Chipping Norton Labour Party takes battle for an NHS 'rescue' package to the centre of town at the weekend

Members of Chipping Norton Labour Party took the national SOS NHS campaign into the heart of the town on Saturday.

By Roseanne Edwards
Tuesday, 1st March 2022, 3:18 pm
Updated Tuesday, 1st March 2022, 3:20 pm
Some of the Chipping Norton Labour members out in Market Square on Saturday. They are l - r Peter Buckman, Cllr Mike Cahill, Kate Whatman, county councillor Geoff Saul and Sue Richards
Some of the Chipping Norton Labour members out in Market Square on Saturday. They are l - r Peter Buckman, Cllr Mike Cahill, Kate Whatman, county councillor Geoff Saul and Sue Richards

Spokesman Steve Akers said the town's Labour members have given full backing to the SOS NHS Campaign - a newly launched coalition of organisations which have come together to say 'SOS NHS'.

Events were held all over the country on Saturday including Chipping Norton, Oxford and Witney in Oxfordshire. Members of Keep the Horton General Campaign and the GMB Banbury branch travelled to Oxford for its march from Cowley to the centre of the city for speeches.

"We are fully in support of the demands of the SOS NHS Campaign," said Mr Akers, Vice Chair of Chipping Norton Labour Party.

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The march in Oxford, which members of Keep the Horton General and the GMB Banbury branch attended

"This has been the hardest winter ever in health and social care. Emergency funds must be secured now to avert a disaster.

"We were out campaigning in the centre of Chipping Norton to demand emergency funding of £20 billion to save lives this winter, investment in a fully publicly-owned NHS and guaranteed free healthcare for future generations plus proper pay for staff. Without fair pay, staffing shortages will cost lives," he said.

Hundreds of leaflets and posters were distributed to Chippy residents and visitors by Chippy Labour members and supporters.

Keep the NHS Public helped to coordinate the Oxford march. The organisation said: "After almost 12 years of Conservative and Coalition Government austerity, years of cuts and privatisation of our NHS by stealth, a global pandemic which was defined by 'misconduct in public office' and now a major cost of living crisis and potential war, it can feel like there isn't any hope left.

NHS supporters display their anti-Health and Care Bill placard at the Oxford SOS NHS march

"The truth, however, is that campaigning works, Governments can and often are forced to make U-turns and are occasionally even pushed from office. Public consciousness can and does frequently shift and arguments are won.

"Keep Our NHS Public is a rapidly growing movement of people who care about the world we live in. We work with the widest coalition of campaigns, unions and other groups we can in order to save and improve one of the most vital parts of the social fabric that hold our society together, the NHS.

"We've been overwhelmed by how many have rushed to hold events up and down the country under the banner 'SOS NHS', with now over 70 groups backed by around 50 national organisations. It's an immense achievement. It will be heard. It will make an impact."

The Oxford SOS NHS march makes its way from Cowley to the city centre