Left-wing coalition will field council candidates in Hampshire

Campaigners holding information morning in Portsmouth on state pensions

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A COALITION of left-wing groups opposed to the government’s spending cuts will be fielding eight council candidates in Portsmouth.

The anti-cuts candidates will be joined by 13 in Southampton and one in Winchester and have come together as a challenge to the government’s austerity programme.

They are from a range of trade unions and community groups and will be standing under the banner of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (Tusc).

In Portsmouth, candidates include Mick Tosh, president of the city’s Trades Council, who is standing in Copnor, as well as John Pickett and Frances Pilling who are following up their 2011 campaigns by standing in Fratton and Central Southsea.

Billy Perry, a criminology student at the University of Portsmouth standing in St Thomas ward, said: ‘I am standing to give people a choice to oppose the cuts which all three major parties support.

‘I believe that young people in Portsmouth are not properly represented, despite being heavily impacted by the current economic situation, tuition fee rises and the imposition of cuts.’

All Tusc candidates have pledged to oppose all cuts to council jobs, public services, pay and conditions; reject increases in council tax, rent and service charges to compensate for government cuts; vote against the privatisation of council jobs and services; campaign for councils facing cuts to use their reserves in the short term.