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On Tuesday 7th June, over 30 Horsforth residents gathered for a community meeting, organised by Horsforth Against Cuts, to discuss Andrew Lansley’s Health and Social Care Bill and the devastating cuts that the NHS is facing.

Tanis Belsham-Wray, Aireborough & Horsforth Socialist Party

The first speaker was Robbie from Socialist Health Association who spoke on the effect the Health and Social Care Bill would have on the NHS and about the mass opposition to this bill from majority of health professionals, who are the ones who understand the most on the system and how it works. Jackie Grunsell, a Huddersfield-based GP and Socialist Party member followed, speaking on the campaigns against the bill and the other devastating cuts to the NHS, linking the NHS campaign with many other anti-cuts campaigns and joining forces on a united front against all cuts.

This opened up the discussion with a lively debate with a large range of views and ideas. A local resident spoke of her memories before the NHS and how much of a difference it has made on people’s lives and its importance in our society and we must defend it. This feeling to defend the NHS and how valued it is was shared by everyone in the room. There was also talk on effects on the government’s plans for the NHS both locally and nationally as well as how other areas in the community (for example, schools) have been affected.

The anger aroused in the meeting showed how even quieter communities like Horsforth can be rallied against the attacks on the health service. This meeting, alongside the recent 200 strong Keep Our NHS public demo in Leeds, shows the potential for a mass campaign to defeat not just the attacks on the NHS, but all the cuts to public services.