Protest Planned at Town Hall "Secret Tory Conference"

Rally follows council go ahead for massive cuts

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Hundreds of anti-cuts protesters are expect to gather on Saturday February 26 at Hammersmith Town Hall in King Street, which is hosting the London Region Conservative Conference.

The protest, which will begin at 9am, has been organised by student group Save EMA who obtained details of what they are calling a secret London Tory conference through a leaked email.  They are being backed by the local Labour party, and MP Andy Slaughter is expected to attend.

The conference will include a speech by London mayor Boris Johnson and says Save EMA, the launch of his re-election campaign.

Protestors will include both national anti-cuts groups including UK Uncut and local residents angered by Hammersmith and Fulham's policies. This week the council voted through a massive programme of cuts to its budget.

The cuts, which the council says will save £27 million and will allow it to freeze council tax bills in the next financial year, will mean what it calls "reorganisation" of children's services, including the borough's 15 Sure Start centres and libraries, with two to be moved into local schools and run by volunteers.

As we have previously reported, the council has also given the go ahead for the sale of eight buildings, including Fulham Town Hall, Sands End Community Centre, the Village Hall in Shepherd's Bush and in Hammersmith, the Irish Cultural Centre annd Palingswick House, currently home to 20 voluntary and community groups, which is earmarked for the new West London Free School.

In addition. over £4 million was cut from the home care budget, prompting one disabled lady at the budget meeting to accuse the council of being "cruel", before being removed from the hall.

Other services affected are meals on wheels, advice services and literacy programmes. Half a million has been slashed from voluntary sector grants, and other measures include the closure of bowling greens in Bishop's and Ravenscourt Parks and the loss of eight policemen and reduced funds for police Safer Neighbourhood Teams.



February 25, 2011