Hundreds march in Leamington against NHS and education cuts

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Campaigners marched in their hundreds in Leamington on Saturday to protest against cuts to funding for the NHS and education.

Members of the South Warwickshire Keep Our NHS Public (SWKONP) group were among the 400 people who turned out with Our Schools: Face the Crisis, Fight the Cuts and others with the joint message to the Government that “its attack on public services must be stopped and that it must be replaced by a government which fully supports and funds the precious NHS and education system”.

The march in Leamington on Saturday

The march in Leamington on Saturday

Addressing the rally at the Pump Room Gardens where the march ended Anna Pollert, secretary of SWKONP said: “We’re here to tell our local representatives and this government that we won’t stand for the destruction of our NHS and our education system by the savage cuts being imposed by the Tories.

“The decade 2010-2020 sees the largest ever sustained reduction in health spending as a % of GDP. The Government claims it has invested £10 billion.

It hasn’t.

“The true figure is £4.5 billion and it’s not enough to meet growing health care needs. It’s privatising the NHS by stealth.

“And the cost of running the NHS as a market costs at least £4.5 billion a year.

“The Sustainability and Transformation Plans will cut £22 billion by 2020. So far it has cost £17.6 million in consultancy fees to draw up these STPs.

“Here in Coventry and Warwickshire, the STP will cut £267 million and has forked out £343,000 to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for a glossy and vacuous ‘plan’. And the STP leaders are they are still not admitting what they plan, or stating when and where ‘consultation’ will start.

“Indeed, we the public are being treated with contempt.

“We organised this march before the snap General Election was announced. Now we have a chance to vote: Vote for the NHS and for education.”

Cllr Matt Western, who is a member of SWKONP and the Labour Party’s parliamentary candidate for Warwick and Leamington for the forthcoming election, was among those at the march and he also addressed the rally.

More on the election and the candidates will be published by the Courier and KWN in the days and weeks running up to June 8.