Campaigners to march in attempt to save Jarrow walk-in centre

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Jarrow residents are increasing efforts to stop the closure of their walk-in centre by participating in the People’s March for the NHS.

Even after gaining more than 1500 signatures in a petition to save the centre, the people of Jarrow are still having to go to extreme lengths to avoid its closure.

On March 28, locals campaigning to save NHS services will join the People’s March for the NHS, in hope to prevent the closure of the walk-in centre that is relied upon by more than 27,000 local people.

Tony Dowling, 58, teacher and Chair of the North East People’s Assembly, who will be participating in the upcoming march, said: “Closure of the walk-in centre is the result of the Tory-led coalition government’s austerity measures.

“To really make a difference there is the need to build a broad-based mass movement against austerity which can build pressure upon whoever is in government.”

Jarrow Labour MP Stephen Hepburn made an appeal to the Deputy Prime Minister in the House of Commons last month to save the walk in after previous pleas to the Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Health had failed.

He said: “Some 27,000 people are going to be dumped on overloaded local GPs and A&Es. It is deliberate sabotage of the NHS, to get the private sector involved through the backdoor.”

Tony Dowling believes that organisations like the People’s March for the NHS and anti-austerity movements like the People’s Assembly Against Austerity are the key components for creating change in the North East.

He said: “We will need to continue to build and mobilise if we are to save the NHS as we know it and reverse the cuts, stop austerity and create the jobs and growth we need.”

Labour have said they will invest £2.5 billion in the NHS if they win at the next general election, something which would more than likely help Palmer’s walk in centre in Jarrow to stay open.

If anyone is interesting in joining the People’s March for the NHS, the event will take place on Saturday the March 28 at 11am, starting from Jarrow Town Hall car park.#####

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