Hundreds of campaigners from Shropshire were today taking their fight against massive public spending cuts right to the heart of Government.
They left by the bus load this morning to join thousands of workers, anti-war campaigners, politicians, community groups and other activists at a huge protest rally in London.More than 250 coaches, including seven from Shropshire, set out for the capital.
Similar protests will also be held in Belfast and Glasgow.
The campaigners were joining the march for ‘A Future That Works’ which has been organised by the TUC and follows a similar event last year, which saw thousands of people marching through London protesting over government cuts.
Alan James, branch secretary for Shropshire Unison, said: “We picked up four coaches from Shrewsbury and another three from Telford this morning and are all going down together. I would say there are about 350 people in total.
“The mood is very buoyant. I hope it will be as successful as the one held last year where thousands of people turned out.”
Shropshire’s anti-cuts group Shropshire Fights Back had urged members of the public to make their voices heard at the march and rally by taking advantage of the free places on the coaches.
Steve Bradfield, group chairman, said while only 20 per cent of the planned government cuts have actually been made so far, Shropshire had already been hard hit.
He said: “We’ve seen increased parking charges for visitors to the hospital, closure of one well-loved school and the reference library, the axing of day-care provision, general job cuts which could be measured in thousands over the next few years, reduced fire and police services, closure of the local sorting office in Shrewsbury, loss of jobs at the barracks, school meals threatened and courts shut down.
“We have even seen food banks springing up.”
William Edmondson, a Shropshire Fights Back member, added: “Austerity isn’t working – and most people knew it wouldn’t right from the start.”