OVER 200 Cardiff residents gathered outside City Hall to protest against cuts to local services.
The protest, which took place at the same time as the Council meeting yesterday, saw the Cardiff Against the Cuts group rally local residents to voice their concerns over the damaging effects of the cuts.
Seb Robyns, a leading figure in Cardiff Against the Cuts, was extremely critical of the council’s policies.
He said: “I think the council’s hands are tied, but they are only tied by their party allegiance.
“What they should be doing is saying I’ve been elected to fight for representatives of Cardiff, and the council hasn’t taken a stand, but backed down.
“The last massive rounds of cuts that came through in the last budget were passed by the vast majority of Welsh councillors.
“As councillors they are connected to the communities better than anyone else.”
The Cardiff University student has campaigned on various issues, including cuts to children’s services, cuts to dementia day centres, and the closures of homeless centres.
“The attitude towards homeless people in Cardiff is shocking,” he said.
“If you look at the police attitude towards homeless people in Cardiff they are under instructions to move them out of the town centre, which means that they can’t get the services they need.”
One of main points of protest were cuts to children’s services, with the popular Grangetown play centre in line to be closed.
Mother of five and Grangetown resident Cynthia Bailey was dismayed at the prospect of the play centre’s closure.
She said: “They should be managing things better because they need these things for the kids as it’s free.
“A lot of children haven’t got anything free meaning they are on the street but with the play centre in Grangetown, they’ve got somewhere to go.
“If they close that then there’s nothing there for them, it’s been there for about 40 years.”
Mrs Bailey was also critical of Cardiff’s councillor’s lack of communication with residents of the city.
“The councillors don’t listen, they just do what they want to do,” she said.
“They don’t listen to the children either. In other places where kids services have closed, in St Mellons, Splott, and Grangetown they’ve just closed them all because of money.”
As councillors walked past protestors on their way to the meeting, many were stopped in their tracks by campaigners.
Labour Councillor for Cathays, Chris Weaver, was defensive over the Council’s decision to implement cuts and critical over the effectiveness of the protesting.
“There is nothing that can be done about cuts through protesting from City Hall,” he told protestors.
“What we have to do is try to manage that in the fairest way possible so we’ve looked at wherever we could to run services differently so that they don’t shut and we protect those that matter the most.
“But there is no way to avoid the fact that we had to save money, it’s ridiculous the amount of money we have to save.”
Despite fighting a tough battle, Cardiff Against The Cuts managed to overturn a small number of cuts.
Originally the council planned to cut the Alzheimer’s Society Day Centre in Penylan, but now it has agreed to fund the centres for current users.
However, Mr Robyns was cautious not to over-estimate the effects of the protests.
He said: “Yes we have had some minor victories, but what we need is structural change in the way Cardiff, and the country as a whole is run.”