Not 100%: Something I am very passionate about

I know I only write a little blog. I’m blessed with the readers I have, and for everyone who follows me I feel privileged – as someone actually wants to read what I have to say. It makes me very happy to share these posts, and to read other people’s. I love the community I have found here.

Despite that, I’m going to try and use this blog for something that really matters to me, and I apologise for attempting to publicise a cause on here. But it’s something that’s barely heard about anywhere else…and I suppose every little counts. 

Most of you know, my home town is Newcastle. It’s a beautiful city, but it’s fallen on hard times of late – especially since the Tory party took over and imposed huge cuts on local councils around the country. In order to be able to meet social care needs, art funding is going to be cut by – wait for it – 100%.

Arts isn’t the only one to go, it’ll be cut along with youth provision and respite care for parents of disabled children. By 2016, even with these cuts, social care will be restricted to critical interventions only – meaning many people cared for at home will be forced to go to hospital. 

A 300% increase in people sleeping on the streets, and a vast increase in council tax due to a whole array of welfare reforms they’ll be bringing into play means that the future of my home town is looking darker than it has in a long time.

I love my city. I consider myself lucky to have grown up there. The people are friendly, the architecture is beautiful – and it is one of the most cultural cities in the UK, if not the world. The Sage is an internationally renowned centre for music, we have some of the best art galleries in the country. What will happen to them when they cut arts funding?

What will the youth do without any kind of provision or funding? How will parents cope with disabled children? What about the elderly, recovering or disabled people who might not want to be forced to live in hospital or in a care home?

I haven’t seen anything like the extent of these cuts in London. But it’s made me so angry with our current central government. They are so blind to the needs of the population.

I understand we need to make a change. That we’re in debt. But you know something? Since making these cuts, the deficit has not gone down. Not even a little bit. In fact, it has increased. So where is the money even going? And why are the poorer people bearing the brunt of these austerity measures?

I would just love David Cameron and his cronies to live a day in the life of an unemployed man in Newcastle, or a homeless person there in winter, or one of the many women who are now being pushed to work in strip clubs in order to make ends meet. Maybe then they’d have a bit of common sense, and possibly consider the effects of what they’re doing.

And not feel that the £107 000 tax cut they are giving millionaires in this country is quite so crucial after all.

I apologise for this rant, I realise many of the people reading this do not even live in the UK – but it’s something that really matters to me, as I know so many of my family and my friends will be affected – as well as the place that I grew up. Being a sentimental sod and all that. But I felt I should say something.

Here’s an article if you’d be interested in reading more:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/jan/08/newcastle-council-nick-forbes-cuts

And here’s a petition that you could sign, if so inclined…the government has to look at it once it gets a certain amount of signatures. Unfortunately it’s nowhere near there. It is only about the arts…but perhaps it could draw their attention to what our councils are being forced to do in order to make ends meet…

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/44925

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2 thoughts on “Not 100%: Something I am very passionate about”

  1. As a public educator I have watched arts funding be dismantled over time in my home state of Wisconsin. It’s incredibly unfortunate and more than shortsighted. Like you in the UK, we are battling over what some want to call entitlement programs. These are simply social programs for people who need support. As these programs continue to be cut, like you I do not see a decrease in our debt. The world continues to get smaller on a daily basis and our problems become more universal. Best wishes to you on your petition.

    1. I don’t know much about social programs in the US, so they’re being cut too? Hmm. It seems this deficit has us all in trouble creek without a paddle. Oh well. Thank you very much for reading.

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