Church set for cuts fightback

Reverand Chris Key
Reverand Chris Key
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ANGRY residents will be taking to the streets tomorrow (Saturday) to try and force the Government into rethinking the crippling cuts handed down to Hastings.

With Hastings Borough Council facing a 50 per cent reduction in funding over the next four years, dozens of local churches have clubbed together to organise the Cut the Cuts petition.

It has already gone up on the internet and been distributed around town, but tomorrow’s event marks the official launch of the protest. Rev Chris Key, the rural dean of Hastings and St Leonards, is pleased with the response so far and is urging local people to throw their support behind the churches’ campaign.

He said: “I would say the vast majority of people I have spoken to have been really enthusiastic and happy to sign it, and not just church members but local organisations and businesses too.

“I have had enormous encouragement and people seem pleased that a non-political organisation like the church is doing something like this.”

Local church members will be going with the Right Rev Wallace Benn, Bishop of Lewes, to present the petition to the Government in April, and hope to have collected thousands of names by then.

In a statement, the local churches said: “The church has no political axe to grind, and knows that cuts are inevitable, but is calling for justice - and a fairer deal for Hastings.”

Tomorrow’s demonstration will take place in the town centre near Costa Coffee from 1pm and people can sign the petition online at www.gopetition.com/petition/43122/sign.html#se.