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Cardiff residents lobby Labour councillors over damaging cuts

PROTESTERS for Cardiff Against the Cuts will take to the streets of Splott tomorrow (Saturday).

Residents will use the opportunity to lobby local Labour councillors about cuts to services, including the library, sport facilities and services for the elderly.

The main reason for the protest was Cardiff Council’s proposed withdrawal of £161,000 of funding for 19 places at Oldwell Court Day Centre for those suffering with Alzheimer’s.

However, following a cabinet meeting yesterday (Thursday), the council has made a U-turn, pledging to continue funding a dementia centre.

Ross Saunders is secretary of Cardiff Against Cuts, and a member of Cardiff Socialist Party.

Saunders campaigning against cuts to children's services

Ross Saunders campaigning against cuts to children’s services

Mr Saunders lost his job at Fitzalan High School following council cuts, and is motivated by a desire to create a better society for Cardiff’s young people.

“We think it’s a missed opportunity because there was a landslide vote propelling Jeremy Corbyn to the leadership of the Labour Party. People are looking for a road other than austerity,” said Mr Saunders.

“We think that Labour councillors in particular that are running councils like Cardiff should heed that, and should turn aside from the policies that they carried out in implementing the cuts that the government’s demanding.

“They are calling for £36 million worth of cuts, and there are some services cut that are extremely important to the community, and will do some real damage if they are implemented.”

Mr Saunders is particularly concerned by the decision to remove Splott’s STAR Centre, which has been a focus for the community with its library, swimming pool and sports hall.

“That could potentially be a killing blow for Splott,” said Mr Saunders.

“It’s wounded already, you see services disappearing from the area. There are a lot of social problems developing there already, and they are just going to get worse with less to do in the area.

“What the council says is that they are going to provide an alternative facility to replace both the STAR Centre, the leisure centre, and the Splott pool facility.

“Their real plan was to create a cut-price system that won’t even include a sports hall.

“So it’s going to mean a big cut in the services on offer in an area that doesn’t have enough services already.

“Everybody in Splott, and everybody in the city is going to have to pay the consequence of that when society disintegrates.”

Cardiff Against The Cutsa t County Hall

Cardiff Against The Cuts at County Hall

Mr Saunders is also concerned with cuts to other services, such as doctors’ surgeries and care homes for the elderly.

“One of the most worrying things is what the plans are for the Alzheimer’s day centre in Penylan, which the council was forced to back off from closing immediately. However, they now say that they are going to close it once the current users have stopped using it.

“But people are still going to get Alzheimer’s, they are still going to need facilities like that.

“But if the council’s plans are implemented, those services won’t be there.”

The demonstration is set to take place at 9.40am on Saturday, starting outside the STAR Centre.

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