Brighton residents marched on a bitter January day to express their outrage about cuts to local government services.
They are angry that Brighton and Hove City Council has been told to make £68 million of cuts across the city.
One of the protesters, Pat Childerhouse, said: “I am concerned about young people with mental health problems who are pumped up with drugs and just left there, alone, in insecure housing. It is terrible.”
Care centres for the disabled, including the mentally ill and elderly, children’s centres, special schools and children with special educational needs all continue to be under threat.
Margaret Hallan joined the march because her mother had dementia and there was simply not enough mental health services to support her when she became unwell.
A GMB Union representative and Sussex Defend the NHS activist who works in the NHS marched in protest at a council tax rise of 4 per cent. He said: “It is the lowest paid who pay the highest price for the misdeeds of the upper classes and the rich.
“Democracy is government of the people by the people for the people. We have a government of the rich by the rich for the rich.
“The NHS is being broken up and destroyed by stealth.”
Allison Hooper marched in protest at the cuts because when she became mentally ill, she had to go to another area to get an in-patient bed in a psychiatric hospital.
She said disabled people were now forced to go to job club for help with their job search, sometimes on a daily basis, after a capacity assessment at the benefits contractor Atos. This prevented them doing voluntary work.
When Allison subsequently hurt her leg, she waited 24 hours before getting a bed at the Royal Sussex County Hospital.
A protester called Ree led Love Activist Brighton protesters carrying banners saying: “Homelessness is not a crime.” And “Everybody has the right to housing”.
A homeless man was wearing a sweatshirt made in memory of his friend KC who died on the streets over Christmas. The shortage of housing in Brighton and Hove is acute but Ree and her team are campaigning to get the council leader Warren Morgan to prioritise people with no home and to stop criminalising homeless people.
This article was first published in Brighton and Hove News: read the full article here.