Huge protests over job cuts

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protesters took to Scarborough’s streets during an impassioned campaign against a “blitzkrieg” of Government cutbacks.

Scarborough and District Trades Council staged a protest march across the town to fight proposed job losses in the public sector.

The moves mirrored massive protests by the Trades Union Congress in London and attracted around 50 people as the group delivered letters to Scarborough MP Robert Goodwill and Scarborough Council chief executive Jim Dillon.

Scarborough-born prospective borough councillor and former Morley MP Colin Challen spoke to members outside the Town Hall and called for a radical rethink in proposals to slash public funding.

He said: “We have to ask ourselves what is the Government got against the people?

“This is a blitzkrieg against ordinary people.

“What have the Government got against ordinary working people that they are cutting tax allowances and raising VAT and looking to smash up the NHS?

“There is an alternative which is sustaining local jobs.

“In Scarborough the council should be looking at not cutting jobs but seeing how to raise the number.

“That is the debate we want, not one about how to cut jobs.

“Our message to Robert Goodwill is clear – stand up for Scarborough.”

In the letters, Cllr Eric Broadbent, secretary of Scarborough and District Trades Council, said cuts to Scarborough Council’s budget would cripple the borough.

He said: “The decision to slash revenue support to the council by 14.6 per cent is a cruel blow to the hopes and ambitions we have for the Scarborough district.

“We do not subscribe to the view that frontloading the cuts in the way the Government is doing will help the economy and note that reducing demand in the public sector is bound to damage the private sector.

“We believe it is the job of our elected representatives to stand up for local people and therefore register opposition to the scale and pace of the cuts.”

Cllr Broadbent added further job losses – when the council was considering an increase in its General Reserve fund of 25 per cent – reflected an ill-thought out policy at local and national level.

He added: “We ask the council demand a meeting with Government ministers to make the case for Scarborough’s regeneration which could be stalled by the combination of cuts and a lack of direction in development policy.”