Bristol set for huge rally

September 04 2017

BRISTOL Mayor Marvin Rees is preparing to lead a demonstration calling for action against austerity.

BRISTOL Mayor Marvin Rees is preparing to lead a demonstration calling for action against austerity.

More than 17 organisations, including trade unions and campaign groups, will take to the streets on September 9 in what could be one of the biggest rallies seen in the city.

The noon protest on College Green comes three days before a meeting when Mr Rees and other core city leaders will present a Green Paper to ministers in Westminster calling for a 'Stronger, Fairer Britain'.

The Labour mayor said: “Cities are at breaking point when it comes to council provided services. Across the UK there are adult and children's social care departments struggling to keep up with the costs of rising demand on their services. 

"Council services are being reduced and stopped to find the money to keep the essential life and limb services from falling over. This isn’t right and it isn’t a reflection of the driving force that cities have become in the modern economy."

The Paper reflects that cities are the drivers of the modern economy and are magnets for culture, talent and investment. 

The Local Government Association estimates that by 2020 local councils will have lost 75 per cent of the central government funding they had in 2015. The Paper will set out alternatives to cuts and make the case for investment in cities.

Mr Rees said: “We've done some great work with Core Cities, putting together a Green Paper for cities which urges government to change tack and start proactively investing in the public services that sustain our flourishing communities. What I'm concerned about as a city leader is the cost of the cuts. These short-term savings will undermine our communities and population health and will ultimately cost us more.

"My message is simple, if you believe that there is an alternative to austerity then join with me, the trade unions, the People’s Assembly and the people of Bristol on 9 September to show the government and other UK cities that we want change and we’re prepared to take that ask to Westminster.”

Among those taking part are the Labour Party, Unite Soth West, UNISON South West, Bristol NUT, Fair Funding For All Schools and Bristol Greens.