Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/562/6772
Wirral: Marching to stop the cuts
ON SATURDAY 10 January, despite the freezing weather, around 350 Wirral residents, trade unionists, youth and community campaigners stepped up their protest in opposition to Wirral council's proposed cuts in jobs and services by marching from Wallasey town hall to Birkenhead town hall.
The proposed cuts will mean the closure of several libraries, leisure centres and other community facilities and potentially the loss of associated jobs.
After the march a lively rally took place in front of Birkenhead town hall with speakers from Unite and Unison unions. A message was read out from children's Poet Laureate Michael Rosen and a message of support was also received from Andrew Motion, the Poet Laureate.
There were also speakers from various community groups who pointed out the importance of localised leisure facilities as working class youth from diverse estates and villages will be unable to travel to proposed 'leisure hubs' in the main towns.
Local author Alan Gibbons made the point that if the government can find billions to bail out the banks then they can find the money to bail out Wirral council and the people of Wirral.
PCS union speaker (and Socialist Party member) Dave Lunn explained that the struggle on Wirral is a common struggle with that of PCS members who are also in dispute over jobs, working conditions and, importantly, the services that PCS members deliver to the public.
He explained that in the civil service, thousands of jobs have been cut over the last five years. However, the employer is now in a position where they are unable to deliver important services and have been forced to start employing more staff again!
Dave proposed to the meeting that it was time to bring all the different campaigns together as one campaign to build for a massive protest outside Wallasey town hall on Thursday 15 January, (5.30pm) and to build for an on-going campaign.
It was pointed out that where communities have fought a united campaign against cuts, there have been successes. The rally was reminded that in the 1980s when Liverpool city council stood alongside the people of Liverpool, they were able to win concessions from the Thatcher government.
In The Socialist 14 January 2009:
War and occupation
Socialist Party editorial
Vote for Robbie Segal
Socialist Party youth and students
Socialist Party campaigns
Socialist Party feature
Socialist Party workplace news
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party review
Socialist Party feature