Jarrow Crusade-style march to campaign for the NHS

editorial image

A CRUSADE aimed at evoking memories of the famous Jarrow March arrives in the town next weekend.

The People’s March for the NHS is a campaign dedicated to preserving the founding principles of the NHS and ensuring its staff are afforded the treatment they deserve.

The march – which deliberately echoes the Jarrow Crusade for jobs in 1936 – has already called to Tredgar in Wales and to Bristol.

On Saturday, March 28, marchers will gather in Jarrow.

The protesters will meet up with members of South Tyneside Public Service Alliance (PSA) at Jarrow Town Hall – where the original 200 marchers set off almost 79 years earlier.

The alliance has organised an event to highlight a last-ditch plan to save the under-threat Jarrow Walk-In Centre from closure.

Merv Butler, chairman of the Alliance, called on the public to turn out at 11am to hear a host of speeches from, among others, Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn.

He said: “It is vitally important that we prevent the closure of the facility. The event will focus on the need to keep it open and we want as many people there as possible to show their support.”

It seems clear that the outcome of the General Election will determine the centre’s fate. Labour has pledged to keep it open if elected.

The Conservatives are putting the decision in the hands of an independent adjudicator.

Mr Butler, branch secretary of Unison South Tyneside, added: “Labour’s shadow health secretary Andy Burnham has given his party’s assurance that it will be saved.”

Twitter: @shieldsgazpaul