Over 50 people join lobby of Coventry council

Over 50 people join lobby of Coventry council 

Protesters gather outside the Council House

Protesters gather outside the Council House

Over 50 people joined a lobby of Coventry Council’s first full meeting since being elected on May 7th. The lobby, organised by campaigners from Save Coventry Libraries, saw a petition of over 2200 signatures against the closure of Tile Hill Library handed in by TUSC candidate Sarah Smith.

A number of staff members and service users from the Employment Support Service (TESS) also attended the protest, and spoke passionately about the support TESS provides, both in helping disabled people find employment and giving ongoing assistance at work. Coventry Unison members also attended to show support to members of the community fighting to defend local services.

A number of councillors passed the protesters and some even stopped to listen to what we had to say – unfortunately Foleshill’s Abdul Khan was not one of them, and dismissed service users by stating that TESS “isn’t [his] portfolio”. Despite repeatedly being asked to oppose cuts, none of the councillors committed to voting against further austerity measures proposed by the Labour council.

Many speakers pointed out that one lobby of the council won’t force them to back down, and further action will be needed, such as the protest against Osborne’s austerity budget on July 8th (5.30pm at Broadgate in Coventry). One campaigner stated that if the councillors we’ve got won’t fight back, at the next election we should replace them with some who will.

Lobby Coventry Council – save our services!

Lobby Coventry Council – save our services!

Protestors outside the Council House

Protestors outside the Council House

Anti-cuts campaigners plan to hold a lobby of the first full meeting of Coventry’s newly elected council on June 23rd at 1pm. The groups, such as Save Coventry Libraries, want to continue to put pressure on the council to fight cuts rather than implementing them.

Sarah Smith, a Tile Hill resident who has been campaigning against the closure of her local library, will be handing in a petition of over 2200 signatures against its closure. She said “Libraries provide a crucial service for the people of Coventry, and the thousands of people who have signed this petition and others show how the strength of feeling about them. Rather than closing libraries and cutting jobs, the council should use some of the £81million they have in reserves to fund services and build a campaign to get this money back from central Government.”

Other campaign groups such as Youth Fight for Jobs, the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition and campaigners against the closure of the Employment Support Service (TESS) will also be joining the lobby. Heidi Crowter, a young TESS user with Down’s Syndrome, said “TESS is fantastic because as well as helping people find employment they help people stay in employment. I think it is really selfish of the council to close this service and shows that they don’t really care about people finding employment. The council shutting this down is making me feel really scared for what the future will hold for me. “