Anti-cuts fighters in ‘stand-up’ rally cry

A previous demonstration of Blackpool Against The Cuts

A previous demonstration of Blackpool Against The Cuts

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Activists have issued a clarion call urging Blackpool residents to stand up against government cutbacks.

It comes as the TUC anti-austerity campaign bus rolled into the resort this week, giving members of the public chance to meet union leaders in St John’s Square.

The event was followed by a question and answer session in Blackpool town hall where speakers included Lancashire police and crime commissioner Clive Grunshaw, TUC North West regional secretary Lynne Collins and chairman of Blackpool Against The Cuts, Ken Cridland.

They warned people needed to stand up against cuts being made to the health service and welfare state.

Mr Cridland told the meeting: “There are people questioning what is going on, but there is still a lot of defeatism and that’s what we have to overcome, and show people they can make a difference.

“Blackpool has some of the poorest wards in the country and some of the lowest life expectancy rates, and people are suffering more in Blackpool than elsewhere.

“We don’t have a history in Blackpool of people fighting back, but that’s something we need to build up.”

Mr Grunshaw said while crime rates remained low at the moment, he feared increased economic suffering could trigger more offending.

He warned: “As people get more desperate because of the situation, you will see a rise in criminality.

“The police have traditionally been there to pick up the pieces, but I am not sure we will be there in two or three years time to deliver the level of service the people of Lancashire deserve.”

Mrs Collins said it was a challenge to make people realise “what is slipping away from them” because of the cuts.

She said: “This is the first generation where my children are going to be worse off than me, and that’s the scandal of what is happening.”