Socialist Steve's message to the Doncaster Chamber of Commerce
Steve Williams, the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidate to become Doncaster's mayor, had to send his apologies to the Chamber of Commerce mayoral hustings at the Chamber's Business conference at the Legacy Centre on Friday 21 April.
Steve is not a politician. He works as a mental health nurse in the NHS. He was rostered to work on Friday and like most workers cannot take time off and so was unable to attend.
However, Steve took up the invite from the Chamber of Commerce to explain his policies for local businesses in a 350 word written statement, policies which TUSC believes would benefit the Doncaster economy, create jobs and raise wages, and stimulate small businesses in the local area. These include refusing to carry out the Tory government imposed cuts in council spending, implementing a £10 an hour minimum wage, a mass council house building programme and inviting small businesses to contribute to his People's Budget.
Socialist policies for small businesspeople
Steve's 'biographical and policy statement' distributed to the Chamber of Commerce representatives said:
Steve was born, bred and still lives in Conisbrough. He is a mental health nurse who has worked in the NHS for 27 years. He is currently the chair of the Doncaster and Bassetlaw Health branch of the public sector trade union, Unison.
"I am standing for mayor on behalf of the anti-austerity party, the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC).
"TUSC opposes the Conservative government's cuts in local authority funding which has taken £106 million a year out of the council's budget and the local economy. But the Labour council and mayor have passed on the Tory cuts without standing up for local people and plan another £67 million cuts by 2021.
A People's Budget
"Instead, I propose a People's Budget that in the first instance would draw on council reserves and prudential borrowing powers to set a legal No Cuts budget and introduce economically stimulative policies. I would build support locally for such policies and link with other councils to force a change in central government economic policy.
"Average wages actually fell in absolute terms in Doncaster between 2011 and 2015! That's why I would introduce a £10 an hour minimum wage for all council and contracted staff and encourage workers in the private sector to join a trade union and fight for £10 an hour as well.
"I would initiate a mass council house building programme that would both tackle the housing crisis and homelessness, and provide contracts, jobs and training in the local economy.
"I am in favour of real devolution of governmental powers, not the phoney Tory devolving of cuts to Sheffield City Region. Real devolved powers would allow us to Ban Fracking in South Yorkshire and expand green energy projects. And allow us to Re-Route HS2 after genuine consultation with local communities as part of an integrated public transport system linking rail, buses and the airport.
"I would invite local small businesses to contribute to my People's Budget. Local council procurement policies could include, post-Brexit, giving first preference to local businesses and local employment, and require companies bidding for public sector contracts to pay suppliers within 30 days".
Tories out, Corbyn4PM, Socialist Steve for mayor!
Come to the Doncaster TUSC election rally on Tuesday 2 May, starting at 7pm, at the Danum Hotel, High Street, Doncaster DN1 1DN.
Speakers include Steve Williams and Dave Nellist, the former Labour MP who is now the national chair of TUSC.
For more information contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org