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Bob Crow to Speak on Cuts at Lancaster Public Meeting

Chris Satori
Bob Crow, plain-speaking leader of the UK’s fastest-growing labour organisation, the National Union of Rail, Maritime & Transport Workers (RMT), will be speaking about the government spending cuts at a public meeting at Lancaster Town Hall on Wednesday 23 February at 7.30pm.

Titled ‘Building the Alternative’, the meeting is organised by Lancaster & Morecambe Against the Cuts, the local campaigning coalition of trades unions, community organisations, students and progressives.

Crow is known for leading his union’s defence of London Underground workers, whose jobs were threatened by London Transport management when Metronet, the private finance partnership set up by Labour, collapsed. He said, “It wasn't our members who created the downturn and we will not be bullied into accepting that they should be forced to pay for an economic crisis that was cooked up by the bankers and the politicians.”

Also speaking will be Chris Banberry of the Right To Work Campaign and Gina Dowding of the Green Party. All are welcome.

Earlier on the same Wednesday Lancaster is to be visited by none other than Green Party leader Caroline Lucas MP, who will be at the Green Party stall in Market Square from 11.30am – 12.30pm, to talk with local people about the spending cuts and to learn their concerns. You can read a recent interview with her here.

Next week Lancashire County Council vote on their new budget proposals, which will slash social services, mainly to elderly and young people, by 25%. They also set aside £26 million for an initial spend on a Heysham M6 Link Road, as a priority, in a deal that will leave LCC entirely liable for any overspend on the estimated road costs.

In addition to the costs of the inevitable further Public Inquiry, flaws have already been identified in their new submitted estimates for a more-cheaply designed route (read more), representing millions in extra costs, omitted from the accounts, which can only result in further budget deficits down the line.

An all-Lancashire protest rally against the budget proposals, which amount to £179 million, over the next three years, making Lancashire one of the hardest-hit counties in the UK, is to be held in Preston Flag Market (in front of the Harris Museum) at noon tomorrow (Saturday 12 March). A further protest will take place on Thursday 17 March at noon at County Hall, Preston, when the Full Council meets to vote.

• Download the full LCC budget proposals here. (PDF Link)