NHS protest march heads to Mansfield and Ashfield

A national march to oppose Government cuts to the National Health Service will be passing through Mansfield and Ashfield later this month.

The long-distance People’s March for the NHS is set to take place across England and will include a major rally in Mansfield town centre at 5:30pm on Wednesday 27th August, organisers said.

The rally will include speeches, activities and music and is part of the 300-mile protest march organised by a group of mothers from Darlington, in County Durham.

Following in the footsteps of the famous Jarrow Marchers back in 1936, the mothers are campaigning for a repeal of the Health and Social Care Act.

Organiser Ann Donlan said: “This will be a family-friendly gathering to celebrate all that we cherish about the National Health Service and to inspire us to make sure we can pass it on as our gift to the next generation.”

They are calling on the Government to reverse the closure of NHS services, halt the privatisation of NHS care, and return responsibility for delivering NHS services to the Secretary State for Health.

The march is also aimed at raising awareness of what is currently happening with privatisation of NHS services, campaigners said.

Local supported Rev Paul Bentley, from St Lawrence’s Church, Mansfield, said: “In many years as chaplain, both to the forces and in the NHS I am grateful to live in a town where we defend those services that demonstrate our compassion to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay.

“While successive governments privatise our health service we must work and pray for a future in which care which is universal and free at the point of use is preserved for the next generation.”

Local politicians are also backing the march.

Mansfield MP Sir Alan Meale told Chad: “Fifty mothers from Darlington, re-enacting the Jarrow march demonstrates a strength of feeling in this country that won’t be silenced by this Government or any government. I stand by our neighbourhoods, retired mine workers, and all who owe their lives and wellbeing to the hard working staff and volunteers in our hospitals. We must protect our NHS.”

Ashfield MP Gloria De Piero added: “It’s high time ministers took responsibility and hopefully this march will make them finally sit up and take notice.”

Further details can be obtained at http://999callfornhs.org.uk.