Photo Chris Marchant (Creative Commons)

Photo Chris Marchant (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

Iain Dalton, Socialist Party West Yorkshire organiser

“This is about the council trying to move the poor out of the city centre to create an image of prosperity and recovery in Bradford. But it’s an illusion, the council are trying to make us believe that poverty doesn’t exist here”.

This summed up the perception of Bradford Council’s decision to cut funding to the Edmund Street Day Centre at a public meeting of 25 people on 6 October.

The ‘Save Edmund Street Day Centre’ campaign has been initiated recently by Bradford Socialist Party members, receiving significant coverage in local print and radio media.

The meeting was attended by service users, people involved in the voluntary and community sectors as well as anti-cuts activists.

Disgracefully, despite being invited, not one of the councillors for the ward that the service is based in turned up to the meeting, to the anger of numerous service users.

Peter Robson, Bradford Socialist Party branch secretary, opened up the meeting, putting the closure of the day centre in the context of Bradford Council passing on the Tory austerity agenda to the people of the city.

Ron, a service user, explained the worries many have that the facilities to be offered at the Salvation Army centre will be able to provide.

He also pointed out that the Salvation Army is a mile and a half away up a steep hill from Edmund Street, and that service users have worries regarding the Salvation Army’s attitude to the LGBT community.

A campaign planning meeting will take place this week and we will lobby the upcoming council meeting on the 18 October.