The CoR meeting on Wednesday reflected the growing anger over the ConDem cuts with local and national speakers all stressing the importance to us all of the TUC Demonstration on March 26th.
Bob Crow (RMT Gen Sec) reminded us how the bankers had systematically robbed working class people over the years, always looking for ways to increase their profits and how this greed led to the financial crisis in the first place.
Bob, Bill Greenshields (ex NUT President speaking for CoR & The Peoples Charter) and others talked of the scale of the fight we need to launch if we are to beat the cuts and get rid of the ConDem coalition government, but were very convincing in their arguments that we can do this if we use our collective strengths.
Hazel Raven, UCU rep from Doncaster College spoke about the effect the withdrawal of EMA was having in the college by preventing access to further education for many working class kids. The knock on effect from this will be a narrowing of the range of courses offered as the college cut unprofitable courses. This, coupled with rising fees at Universities is creating an education system geared towards the better off in society and if not fought, further education will be out of range for many.
John Westmoreland spoke for the Libraries Campaign which has managed to stop the Mayor’s attack on 14 libraries in Doncaster, Although the libraries are safe for another year now, he emphasised the need to carry on the fight as the council have every intention to try again to withdraw funding next year.
He praised John and Joyce Sheppard & Lois Hubbard for the hard work they had done round the campaign, being on the streets week after week collecting signatures and regularly lobbying council meetings. Equally, he also praised Lauren Smith and Lynne Coppendale for their professional expertise which had helped derail the council’s procedures for closure.
Annie Morgan, vice chair of the governors of Cantley Sycamore Primary School, which is the council’s latest target for closure, told us about how angry parents had immediately set up a lively campaign to save the school and its high educational standards and results which had been achieved in no small part because of small class sizes. Class sizes will be increased in all schools across the borough as the council seek to drastically cut the amount of “surplus” places available.
There were stalls at the back of the hall run by local Unions and campaign groups including UCU, CWE and Save Cantley Sycamore Primary School.