Meeting in Lowestoft over public sector cuts

About 40 people attended a meeting in Lowestoft last night to hear about plans to fight large scale public sector cuts.

The meeting in the United Reform Church Hall in London Road Nouth was organised by the newly formed group Lowestoft Coalition Against the Cuts(LCAC).

Described as public rally the meeting heard how government and Suffolk County Council cuts will affect people's lives.

One of the cuts discussed was plans by the county council to close 29 libraries if volunteers can not be found to run them.

Speaking at the meeting was Pauline Rainton who is launching a campaign to save Oulton Broad library from being closed along with libraries in Kessingland, Southwold and Bungay.

She said: 'Libraries are a focal point of the community. Libraries open up the world to children.

'In the land of Shakespeare and Chaucer, shame on them for closing libraries.

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'Libraries are something so worthwhile for us to preserve.'

Also speaking at the rally were regional representatives of the unions PCS and Unite.

Richard Edwards and Steve Hart urged the people of Lowestoft to voice their opposition to the cuts by attending a TUC organised national rally in London on March 26.

Both men also said there were alternatives to the cuts to balance the nation's books by increasing public spending and taxing bankers.

Mr Edwards is also chairman of the Norfolk Coalition Against the Cuts and said grass roots opposition was vital in fighting the coalition government's measures.

He said: 'The opposition is steadily growing. This meeting is a small part of that, an important part of that.'

The public meeting resolved to totally oppose any cuts, closures and sell offs and also proposed tackling millionaire tax dodgers, taxing the rich and stopping bankers bonuses at bailed out banks.

Cate Clarke, from LCAC and who chaired the meeting, said: 'It is very good to see so many people here tonight. We are a new group and make a coalition of the willing.'