Over 1500 people enjoyed the sunshine in Matlock’s Hall Leys Park for Politics in the Park, rally against austerity yesterday afternoon.
With only 3 or 4 days notice and in the middle of the summer holidays with so much else to distract us the event came together brilliantly. A strong roster of introductory speakers included: Martin Rutter, Councillor Anne Western Labour leader of Derbyshire County Council who talked about the harsh reality of having to implement the Tory policy of austerity through cuts and listed a number of successes - no libraries closed in Derbyshire and new ones being built in Heanor and Belper, a new railway station for Ilkeston, keeping home care services under council control with fair pay for workers. Social worker Izzy Fisher spoke powerfully from the frontline about the sharp end of austerity borne by the old, the sick, children, doctors and care workers who did nothing to cause the financial crisis.
Uther Naysmith for Young Labour recalled his family’s Labour history and looked forward to the future - his full speech is here:
Finally, Andy Botham, train driver, county councillor, parliamentary candidate, introduced the man himself. They had arrived by train from an earlier rally in Derby and walked into Matlock’s Hall Leys park to a swelling round of applause from the crowd of over 1,500 people enjoying the sunshine and a holiday atmosphere.
Belper Nailed web site also produced a full report of the rally in Derby and Matlock here