission goods or services from companies that are complicit in breaking international law, or are guilty of grave misconduct, victimise trade unionists, damage workers’ health or the environment”.

Nerve 2015 Calendar

The theme of this calendar was inspired by an event singer/songwriter Alun Parry hosted in April. Love, Hope & Resistance included songs, poems and writings about working class struggle for a decent life. Out of the images that were sent to us our editorial team had to make the difficult choice of choosing twelve. Images were selected firstly with the theme in mind, but also a balance between photographs and art, colour and black and white, and also for their Merseyside link. Thanks to everyone who submitted work. That some images were not used in no way reflects their artistic merit and with other criteria a totally different selection would be made.

The same thing applies to written work sent in, although in this case we were even more stuck for space (see our website for more on this).

1. Treasury asks top civil servants to find £30bn in public service cuts, The Guardian, 11.11.14
2. Liverpool cinema staff pay rise campaign wins backing, Liverpool Echo, 11.11.14

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