Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Barnstaple rallying cry to continue cuts fight

21:05 11 July 2014

Some of the service users and people concerned about county council cuts listen to the speakers.

Some of the service users and people concerned about county council cuts listen to the speakers.

Archant

A cross-party, cross-community rally held at the Strand in Barnstaple on Friday vows to show Devon County Council the backlash against cuts is not about to go away...

North Devon MP Nick Harvey addresses the gathering.North Devon MP Nick Harvey addresses the gathering.

A broad cross section of service users and political parties of all stripes gathered for a rally in Barnstaple this evening to protest at looming Devon County Council cuts.

Around 100 people turned out to listen to speakers at the event on the Strand, called by North Devon MP Nick Harvey.

Despite cuts to the youth service, closure of care homes and day centres looking almost certain, the message was clear – ‘we are still fighting and will continue to fight’.

Liberal Democrats, the Green party, independents and members of UKIP were on hand to lend their voices to the gathering of vulnerable service users, the elderly, young people and their worried relatives.

A cross section of North Devon gathered for an anti cuts rally at The Strand in Barnstaple on Friday afternoon.A cross section of North Devon gathered for an anti cuts rally at The Strand in Barnstaple on Friday afternoon.

Mr Harvey said he wanted to thank everyone who turned out to show their support ‘against these appalling cuts’.

He accused Devon County Council of failing to deal with the budget for social services for several years, boxing itself into a corner and being forced to make ‘callous’ choices.

As suggested by Government Minister Eric Pickles, Mr Harvey said councils should be looking to run down their reserves to help ease services through the current crisis, alleging the county was ‘sitting on £129million’.

“They could have given themselves the time and space to get things right to work out proper solutions that would have given people the dignity and care they need for the years to come,” he said.

A cross section of North Devon gathered for an anti cuts rally at The Strand in Barnstaple on Friday afternoon.A cross section of North Devon gathered for an anti cuts rally at The Strand in Barnstaple on Friday afternoon.

“We must make this a cross-community effort, there are more issues yet to be resolved, we have not given up or gone away and with your support we will keep on fighting – and if the county council think it is all over they have another think coming.”

Independent County Councillor Frank Biederman also spoke, saying he had been ashamed to be a councillor when the public wasn’t allowed to speak at three separate meetings to discuss the cuts.

“It’s those people without a voice that they are willing to attack first,” he said.

“It’s vital that people like Barnstaple Town Council and the rest of us keep fighting and keep making our voices heard.”

Elisha Spurway, a member of the youth team at St Georges youth centre in Barnstaple said the cuts had seen them lose many of the staff and a lot of their equipment.

“Everything we have worked for we now don’t have,” she said.

“We now have lots of young people that are upset and don’t know what to do. They don’t have a safe place where they can feel secure and just hang out.”

Barnstaple councillor and Green Party prospective parliamentary candidate Ricky Knight said the gathering was a ‘grassroots rejection and reaction against the cuts from a Conservative-led coalition’.

“It’s the duty and privilege of a civilised society to support and protect the most vulnerable in our society and the exact opposite of that is happening.”

Other News Stories

19:38
Combe Martin's Hunting of the Earl of Rone 2016

Popular folk tradition comes to an end after a weekend of parades and revelry

Read more
13:50
Nick Pedlar (centre) with the Holy Trinity Church choir. Picture: David Beagley.

Nick Pedlar steps down from his longstanding role with Holy Trinity Church

Read more
11:12
Cats Protection volunteers with the new van. Picture: submitted

Generous supporters help fund new van for re-homing charity

Read more
Visit South Molton Vintage Rally this weekend (June 4 and 5)

See more than 300 vintage vehicles and machinery at Combsland Cross this weekend.

Read more
08:00
This is a rare opportunity to visit Plaz Metaxu near Witheridge.

The unusual garden at Coombe House will be open to the public next Sunday for a one-off charity event.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:46
Saunton Beach will be packed with wartime vehicles on Friday and Saturday, June 3-4 to commemorate the anniversary of D-Day

Don’t miss Devon D-Day on Friday and Saturday, June 3-4.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:00
What's on in North Devon this week?

This year’s annual Braunton Village Fair will celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday.

Read more
Saturday, May 28, 2016
Jacqui and Ben, the two winners.

Former runner up is crowned chef of the year in North Devon competition at Petroc.

Read more
Saturday, May 28, 2016
Fire fighters will be walking around various fire stations in North Devon for Children's Hospice South West.

The group of fire fighters will be walking from Okehampton fire station to Lynton fire station over 24 hours, in full kit and breathing apparatus.

Read more
Saturday, May 28, 2016
The Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon is bidding for a £1.6million extension. Picture: Andy Keeble

Members of the public asked to give their opinions on plans for a £1.8million extension of the Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 10°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications