Saturday 13 February / 12 midday / Market Square, Cambridge CB2
Cambridgeshire County Council has announced that it plans to make £120m of cuts to services and facilities over the next five years (see our statement). In its meeting on Tuesday 16 February the Conservative and UKIP-dominated County Council will pass a package of cuts for 2016/17 [but see the update below] which will have a devastating effect on communities, affecting social care, help for children at risk, library provision, and many other services on which we rely. Now local community, trade union, and political organizations will join us on Saturday 13 February to protest the cuts.
Rallies and march on Saturday
We'll rally in front of the Guildhall in Market Square at midday to hear a set of short speeches, then march over the river and up the hill to rally once more at the County Council's offices at Shire Hall. We'll hear speakers or messages from community organizations:
- Jannie Brightman (Cambridge Keep Our NHS Public)
- Chris Forman (38 Degrees Cambridge)
- Chris McCabe (Cambridge Disabled People Against Cuts)
- Steve Sweeney (Cambridge People's Assembly, People's Assembly National Committee)
- James Youd (Cambridge Unite Community)
From trade union organizations:
- Jon Duveen (Cambridgeshire National Union of Teachers)
- Rob Turner (UNISON Cambridgeshire County)
- Tom Woodcock (Cambridge and District Trades Council)
And from political organizations:
- Dave Baigent (Cambridge City Council, Cambridge Labour Party)
- Sandra Crawford (Cambridgeshire County Council, Cambridge Labour Party, Cambridge Area Momentum)
- Jocelynne Scutt (Cambridgeshire County Council, Cambridge Labour Party)
- Mark Slade (Cambridge Green Party)
See the Facebook event for updates and comments.
Picket on Tuesday
We'll also picket the Council meeting on Tuesday 16 February, joining UNISON Cambridgeshire County outside Shire Hall from early in the morning before the meeting begins at 10 a.m.
Reports this week suggest the County Council will not be able to pass a budget on 16 February. Conservative councillors have refused to increase council tax by the extra 2 per cent allowed by the chancellor to fund social care and supported by a Labour-led coalition, while UKIP councillors do not support even a smaller increase. If the Council cannot pass a budget in a further meeting on Friday 19 February, central government will intervene to set one. We believe it remains necessary to lay claim to the threatened services on which communities rely, and argue for an approach to meeting their costs which rejects the assumptions of austerity.
[Updated on 6 February, and on 10 February with speakers' names.]