COUNTY COUNCIL BUDGET: 'We have an elite few, and a mass of people who are fighting for their lives'

Toby Birch and Wendy Andrews pictured outside County Hall. (Pictures: Kirsty Edmonds).
Toby Birch and Wendy Andrews pictured outside County Hall. (Pictures: Kirsty Edmonds).

Protesters gathered outside Northampton County Hall today to speak out about the council’s proposed cuts to regional services.

Andrew Gwynne, the shadow secretary, joined GMP union members and regional Labour supporters gathered on George Row in Northampton town centre, to protest against the proposed cuts by the Conservative run county council.

(Pictures: Kirsty Edmonds).

(Pictures: Kirsty Edmonds).

Father Oliver Coss, of All Saints Church, led a sermon last year for the county council where he told the councillors to not forget the poorest and most vulnerable when they made difficult decisions.

But today he said: “I feel very much like this plea that fell on deaf ears,”

“What is happening, and what will happen, is devastating the lives of those who ought to be cared for, who have never felt so forgotten.”

Toby Birch, 73, director of Community Spaces Northampton, was at the protest to express his anger at the cuts to county libraries and community funds.

Roz Campbell's son, James, 1. (Pictures: Kirsty Edmonds).

Roz Campbell's son, James, 1. (Pictures: Kirsty Edmonds).

He said: “The councillors brought this on themselves by not increasing taxes over a period of time.

“They are not looking after people, they are more concerned with themselves, they don’t realise what is actually happening in the community

“For the first time we have a community centre that is running a food bank, we have people living out on the street, which shouldn’t be happening in this day and age and communities are being affected.

He continued: “How is the voluntary sector expected to cope when they are being asked to do more and also have [their] funding cut?”

Wendy Andrews, a Labour member in Daventry, expressed anger at the council’s mismanagement.

She said: “We have an elite few and a mass of people who are literally fighting now for their lives, their very existence.”