Trade unions and campaigners held a lively lobby of Lewisham Council's Mayor and Cabinet meeting this evening. The meeting was held to push through the first part of their £60M cuts package.
Users of the services being cut - like the five local libraries - joined with trade unions and their banners from NUT, GMB, UNITE, UNISON and UCU.
Most of the cuts were agreed - but only after the meeting had to be adjourned for half an hour after protestors disrupted the meeting. The pressure from the libraries campaign meant that these closures were 'deferred' for the time being. However, the cuts targets won't have gone away and so these - and other services - are still vulnerable.
Unermployed users of the 'Opening Doors' employment advice centre pleaded to the councillors to save their service - but to no avail. The irony of cutting a service to help the unemployed at the same time as putting through 400 more job cuts was clearly lost on the Mayor and Cabinet.
But the size of the Lobby - joined by students and school students too - shows that the fightback against the cuts is growing.
I appealed to the union delegations present to go back and demand that their Executives agree to co-ordinate strike action alongside the NUT in the New Year.