CAMPAIGNERS protested in Bradford city centre today to raise awareness of proposed cuts to children’s services.

The protest, which took place outside The Broadway, was held ahead of Bradford Council’s public consultation closing tonight.

Bradford People’s Assembly and Unite the Union hosted the protest which brought together people from many different groups to inform the public about the plans to cut £13.3m from Children’s Services budget and axe nearly 500 staff jobs.

George Williamson of the BPA said: “Today’s protest has been the culmination of three months hard work to raise awareness of what the cuts mean and highlight concerns and raise questions.

We have raised many questions with Bradford Council about these proposals in different forums, but answers have not been given.

“Many of the people we spoke to today didn’t know about the plans and were shocked to hear that Bradford Council is planning such large cuts in children’s services. The fight will continue for as long as it needs to in order to defend these services.”

Protestors gave out over 1,500 leaflets to shoppers and engaged with hundreds of families to encourage them to have their say on the plans.

Bradford Families Against Children’s Services cuts, which has over 100 members on its Facebook group, were gathering signatures for a petition calling on Bradford Council not to implement cuts to Children’s services and to make public the full results from the consultation. This petition will be handed to the leader of the council, Susan Hinchcliffe, on Monday morning.

During the protests there was speeches from a children's centre worker in the Bradford West cluster, Karen Evans (Bradford Families Against Children’s Services Cuts) and David Ward a Liberal Democrat and Independents councillor at Bradford Council.

A spokesperson for Unite the Union added: “Unite has objected to these proposals since they were first brought to our attention and we will continue to oppose them. We believe that cutting nearly 500 will put the services and the families and children that use them at severe risk and we call on Bradford Council to urgently rethink these proposals.”

“Unite the Union in Bradford Council will always defend our members jobs as well as terms and conditions and work for the best interests of staff, the services and the public who use them”

Bradford People’s Assembly will meet on Tuesday, February 13, at 6pm at the Bradford Deaf Centre at 6pm in order to plan the next steps in the campaign.

More details can be found at their Facebook page.