Activists fight budget cuts
ACTIVISTS gathered last week to organise against proposed budgetary cuts that will affect welfare services, writes Glenn McMahon. The meeting at the Learie Constantine Centre, in Dudden Hill Lane, Dollis Hill was organised by Brent Fightback a coalition
ACTIVISTS gathered last week to organise against proposed budgetary cuts that will affect welfare services, writes Glenn McMahon.
The meeting at the Learie Constantine Centre, in Dudden Hill Lane, Dollis Hill was organised by Brent Fightback a coalition of political parties, trade unions and the voluntary sector in Brent.
They are calling on the public to help fight government cuts that could force local authorities into making redundancies, funding cuts and sub-contracting out services.
John Reiss, of Can't Pay Wont Pay, said: "The government who are making the cuts don't depend on the welfare state as we do. Enough is enough."
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Jean Roberts, of Brent Teachers Association, warned of government policy to introduce Academies saying less than half have performed well in OFSTED reports since September.
She said: "State education is under attack. Public services weren't at fault for the collapse of the markets. But who gets attacked; the public services."
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She also expressed concern over so-called free schools which can be set-up by parents but are then run privately and unaccountable to local authorities.
Ann O'Neill, of Brent Mencap, explained the need for support services for people with learning difficulties and the consequences of cuts.
She said: "Only eight per cent of people with learning difficulties get employed and it's going to get worse. I've been told there will be no more [education] courses next year so they could get depressed and find themselves in the criminal justice system."
A Brent Fightback spokesman said: "The aim is to ensure that it is not the poorest and most vulnerable in our society who are made to pay the price for the bankers' crisis, as is so often the case.