Socialist Worker

Newcastle says no to cuts

Issue No. 2341

Around 2,000 people marched through Newcastle on Saturday of last week against massive cuts to services.

Newcastle city council plans to slash £100 million from its budget over the next three years—including the closure of play schemes, a swimming pool and five libraries.

Up to 1,300 council jobs are under threat.

First time protester Nicola Atkinson said, “I work at Walker library running the playgroup, so I face losing my job as well as the fact my sons love going there. I’ve never taken part in a big march but I just felt I had to.”

Playwright Lee Hall, children’s author David Almond and soap star Charlie Hardwick were among the local celebrities lending their support.

“I love my city and this is the most severe set of cuts I’ve seen,” said Hardwick.

“The Tories seem to want to finish what Thatcher started in the North East. Shame on the Labour council of this city for colluding in that.”

Council leaders blame the cuts on central government, but marchers demanded they stand up to them.

Kevin McHugh from the Public and Commercial Services Union said: “These services should be a basic right. We need to keep the pressure on the government.

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