By Helen Le Caplain
Mancunians are uniting with like-minded people from across the country in London on Saturday to protest about cuts to local services.
Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to descend on the capital and voice their anger at cuts to front line services.
Mark Krantz, of Manchester Coalition Against the Cuts, will be attending the demonstration.
He believes the protest will be on a similar scale of the 2003 anti-war protest march which was held in London.
He said: “These cuts don’t need to happen. Money is in the pockets of bankers, millionaires and the rich who don’t pay tax.
“In the early 1980s there were riots. There was no hope, no facilities, and aggressive policing. To recreate Thatcherite conditions of the early 1980s, I think is unacceptable.”
Members of the public booed and shouted at Labour-led Manchester City Council from the public gallery as the budget was approved earlier this month.
The council must save £109million this financial year, and a further £170million the year after, resulting in a 25% cut in its total budget.
The cutbacks mean that libraries, leisure facilities, youth services and public toilets in Manchester will close. Sure Start provision will transfer to external providers and bin collections will be fortnightly.
Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: “The scale of the cuts makes it impossible to put together a balanced budget – which we are legally obliged to do – without it having an impact on frontline services.”
The TUC is uniting protest groups from across the country in a March for the Alternative in London on the March 26.
A group of Manchester Metropolitan University students will also be attending the march.
Alex Fountain, Community Officer at the University, said: “We are going because we know these cuts don’t have to happen.
“There’s lots of taxpayer avoidance – Vodafone owes £6bn in an unpaid bill – if that money was collected along with the bankers’ pay these cuts wouldn’t have to take place.”
The march will take place in London on Saturday. For more information go to http://www.tuc.org.uk/index.cfm