TUSC to stand candidates in May 2024 Oxford City Council Elections

Oxford Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) are standing 10 candidates in
this year’s Oxford City Council elections to challenge the pro-austerity politics of the
Tories and Labour.

Years of Tory austerity and funding cuts have had a huge impact. Living costs
continue to rise. People have yet again had to choose between heating and food this
past winter. Mental health and social care support services continue to face real term
cuts despite an increasing number of people needing to use them.

Private rental prices are out of control, with the average monthly rent in Oxford being
over £1,600. Homelessness continues to rise. Instead of taking responsibility for this
and building enough council homes, the City Council are now telling people to apply
for affordable homes in other parts of Oxfordshire, which will inevitably force them to
move away from their families, friends, and support networks.

Instead of fighting cuts from central government, the Labour-run City Council is
planning around £200,000 of service cuts in 2024-25. They’ve said this will rise to
£1.4 million in 2025-26 if additional government funding is not secured.

Cuts are a choice – not a necessity. The council could use its existing financial
reserves and borrowing powers to fund the services that people need now and
launch a mass campaign to fight for more funding from this increasingly weak and
rotten Tory government. Workers and trade unionists on strike in Oxford and
nationally have shown that it is possible to win concessions from the government – a
campaign involving these workers and other councils nationally could have a huge

The City Council has also done little to address traffic and public transport issues in
Oxford. Roads have been closed off for low-traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs). These
are a band-aid solution to the issue of traffic that predominantly hurts working
people. The Council’s efforts would be better spent fighting for high-quality, reliable
public transport – owned and run by the local authority with proper democratic control
by residents.

We welcome the fact that the City Council has passed a motion calling for a
ceasefire in Gaza after huge pressure from local activists. However, Keir Starmer’s
record as Labour leader – endorsing the collective punishment of the Palestinian
people by the Israeli state – shows that Labour cannot be trusted to fight in the
interests of ordinary people, here or abroad.

We have been active participants in the recent anti-war demonstrations, calling for
an immediate ceasefire with the release of all hostages and for a mass movement
for socialist change in the Middle East. We need to give the anti-war movement a
political expression to challenge the warmongering Tories and Labour. These
politicians are happy to find the money to support war in the Middle East – we need
politicians who will use it for jobs, homes, and services instead.

Pro-capitalist politicians are not working for ordinary people. They will continue to cut
services, prioritise the most wealthy and ignore the needs of the working class. We
are standing to provide a much-needed anti-austerity, anti-war alternative at the
ballot box for the people of Oxford. Every TUSC candidate will stand up for the
working class, against service closures and reductions, and work towards increasing
living standards for ordinary people.

We believe in fighting for a socialist society where the wealth that is generated by
ordinary people can be invested according to a democratic plan to meet the needs of
everyone and bring a permanent end to war, poverty, and oppression.

We are planning to stand candidates in the following wards:
● Blackbird Leys – Agnieszka Kowalska and Sam Bennett
● Churchill – James Morbin
● Cowley – Alex Chapman
● Donnington – Kerensa Hone
● Littlemore – Rachel Cox
● Northfield Brook – Rosie Douglas-Brown
● Rose Hill & Iffley – Ruben Simwogerere
● St Mary’s – Orlando Munoz
● St. Clement’s – James Bonner

A full list of our demands can be found at: https://www.tusc.org.uk/policies/.