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Pensioners lead the way
A HUNDRED people marched through Bury, Greater Manchester, on 18 November to protest at the closure of Ward 30 at Fairfield General Hospital.
The local trust propose to close this elderly rehabilitation ward, dispersing patients to more acute wards where their needs could easily be overlooked, or to social services establishments with no medical presence. And all this in the middle of winter!
The local Tory mayor turned up in full regalia to lead the march but when he saw the placards and banners he left hurriedly. No loss there, then!
Bury Pensioners' Association (BPA) has spearheaded the campaign to keep the ward open, as their members would suffer if the closure went through.
Their banner was carried proudly as they handed in petition at the trust HQ.
At the rally Phil Kaisermann, former steward at East Lancashire Paper Mill and BPA activist, denounced the lack of consultation and the threat to elderly people's lives that closure represents. In a fighting speech midwife and midwifery lecturer Sarah Davies stressed that local struggles, such as the one over the Stroud birthing centre, can win.
This campaign in Bury is precisely the kind of local battle that needs to be linked with other struggles in Manchester and the wider national fight at the Nuneaton meeting in December (see above).
In The Socialist 22 November 2006:
New Socialist Party publication
The Socialist Interview
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Socialist Party news and analysis
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