The spirit was with us even if the weather was not - as concerned residents gathered in Cambridge this weekend to protest against Cambridgeshire County Council cuts.
It would take more than chill and rain to dampen our mood. The gathering in Cambridge Market was attended by around fifty people with banners of various affiliations including Unite, the People’s Assembly and Romsey Labour along with several others. We heard from multiple speakers on issues such as the impact of cuts to services for those with disabilities to the budget problems faced by councillors and the threat to the NHS. The message throughout was fundamentally the same.
We are not a poor nation, we are in fact one of the richest in the world and so what could possibly be behind the drive to remove so much public spending? The services being removed are not only beneficial but vital for many people. One of the speakers read out some names of those who had died, committed suicide due to the dire nature of their situation after having essential benefits removed or being denied access to services which would have made their lives tolerable. It was heart-breaking to hear about people taking their own lives the same day that they were served eviction notices or reductions in their allowances.
Cambridgeshire County Council is expected to make cuts of over £40 million between 2016/2017, cuts which will impact on some of the most vulnerable people in our county. The key issue here is how do we find a way to stop this ideological assault on not just our county, but those across the country?
Whilst we may not have the Prime Minister’s mother as a Cambridgeshire resident to sign a petition here, we can at least try to make things heard by contacting our local MP, Heidi Allen. It should also be noted that she holds surgeries, the times and place of which can be found on her website.
There is also due to be a march against the cuts in London on April 16th, which you can find more information about on the People’s Assembly website.