A campaign group fighting against cuts which will see child provision in Newcastle slashed has slammed city council leader Nick Forbes for linking them to the Revolutionary Communist Party.
Parents against Cuts was set up when plans to reduce the number of Sure Start Centres, which provide early educational and play facilities for pre-school children from the poorest backgrounds to save around £4.7m, were first made public.
The group has since arranged a number of high profile protests while Mr Forbes has been heckled at meetings and protests have been staged outside his council surgery.
In an interview the council leader said:
“The Revolutionary Communist Party website clearly claims responsibility for a number of actions that Parents Against Cuts is taking.”
He also said he wasn’t going to engage in playground politics with people who shouted and threw things.
Vanessa Cutter of PAC said: “I was astounded that the leader of the council could come out with such ludicrous comments.”
She described the link with the Revolutionary Communist Party as “completely unfounded”.
Details of the group’s action have appeared on the party’s website.
Ms Cutter added:
“They have also appeared on the Unison website. Does that make us a front for Unison too? The Revolutionary Communists are an anti-cuts party so it is natural that they report on us, an anti-cuts group.
“I think Mr Forbes is feeling the pressure of our campaign.”
> Parents against Cuts have appeared in this blog before too ! Whatever can it mean ?
However the city council leader hit back saying:
“There is strong evidence that the Revolutionary Communist Party is claiming the credit for the disruptive activities of the Parents Against Cuts group.”
He claimed the PAC had called for the setting of an illegal budget which would bring the city into disrepute.
> Which otherwise might be seen as making a stand against central government austerity policies.
Ms Cutter has also attacked the details released in this week’s £40m budget cuts announcement which has still left those parents who will be affected by the reduction of the Sure Start service in the dark as to the extent of them.
“We were told they would tell us which centres would be closed on December 1, then December 5, then December 17 and now it could be next week.
“I think it is very strategic as we believe he wants to delay the announcement to closer to Christmas as it will be harder to build resistance.”
However Mr Forbes denied this saying it was always the intention for the final decision on Sure Start provision to be decided at the council’s Cabinet meeting in January.
Source – Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 19 Dec 2014