Saturday, 17 September 2011


The Town Hall, Barrow in Furness.
Representatives of Furness Against the Cuts attended the Town Hall and were present at meetings of  the EDP (Equalities and Diversity Partnership) in the afternoon of Tuesday 14th September and of CCC (Cumbria County Council) in the morning of Thursday 16th September.

The EDP meeting was nothing more than the usual 'talking shop' but at least we were able to distribute leaflets advertising the 6th October public meeting to the six persons present.  The EDP is not a campaigning organisation but one which discusses things affecting disabled people such as 'dropped kerbs' for wheelchair users, passes on observations and makes requests on behalf of persons with disabilities.  There was no response to our information about the public meeting or the campaign by FAC (Furness Against the Cuts) so it is assumed they will not inform members of their particular disabilities organisation of either the public meeting or the FAC campaign.

The CCC meeting confirmed that SS (Single Status) would be applied to all TAs (Teaching Assistants) It also applies to Night Carers, but there has been no mention of this. Cumbria TAs mounted a spirited action against the imposition of the new ruling but to no avail.  It should be noted that the TAs were absolutely disgusted by the lack of their union's - Unison - support for their campaign.   

The meeting was also attended by members of Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service who were informed the council had finally decided to back the closure of the control centre at Cockermouth and the transfer of this service to Warrington in Cheshire involving the loss of twelve jobs.  (Evening Mail journalist John Simpson provided a comprehensive report published in the paper later that same day. The Evening Mail is available online at

Ms Lesley Bowers, a former controller (pictured below) gave a heartfelt appeal for the retention of the Cockermouth centre, explaining local knowledge was essential for a speedy response to life-threatening situations in which every second counted.   At the close of the meeting a FAC member spoke with fireman Ade Kevern, secretary of Cumbria FBU (Fire Brigade Union) and urged him to ensure the union had representation on Barrow Trades Union Council as this could be a means of approaching the public whose support will be vital in the struggles ahead. Ade agreed but, as always, the proof of the pudding.......

Former controller Lesley Bowers 

Also attending CCC that morning was Marianne Birkby who is leading the Cumbria campaign against proposals to bury highly radioactive nuclear waste in huge manmade caverns on the coast of West Cumbria. This is a most serious subject but one which cannot be dealt with here.

Once more, Evening Mail reporter John Simpson provided a full report and this was published in the Saturday edition of the paper.

 I regret that John Simpson has now retired for I always found him to be a reporter of great integrity.
I wish him a long and happy retirement.

FAC now has a Facebook page - Furness Against the Cuts
email address:


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