We started the day with a visit to the Arena community centre before heading over to Cotmanhay Sure Start centre where their nursery has been closed since February due to a lack of funding. Afterwards, we headed to Ilkeston high street to hear from local traders how their businesses have been affected by austerity.
Visiting projects and town centres across the North East, we heard about issues including the growth of loan sharking and pay day loans, the state of local High Street businesses, the harm caused by welfare reform, and the effect the proposed privatisation of Royal Mail could have on service users.
Today, the Austerity Uncovered tour visited Carlisle city centre to hear from shoppers and workers about the problems of pay day lending, as well as how a living wage might benefit the area. Thanks to everyone who shared their experiences and filled in an "Austerity Uncovered" speech bubble...
A very busy day visiting voluntary organisations across the city to talk with organisers and service users. Our first stop was at the Unison annual delegate conference at the Echo Arena in Liverpool. We then travelled to Kirby Unemployed Workers’ Centre, the Ellergreen Road Community Centre, the West Everton Centre and Hugh Baird College. Finally, we hit the Strand in Bootle to speak to passers-by.
Our day began with a visit to Cannock and District Foodbank where David Spencer, pictured, showed us around and told us they'd fed around 1,100 people in their first year. We then headed into the town centre to hear the stories of local residents before finishing the day with a visit to the BI Linecross factory, where 120 jobs were put on the line when the firm was placed into receivership last year.