Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/675/12233
Carmarthenshire council day club closure lobby
Unison member and anti-cuts campaigner
On Wednesday 8 June about 20 people, made up of service users of the Noddfa Teilo Day Club, trade unionists, Llanelli Anti-Cuts Campaign and community activists lobbied Carmarthenshire county council.
We were there campaigning for the day centre to be reopened and to support Rhian Barr who, by collecting 1,700 signatures against its closure, was allowed to address the full council.
First we had to sit through a prayer and then the back slapping of council members who congratulated some local sporting celebrities on their achievements.
The council found time to talk about a rugby player's relative's cat that was bitten by a dog. But the council was not prepared to debate the closure when Sian Caiach, from the People First Party, attempted to get the subject discussed after Rhian spoke.
Rhian, aged 75, gave an emotional speech. She criticised the council for the speed and the manner in which the council had closed the day club.
Rhian read out some comments from Grace, 91, who uses the day club, and had previously chained herself to the railings of Noddfa Teilo in protest against the closure.
Rhian explained how the day club was a lifeline for many and how many would not leave their home all week if they were not attending it. She accused the council of offloading its responsibilities to the voluntary sector without a proper assessment of the needs of the people affected.
Rhian called on the council to reverse their decision to close Noddfa Teilo.
This was all filmed by a person in the public gallery. The chair objected to the proceedings being filmed and called the police who arrested the person.
If the Independent/Labour council won't fight the cuts, then they should make way for those that will. We'll make sure that voting for cuts is a lot easier than implementing them.
In The Socialist 15 June 2011:
Fighting the cuts
NHS news & campaigning
National Shop Stewards Network
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party feature
Socialist Party workplace news
International socialist news and analysis