Around 200 people marched in Portsmouth on 13th April to oppose the proposed closure of Sure Start centres. Sion Reynolds, Vice-Chair of the Portsmouth Trades Council reports on the latest local demonstration against the Coalition’s cuts.
Around 200 people marched in Portsmouth on 13th April to oppose the proposed closure of Sure Start centres. Marchers braved high winds and relentless rain, chanting: “NO IFS, NO BUTS, NO SURE START CUTS!”
Liberal-Democrat controlled Portsmouth City Council has revealed plans to merge Sure Start centres in an attempt to save about £1m during 2013-14. The plans involve merging 16 centres to reduce the number in the city down to nine.
The campaign to save the Sure Start centres has been vigorously backed by the local Labour Party and the city’s fledgling Unite community branch, which organises those not in employment.
Demo organiser, Lisa Fletcher, told supporters: “Yeah, we’re all wonderful people. So when did we get so fearful? Now we’re finally finding our voices.”
Co-organiser, Nikki Coles, said: “The support is unbelievable. We are continuing our campaign and fight with even more fire in our bellies and passion in our hearts.”
Hollie Joyce added: “I’ve never attended a demo before, and because I feel so strongly about our Sure Start centres, I nearly burst into tears when I arrived today. It was an emotionally charged demonstration, and the support from all of us who believe in our centres really shined through today. Let’s keep going.”