Saturday 15 September 2012 may well prove to be a red letter day as far as cuts to local NHS healthcare services. I, with my wife and eldest son joined some 1,000 people who marched from Southall to Ealing Common along the Uxbridge Road. There we were joined by some 400 people who had marched from Acton to Ealing Common. The 1,400 or so people who attended the rally on the Common enjoyed speeches for all three Ealing MPs, Hammersmith’s Labour MP Andy Slaughter, Ealing’s Council Leader and senior Trade Unionists. As ever the most rousing and passionate speech came from Steve Pound Ealing North’s Labour MP. Not surprisingly Ealing Central and Acton’s Conservative MP Angie Bray got a mixed reaction from the crowd.
This is the largest protest march and rally I have ever seen in Ealing – and I have lived here more or less continuously for over 40 years.
Many of the marchers waived placards, blew noisy horns and one of them was banging a very loud drum. Young and old, rich and poor, Tories, Labour supporters, LibDems, Councillors, MPs, socialists, NHS staff, teachers’ unions, and many Southall residents took part. Southall is the most deprived part of the borough and has the highest prevalence of diabetes, tuberculosis and coronary heart disease in Ealing.
Ealing Conservatives were very active in distributing copies of the 80 page NHS NW London consultation document along with a simple guide on how to ‘legally’ express your view to retain Ealing Hospital’s Accident and Emergency Department.