If ever evidence were needed as to the totally callous nature of Labour’s cuts to jobs and services in Manchester, then surely the purchase Stanstead Airport in London must surely provide it.
£ 1.5 billion (roughly the entire spend of Manchester City Council for three years) is being spent on buying the London airport, at the same time as Manchester City Council is making cuts to services and jobs.
Some of that £ 1.5 billion could have been spent on building new social housing in the city, goodness knows with waiting lists exceeding 20K we need them. Some of that money could be spent keeping our swimming pools and libraries open, services that benefit the people of this city who pay this council to look after their interests.
When Labour effectively privatised the Manchester Airport Group they promised that it would continue to act in the public interest of the people of this City. Now we clearly see that that was another broken promise by the Labour Party as this deal reduces Manchester’s shareholding from 55% to 35%, and Labour’s private sector friends finally get that first tentative hold on the company.
I fully appreciate that MAG acts independently of the City Council, but if Labour attempt to use that argument then the fact that the City Council is a 55% shareholder in this company and the fact that any privatisation of shares must go back to the shareholders clearly implicates Labour in this sale.
As for any contention that the £ 1.5 billion would not have gone to local services, it would not take £ 1.5 billion to save the local services, the partial privatisation of MAG reducing Manchester’s share from 55% to 35% and the other borough’s shares accordingly would have raised significant funds to pay for local services.
If this were being done to protect jobs and services in this City then maybe I could understand it, but it is not. It is being done to protect jobs and services in London whilst the council puts loyal mancunians out of work and closes the Libraries and swimming pools and other facilities that our people depend upon.
Personally I would prefer to see Manchester City Council protecting jobs and services here in Manchester.