Manchester, 29 September 2013

Manchester, 29 September 2013

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Saturday, June 29, 2013

‘Lego brick poll’ shows that Rochdale wants decent social care services, not nuclear weapons

Rochdale and Littleborough Peace Group leafleted in Rochdale town centre on Saturday, 29 June 2013. They called for an end to all spending on the Trident nuclear weapons system and for all monies allocated to upgrading nuclear weapons to be transferred immediately to funding social care services. As striking Future Directions workers marched past their stall at the bottom of Yorkshire Street, the peace campaigners said that ‘Rochdale needs decent social care services, not nuclear weapons’. 

In what they dubbed a ‘Lego brick poll’, they asked Rochdale’s Saturday shoppers to choose whether they want their taxes spent on building ‘Decent Adult Care Services’ or on the ‘Trident nuclear weapons system’? An overwhelming majority chose ‘Decent Adult Care Services’. Many also signed postcards and petitions from the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament urging MPs to demand an end to Trident and its replacement.   

On behalf of the Peace Group, Philip Gilligan said,

“During recent years, people in Rochdale have been very much on the sharp end of cuts in essential local services. We have lost acute inpatient services across the board at Rochdale Infirmary, while our Council has been forced to slash tens of £millions from planned spending on essential services. Yet, the Government with support from the Labour Party’s national leadership continues to squander £2.2 billion every year on the Trident nuclear weapons system and refuses to abandon plans to develop even deadlier nuclear weapons of mass destruction which will cost an estimated £100billion.

Based on population, Rochdale’s share of the current costs of Britain’s nuclear arsenal already amounts to £7million per year, but the staggering cost to Rochdale of so-called ’Trident Replacement’ totals well over £300million. This is more money than the Council would need to restore and maintain all local services at uncut levels and to ensure that proper salaries are restored to those who provide them. Rochdale’s £300million could and should be spent, on the essential services people need. It is time to tell the government and all those who support retention of nuclear weapons that we want our taxes spent on decent local services not nuclear weapons.

A nuclear- free Britain would be £billions better off. Trident is a dangerous waste of public money”, he added.