Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

Posted on 3 March 2014 at 14:30 GMT

NHS cuts: Anger explodes onto the streets of Halifax

Mike Forster

Last week, the Calderdale and Greater Huddersfield NHS Trust announced a public 'consultation' on the future of Accident and Emergency provision in the area. They have put forward five proposals, most of which will see either Huddersfield or Calderdale A&E closed, although one of the more 'radical' ideas is to shut them both!

The Trust favours the closure of Calderdale A&E but is now obliged to engage in a four month consultation. Experienced activists know from other campaigns that the Trust will use every trick and argument in the book to get its way and only mass, united and determined resistance will stop it. It is therefore crucial that such a campaign is built now.

The combined population of the Calderdale and Huddersfield area is 750,000 and there is absolutely no way one A&E department can service everyone without tragedies along the way. This will be a matter of life and death for many critically ill patients.

Campaign preparation

Anticipating the announcement, activists from 38 degrees, Unison, Keep Our NHS Public, Save Our Services and Socialist Party members have been mobilising to defeat these disgraceful proposals. Several meetings were held at the beginning of the year and an outline plan put in place in anticipation of last week's announcement.

At least we weren't taken by surprise, and were able to get straight out on the streets. In reality Socialist Party members have been out since the beginning of the year and we had already collected over 600 names in opposition even before it went public.

Last Saturday six of us hit the streets with two stalls, assisted by volunteers from 38 Degrees. Even then, we could not cope with the wave of public interest and anger. Despite having eight petition boards, we were still swamped and could not keep up with the punters coming to the stall, sometimes three deep. People took away petitions to get filled in; they took away bundles of leaflets to spread the word and our sign-up sheet of willing activists soon swelled. We sold out of copies of the Socialist and collected 50 in donations.

A public meeting has been called for Saturday 29 March to launch the campaign with speakers from the community and wider labour movement; already 500 flyers have gone out and email groups are buzzing - this will be a huge gathering which will shake the Trust's apparent complacency about their ideas.

Initiatives taken

While running the stalls, people were telling us of a demo taking place to save the A&E in two weeks' time which had been organised on Facebook. Twenty minutes later the organiser of the group, a student from the local college, came to join us in handing out leaflets.

Anger and activity is literally springing up from below everywhere. The main task facing the campaign will be to coordinate and organise this anger into one huge movement, but it will be without any doubt one of the biggest protest movements in Halifax since the days of the poll tax. Even the local Labour MP approached us to ask if we could work together on the campaign and agrees that only thousands on the streets can defeat the plan.

A parallel campaign is developing in Huddersfield and we will ensure that the two groups work together to stop any potential disunity. There is a feeling that things have now gone too far and people are saying in their hundreds that they want to get involved. To follow the campaign, log onto

Public Meeting: Saturday 29th March, Halifax Leisure Centre 12.30pm

This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 3 March 2014 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation


Your message: 


Related links:


triangleThem & Us

triangleHuddersfield and Halifax Socialist Party: The origins of the Second World War

triangleHuddersfield and Halifax Socialist Party: Marxism and War

triangleHuddersfield and Halifax Socialist Party: Russia Today

triangleHuddersfield and Halifax Socialist Party: How Stalin came to power - and what he stood for


triangleCoronavirus pandemic news in brief

triangleEerily quiet before second wave - don't reopen schools!

triangleContract tracer speaks out: Tories' plan is outsourced chaos


triangleStrong union response needed against job cuts

triangleSafe protests against Tory corona chaos continue

triangleJohnson's plan terrifies me - readers react to lifting lockdown


triangleKirklees: Labour and Green councillors refuse to fight the cuts

triangleLaunch of Huddersfield Women's Lives Matter

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns


Fighting Fund

We need readers' support to fight capitalist crisis



Fight P&O's billionaire bosses' jobs cut plan



Schools aren't safe



Energy firm plans to make 2,600 redundant



Hull Trades Council debates workers' political representation



Eerily quiet before second wave - don't reopen schools!



No return to unsafe construction sites



Mick Cotter 21-9-57 to 20-5-20


Rolls Royce

Strong union response needed against job cuts



Postal workers' action results in double victory for union



Organising to fight for workplace safety



Posties walk out in Peterborough after manager tests positive



Johnson claims workplaces safe but HSE cancels inspections



Safe protests against Tory corona chaos continue



Trades council debates workers' political representation

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 07748 534 891

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041



Alphabetical listing

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020