Meanwhile across the city local meetings continue to plan further action. For example last Thursday members of Save our Services met with children and young people from Arthurs Hill in Fenham, who regularly attend play sessions at the Murray House Recreation centre. Older young people participate in ‘Nightreach’ detached youth work sessions run by youth workers from a voluntary sector youth project in partnership with Newcastle City Youth Service staff. These take place on the nearby New Mills Estate, where many of them live. This initiative has also led to them developing a boys’ group and a girls’ group. Many also use the nearby Moorside Library for access to books and computers and as a base for homework groups. As of April 1st, if Newcastle City Council’s proposed cuts go through, these services will be deleted leaving young people with nowhere to go, nowhere to socialise and learn within their community.
“Tell everyone around the world to stop all our places getting closed down. This centre- Murray House has loads of people.”
“They are good for your education. Libraries are good for your education and they are shutting them down?!”
“I’m angry for swimming pools they are getting shut down. It’s fun, it’s the only place I go out with the school.”
“It makes us sad, it’s just going to be boring. Our estate is getting dull. It gives us something to do.”
Monday we go with the youth workers then Nunsmoor and Murray House on other nights. If they take it away we don’t have nowhere to go
“They can’t close the libraries because that’s where we go to do our homework cos it’s quiet, and when we are there the older people are there too. They are playing Scrabble.”
“Don’t Sh Sh us, we want to keep noisy to let people know that Libraries are important and is about to close. Keep the Library OPEN. Protest 10:30am 2nd Feb!”
Everyone is involved in helping to organise the USE YOUR SERVICES DAY OF ACTION on Saturday, 2nd February in Arthurs Hill, Fenham Newcastle around the slogans of SAVE OUR PLAY SERVICE, SAVE OUR YOUTH SERVICE, SAVE MOORSIDE LIBRARY. For more information go to https://www.facebook.com/events/412452572166723/
And for theoretical nourishment to the argument for saving public services, read Roy Ratcliffe’s piece, Defending Public Services.
He argues that “when public sector workers and others are defending the welfare state, education and local government provisions, they are not only defending their own jobs and the services upon which other people rely, they are wittingly or unwittingly defending a potentially valid transitional method of producing goods and services, and should be supported. In this sense, a future post-capitalist mode of production has already been partly revealed or revealed in embryo; by the unintended actions of pro-capitalist governments during the period of late 20th century capitalist post-war reconstruction.”