Socialist Worker

Wirral fights against cuts

by Mark O’Brien
Issue No. 2134

Part of the rally in Merseyside (Pic: Maria Pulford)

Part of the rally in Merseyside (Pic: Maria Pulford)

Nearly a thousand protesters braved the icy Mersey breeze last Saturday to oppose a drastic round of closures being proposed by Wirral borough council.

They marched between the towns of Wallasey and Birkenhead to make their stand against the cutbacks.

The council has proposed getting rid of 13 branch libraries, 22 community centres, seven youth clubs, five leisure centres and two museums.

“Consultations” with the community was timed for just after the Christmas break, and is due to end just five working days before the final decision is to be made.

This has led to angry scenes with hundreds of people turning out at each meeting to oppose the council’s plans.

The march, which was organised by the Unite union, was held on the same day as the festivities across the Mersey to mark the end of Liverpool holding the European Capital of Culture title.

The protest won widespread support from other unions and community groups.

Speakers at the final rally included national and regional Unite officials, local figures from other public sector unions and community activists who have been leading local actions.

Representatives from the Campaign to Defend the Book and the Merseyside Stop the War Coalition also spoke.

A statement was read out from the Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen.

Activists are now gearing up for a second march and a mass lobby of the full council cabinet that will take place on Thursday of this week.

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Article information

Tue 13 Jan 2009, 18:37 GMT
Issue No. 2134
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