More and more people are dying from cancer – there’s a solution, but the government won’t like it

Cancer deaths have increased in countries affected by austerity and unemployment according to a new study. However countries with universal health care, such as the NHS in the UK, were protected from these effects and had fewer deaths.

The study published in The Lancet estimated that 260,000 extra cancer deaths had occured in countries belonging to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), during the years 2008 to 2010, when the global recession was at its peak.

Seventy five high and middle income countries were included in the study, which investigated possible links between unemployment, public health care spending and cancer deaths. The data analysed is published by the …….


Read the rest at The Canary

Housing Crisis Boogie


Video illustrating the housing crisis in Manchester and Greater Manchester. With backing music from the ultimate bluesman John Lee Hooker.  Includes links to a petition asking Manchester City Council  to alleviate the housing crisis (previously reported on here). Please sign & share the petition.

Manchester City Council: Act to Alleviate the Housing Crisis

PETITION – PLEASE SIGN AND SHARE – THANK YOU!  Help the homeless and the ever increasing number living in fear of homelessness.

We the people of Manchester ask our representatives, Manchester City Council (MCC), to take the following measures with the aim of alleviating the housing crisis in Manchester and the Greater Manchester region:

1. Reverse the 2015 funding cuts, totalling £2,013,188, to Housing Related Support and the Homelessness Prevention Grant in Manchester.

2. Allocate Fifty percent of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) £300 million housing fund, and its investment returns for the building of social rented housing, either by the council or housing associations. If this is beyond the power of MCC, then as a member of the GMCA they must lobby central government to devolve said power to the GMCA.

3. Implement rent controls to prevent exorbitant rent rises in the private rented sector. If this is beyond the power of MCC, then as a member of the GMCA they must lobby central government to devolve said power to the GMCA.


Why is this important?

1. Homelessness

Housing Related Support (HRS) is used to prevent a crisis such as homelessness occurring. It provides advice to people on how to manage money and pay bills, and how to adhere to tenancy agreements. HRS covers permanent accommodation based services and floating support services that are utilised when needed. During a MCC executive council meeting on the 13th of February 2015 it was agreed to reduce Housing Related Support by £1,814,000 from an initial amount of £5,722,000.

During the same meeting it was decided the Homelessness Prevention Grant would be reduced by £199,188, from an initial amount of £729,188. This vital fund prevents people from becoming homeless by providing services such as debt advice, landlord mediation and help with finding a home.

The latest count of rough sleepers in Manchester City centre in 2015 was 70, which is a 63% rise on the 47 counted in 2014. The actual figures are likely to be much worse than this as the way the count is carried out (on one night of the year with in specific city centre locations) is generally regarded to under count the problem. The size of the discrepancy is indicated in a statement by Jenny Osborne  Senior Strategy Manager of Public Health Manchester. “Last year the headcount for rough sleepers was 47; we know that from the severe weather protocol we operated last year that 234 separate individuals accessed that provision during the cold weather period.”

Across England homelessness is increasing due to the incompetent housing policies and austerity agenda of the current Tory government. In 2014/15 there were 102,200 decisions taken by local authorities declaring households as being Statutory Homeless, a 10% increase from 2010/11. In the second quarter of 2015 the number of households in temporary accommodation was 66,980, a 33% increase on the second quarter of 2010. When levels of homelessness are increasing it is unacceptable to cut services aimed at preventing homelessness.


2. Social rented housing

The devolution deal has given the Greater Manchester Combined Authority control of a £300 million housing fund to promote house building. A large proportion of the housing fund has already been loaned to private property developers to build private housing with no provision for social rented housing. There is a severe shortage of social rented housing (council or housing association properties) in England. The total number of social rented properties built in England stands at 9,590 in 2014/15, which is a 75% drop from the figure of 38,950 built in 2010/11. The loss of social rented housing has resulted in huge waiting lists where people have little hope of receiving an offer of accommodation in a reasonable time. At least 50% of the housing fund should be allocated to housing associations or local authorities to allow building of much needed social rented housing.

3. Private rented housing

Tenants in the UK not only pay the highest average monthly rents in Europe (902 Euro/month), we also pay the largest percentage of our income (39.1%) to pay the rent. Between 2008-09 and 2012-13 average weekly rents in the private rented sector increased by 7% from £153 to £163, according to the English Housing Survey. The MEN reported in October 2015 that the average rental price of private properties in Greater Manchester has increased by 22.4% over 12 months. The increase in rents is compounded by a drop in real wages of almost 10% for the typical UK worker since 2008.

Manchester City Council must take action to alleviate the suffering caused by the housing crisis in Manchester and the wider Greater Manchester Region. This petition offers MCC the opportunity to tackle the housing crisis in the three major areas of homelessness, social rented housing provision and control of private rents; we sincerely hope that upon receiving this petition MCC will seriously consider implementing all proposals suggested.


Conrad Bower (38 Degrees Manchester & Unite the Union Grt. Man. Community Branch)
John Clegg (Branch Secretary, Unite the Union Grt. Man. Community Branch)

‘Manchester City Council: Act to Alleviate the Housing Crisis’ petition sponsored by:
Unite the Union Greater Manchester Community Branch

38 Degrees Manchester

Manchester & Salford Housing Action – next event Friends Meeting House 25/01/15

Equality Northwest


Support the junior doctors strike

The junior doctors have recently voted for strike action by a staggering 98%. In my opinion this is a pivotal struggle that will determine the future of the NHS. It is imperative that the public are seen to be supporting this action in overwhelming numbers to oppose the bad press which will be generated by this strike, by the likes of Murdoch’s media monopoly.

This is a drastic action that the junior doctors have been forced to adopt, and lives may be put at risk. But that risk is miniscule when compared to the future good health of our nation that is threatened by government plans for the NHS.

The longer this struggle continues the less likely it is to succeed. Thats why I think we should all support this strike action by showing up at the picket lines on the days of action and show our support. If this action fails there will be no stopping the further privatisation of the NHS, this is the moment to act!

The days of action will be on the 1st, 8th and 16th of December, I will be there in Manchester supporting the Junior Doctors. If you are able, I urge you to do the same.


And here is Jim Naughtie’s pronunciation of Hunt, as unforgettably uttered on Radio 4’s Today program. It cracks me up every time I hear it 😉

Seeds of resistance sown at housing crisis event in Salford

A Manchester Housing Action event took place in Salford on Sunday, aiming to bring together local people and groups working to find solutions to the housing crisis. The free public event included contributions from Generation Rent, The Radical Housing Network and Focus E15.

Speakers from Focus E15 shared their victories in preventing evictions and disrupting housing conferences in London, offering advice on how similar victories could be attained in Greater Manchester.

The housing crisis is showing no signs of abating. In Greater Manchester, 3,971 tenants were evicted for rent arrears (Apr 2013 to Mar 2015), the highest two year level recorded over the last ten years, according to a report in the Manchester Evening News.

Manchester City Council’s annual count of rough sleepers in Manchester during a night in November 2014 came to 43; it was 7 in 2010. Local charities estimate that the real number is double that of the annual official count.

The event at Islington Mill in Salford was well attended by residents of Salford and Manchester, who had much to contribute during the discussion sessions. Steve North, a Unison Union member spoke of his experience of private renting. He had been in 13 properties in 13 years and now fears he will never get a permanent home for his family.

“Our rights are non-existent,” said North, who expressed that he did not feel able to challenge housing issues as he would issues at work.

Along with North, John Clegg from Unite in the Community Greater Manchester Branch also pledged union support for campaigns fighting for tenants rights.

Members of Focus E15, a London based grass roots campaign for decent housing for all, travelled to Salford to speak at the event. Emer Mary Morris has been a Focus E15 member since 2014, when the group occupied flats on the Carpenter Council Estate in East London, which had been left boarded up and empty for years. Morris also spoke of Focus E15 actions in disrupting the MIPIM UK international property fair last year:

Emer Mary Morris of Focus E15

Emer Mary Morris of Focus E15

“We dressed up as delegates going to the conference and actually rushed the doors and got the conference closed down for a couple of hours, while Boris Johnson was meant to be the next speaker.

“It was a really playful celebratory attitude that particularly Focus E15 bring to the protest. It’s not about being violent or anything, we are actually being very celebratory.”

This year’s MIPIM conference, which began yesterday, is taking place at Olympia in London. Both Salford City Council and Manchester City Council will have stands there, with the cost of the stands being up to £505 per square metre according to a report in the Salford Star, which describes the conference as ‘the largest property orgy in the country’.

Pollyanna Steiner is a community organiser for Generation Rent, a national campaign for tenants rights, and one of the organisers for the event along with Kate Hardy and Tom Gillespie. Steiner was happy with progress made during the meeting.

“It was a forum for freedom of expression about housing issues people are experiencing, and a safe place for sharing that. It was a space for progressing and exchanging ideas about how to organise against the kind of issues we are seeing in the housing crisis; for example, resistance to eviction and how to collaborate and share resources when you have so much taken away at a community level.”

Kate Hardy, a member of Feminist Fightback, was involved with the Focus E15 campaign in London. When she met Pollyanna they had the idea of inviting Focus E15 members up to talk about their work in London. Hardy said:

“There is a serious housing crisis in Manchester, which I think has been relatively hidden up to now.

“You can obviously see that there is the Ark and there is visible street homelessness, but what hasn’t been quite talked about is the kind of things we heard today, about tenants having their leases changed, very poor conditions and lots of attacks on people with disabilities. It has really made visible all the different strands of the housing crisis that are happening in Manchester.”

When asked what advice she would give to the people of Greater Manchester struggling with housing issues, Morris answered simply: “talk to each other.”

“The strongest power they have against us is that they isolate us and try to make people feel alone. The more that you talk to each other, the more you realise other people are going through exactly the same thing that you are. The more you gather together and start organising and talking, the more you can build a consistent movement and fight back.”

Conrad Bower

First published in the Manchester MULE, October 21st 2015

Further Information:
Generation Rent –
Focus E15 –
The Radical Housing Network –
The campaign established as a result of the event is, Manchester & Salford Housing Action –

Housing crisis: when does a crisis become a disaster?

Greater Manchester is being hard hit by the housing crisis just like the rest of the country. Tory incompetence in housing policy is pushing many people to the brink of homelessness, while more fall over that precipice every day.

The housing crisis is nothing new, there has been an awareness of the growing problem ever since the Right to Buy policy was introduced in 1980 by the Thatcher led Tory government. The policy gave 5 million council house tenants the right to buy their home from the local council at discount prices, due to the lack of new council houses being built this led to a severe depletion in council housing stock. The decrease in housing stock was exacerbated by the fall in council house building, by local authorities, to insignificant levels by 1996. The graph below also illustrates that the loss of a large proportion of new build houses that were council houses pre 1980 has not been filled by the efforts of Housing Associations and private enterprise.

Source – Dept for Communities and Local Government, via BBC News

Source – Dept for Communities and Local Government, via BBC News

Lack of new social housing

In an attempt to increase the amount of affordable housing the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (section 106) was introduced. This required a new housing development, of over 15 dwellings, to provide a set proportion of affordable housing, that proportion being 20% in Manchester. The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), a fixed rate tax on new developments, was also introduced in 2010 with the intention of it funding infrastructure projects to support the local area.

In 2013, Financial Viability Assessments (FVA) was introduced to the Section 106 affordable housing requirements. This meant that property developers could appeal against their obligations to provide affordable housing if they could show, by a viability appraisal, that doing so would reduce their profit margin too much, making the development non-viable. The problem with these viability appraisals is that they are presented by expensive property consultancies in a complex and impenetrable manner. ‘Councils just don’t have the expertise to challenge viability reports… We can’t argue back’, a senior planning officer was reported to say in the Guardian.

A major problem with FVAs is their lack of transparency as they are not subject to scrutiny. In a freedom of information request to Manchester City Council, it was revealed that MCCs financial viability assessment plan is not available to: the public, local councillors, local authority planning committee’s or local authority scrutiny committees. MCC also admitted that they did not get independent validation of FVAs using the Government District Valuer Service.

The Salford Star reported how in twelve months developers managed to dodge planning fees of over £19 million and avoided paying for over 800 affordable homes by submitting FVAs that showed they would not make sufficient profit. Yet those same property developers were still making up to £24 million in profit on each contract.

Devo Manc

The Devo Manc deal incorporates a £300 million housing fund, to build 10,000 – 15,000 homes over ten years, that is under the control of the newly appointed interim Greater Manchester (GM) Mayor Tony Lloyd. You may have hoped that this fund would be used to address the severe shortage of affordable housing; sadly that is not the case.

Another report from the Salford Star showed that £42.6 million of the GM housing fund has already been loaned to property developers to build on sites including Trinity Way in Salford and the contentious Pomona site in Trafford. Salford City Council failed to collect £1.28 million CIL for the Trinity way site, and lost the opportunity to build 76 affordable homes due to the developers FVA.

Gerald Kaufman pointed out at a recent public meeting on Devo Manc that £300 million was just ‘a drop in the ocean’ towards Greater Manchester’s housing needs, and that over ten years it amounts to only £3 million per borough per year.

Housing bubble

The shortage of housing is one of the major factors resulting in the rocketing price of housing. After the economic crash in 2007/8 the housing market was the first thing to recover as the rest of the economy struggled; despite the fact that an inflated housing market in the USA was one of the major factors in precipitating the economic crash. In July 2015 the Office for National Statistics stated the average price of a house in the UK was £282,000. The average wage in the UK is £24,648 gross, which only enables that person to take out a mortgage on a house worth £110,000.

In the Guardian, Owen Jones pointed out the hypocrisy of a Tory party calling itself the party of home ownership. ‘There are almost 250,000 fewer English and Welsh homeowners since David Cameron became prime minister. Even more staggeringly, the number of homeowners aged below 34 has plummeted by 50%’. He went on to describe how home ownership had dropped to its lowest level in three decades, and how the Tory ‘Help to Buy‘ scheme was inflating house prices.

Private rented sector

An inevitable outcome of the factors mentioned is that the private rented sector is booming, where people pay substantially higher rents for lower quality accommodation when compared to social housing. Private landlords now own one in five homes, and 4 out of 10 council houses sold with the Right to Buy scheme are also owned by private landlords. Private renters also have to deal with the insecurity of short term contracts and the ill health that often accompanies poor housing conditions. In 2010 the Building Research Establishment estimated it costs the NHS £600 million a year to deal with ill health caused by poor housing, another avoidable burden on our overstretched health system.

Generation Rent is an organisation fighting for change in the private rented sector. Their website states that private renting has doubled in the last decade, and that around a third of renters have had to cut back on food and heating. They campaign for improvements in: affordability, professional management (i.e. a national register of landlords), security of tenure and living conditions; and encourage people to lobby their local MP to improve private renting.

Source: National Housing Federation, via The Guardian

Source: National Housing Federation, via The Guardian

Tenants in the UK not only pay the highest average rents in Europe, they also pay the largest percentage of their income to pay the rent (see graph above). Along with house prices, rents have also risen. Between 2008-09 and 2012-13 average weekly rents increased in the private rented sector by 7% from £153 to £163, according to the English Housing Survey.

The problem of the 7% rise in rents is compounded by the drop in real wages. The International Labour Organisation reported in 2013 that the average real wage in the UK had fallen by 7.1%, relative to the average wage in 2007.


Insecure short term private rental contracts and shortage of social housing combined with cuts to social security and housing benefits, has seen a steady rise in homelessness in Greater Manchester and across the UK.

According to government figures, in the first quarter of 2014 the number of households accepted as statutorily homeless was 12,540; this had risen to 13,650 by the last quarter, a rise of 8.9 %. The number of English households in temporary accommodation rose from 58,440 to 61,970 between 31st March and 31st December 2014, a rise of 6%. Manchester City Councils annual count of rough sleepers in Manchester on one night last November came to 43, it was 7 in 2010; local charities estimate that the real number is double that of the annual official count.

Homelessness can only get worse with the cuts, £46 billion over 5 years, to social security announced by George Osborne. The removal of housing benefit entitlement from 18 to 21 year olds threatens a group who are already suffering rates of unemployment 3 times that of the general population. According to information published by Shelter the removal of housing benefit from 18 to 21 year olds will affect 19,894 people in the UK. Not all of these will have the option of living with family members as 62% of young people become homeless because friends and relatives will no longer accommodate them, often due to relationship breakdown. Housing benefit also pays for temporary and emergency accommodations such as hostels and domestic violence refuges. Cutting this benefit can only result in more young people, our future, sleeping rough.

A report by Crisis called ‘At what cost’ provides a compelling argument of the economic folly that allowing homelessness to persist and rise engenders. It estimates the cost to the taxpayer, over a year, of preventing a person becoming homeless or letting that person become homeless. In the examples presented (based on real costs and experiences of the homeless) it estimates the extra cost to the taxpayer of not preventing homelessness ranges between £3,000 and £19,000 per person.

Government Policy

So what is the current Tory government doing about tackling this crisis started by a previous Tory government in the 80s? Every policy this government pursues appears to make the problem worse. Along with the mentioned Right to Buy, Help to Buy, social security cuts and removing housing benefit from under twenty one year olds the following policies also exacerbate the housing crisis:

  • extending the ‘Right to Buy’ to housing association properties
  • forcing councils/ housing associations to sell their most expensive properties
  • bedroom tax
  • abolishing demands that developers provide a certain amount of affordable housing to rent in new developments
  • cuts to local authority Homelessness Services

Although the Tories are primarily to blame for this crisis, the previous Labour government and current Labour councils have done nothing to address the problem. Our political system has become so short sighted that it struggles to see beyond its own nose. Having only knee jerk reactions to whatever the mainstream media deems an important issue at the time, resulting in incoherent, disjointed and more importantly ineffective strategies to deal with problems like housing.

When does a crisis become a disaster? The answer is it already has, for the ever increasing number of homeless people on our streets; every day there are more living on the brink of disaster due to the austerity measures pursued by this government. The Tory agenda is to provide more security for those who already have it and less security for those who most need it, a cynical ploy to secure support amongst their voters. Everyone needs to stand up, be counted and become active if we are to oppose these Tory designs to take our society back to the Dark Ages.

Conrad Bower

Previously published in the Manchester Mule, 16th of October 2015

Devo Manc: regional devolution and inequality debate

Green Party energy spokesperson Andrew Cooper spoke about the pitfalls of the Devo Manc deal, as it currently stands, to a large audience at the Friends’ Meeting House.

The discussion on regional devolution and inequality, organised by Equality Northwest, was billed for the 11th of September with Natalie Bennett, leader of the Green Party, as the guest speaker, but she pulled out last minute to take part in BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions programme.

Cooper talked about his investigations into how democratically accountable the elected mayor model is, using the recent Scottish Referendum as an example of a referendum result that is expected to stand for a generation. In contrast, the Manchester mayoral election where the result was resoundingly in favour of not having a mayor has been discarded within a few years.

He described the whole process as being autocratic due to the limited number of people and the secrecy involved in making the deal. When Chancellor George Osborne announced the deal, he said that the agreement has been reached “after several months of private discussions with local representatives from all three parties, I have reached agreement with the civic leaders of Greater Manchester to create the first metro-wide elected mayor outside of London”. The decision came as a shock to the majority in Greater Manchester (GM).

George Osborne and the civic leaders of GM announcing Devo Manc.

George Osborne and the civic leaders of GM announcing Devo Manc. Photo: Manchester Evening News

For Cooper there was no sense in “transferring power from a remote centralised government to a remote centralised individual”, in his eyes the major reason for pushing the devolution deal is to delegate the responsibility for cuts to local authorities. He felt that an elected assembly for GM with the power to raise taxes locally would be a better deal for the people.

Devo Manc allows a directly elected mayor of Greater Manchester to be installed as head of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) with these responsibilities & powers:

  • Increased strategic planning powers
  • new £300m housing investment fund, projected construction of 15,000 homes in 10 years
  • local transport control, ability to operate franchised bus services and integrated tickets
  • welfare-to-work schemes, with dedicated £100m budget, to allow 50,000 places
  • existing local authority social care and health budgets combined and controlled by GMCA
  • greater control of further education and business support, earn back up to £30 million tax for growth created

The interim mayor Tony Lloyd was appointed in May 2015 by the 10 local authority leaders that make up the GMCA, he will be in post until 2017 when the elected mayor is appointed.

After Cooper’s speech, the panel was opened up for a Q&A session from the audience. The panel included David Fernandez, founder of the Greater Manchester Referendum Campaign, Neil McInroy, chief executive of the Centre for Local Economic Strategies and chair Allan Wort of Equality Northwest and 38 Degrees Manchester.

Fernandez was keen to see a ‘Barnett’ like formula to secure a fixed level of expenditure for Greater Manchester: “Osborne decides what we get”, he said. “We have no protection whatsoever to any decision to pull the rug from under us, and that is a form of power and control.”

McInroy questioned the dubious philosophy underlying Devo Manc in which “health is seen as a cost rather than an investment” and questioned whether better health can be delivered by declining budgets. A “broad and deep democracy” is what a devolution deal should provide for the residents of Greater Manchester, according to McInroy, with the ability to manage the economy at a local scale.

The supreme vindication and definition of a representative government is eloquently expressed in the words of Abraham Lincoln in his Gettysburg speech with the phrase “government of the people, by the people, for the people” – the general consensus of the people during the debate was that Devo Manc fails on all three counts.

Wort was pleased with the event: “Around 200 people gave up their Friday night to participate in a full-throated discussion with experts on regional devolution and inequality”, he said. “Our audience is now not only better informed but rarin’ to go in making our society a better place to live.”

For more information, see Equality Northwest, 38 Degrees Manchester, Centre for Local Economic Strategies and the Greater Manchester Referendum Campaign.

First published in Manchester Mule, 18th of September 2015

Conrad Bower

Anniversary demonstration outside Ashton Under Lyne job centre

Tameside Against The Cuts has been protesting outside Ashton Under Lyne Job centre for the last twelve months. Supporters of the campaign gathered outside Ashton job centre to mark a year of continuous campaigning against the policies of the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). Charlotte Hughes an Ashton resident and founding member of the campaign said they were there because of “the evil sanctioning system, the way the people in the job centre are treated, actually the whole DWP regime.”

On a wet Thursday (6th August) afternoon around 25 people gathered outside the job centre to protest against austerity driven DWP policies such as sanctioning , workfare and universal credit. Hughes has been demonstrating outside the Ashton job centre every Thursday, and is pleased with its success in highlighting the plight of the unemployed and low paid people in our society ,who are bearing the brunt of the austerity policies of the Tory party. Blogging is a strategy Hughes has adopted to record and publicise the campaign, The Poor Side of Life documents the struggles of individuals harshly treated by sanctions and other policies ,which often go unreported in the mainstream press.

Sanction of benefits, which can last up to three years, are the subject of much controversy and their use by the DWP has been on the increase. In 2013-14 there were 900,000 people sanctioned who were claiming job seekers allowance (JSA), and that figure was only released by the DWP due to a freedom of information request.
The DWP has been criticised over its lack of transparency in its data and that the monthly statisitics on sanctions (usually around 5%) are misleading and that annual figures (Guardian estimate is around 17%) should be published; the UK statistics watchdog has warned the DWP to ensure their statistics are “objective and impartial”. Another freedom of information request by Disabled People Against Cuts revealed that 1 in 5 benefit related deaths concerned sanctions; the DWP, after employing extensive delaying tactics, have promised to release the full statistics on deaths/suicides linked to sanctions in the Autumn.

Charlotte Hughes

Charlotte Hughes

Hughes was particularly worried about new policies affecting social security claimants “they [DWP] are trying to get disabled people, and carers, back to work illegaly…They are bringing them in and telling them they have to go back to work, when they don’t ”. Hughes is adamant that the DWP are giving carers and disabled people incorrect information about returning to work due to background research she has done on the subject which is published on her blog.

Members of Unite in the Community Greater Manchester branch (UCGM) were also present, with flags and banners supporting the campaign. Norma Turner is the chair person of UCGM and spoke of her reasons for being there “as a branch we are supporting the poorest members of society who are having to pay for the excesses of the rich. Whats happening is that people receiving social security are being treated really badly, being sanctioned and driven more and more into poverty and homelessness”. Turner described the benefits to unemployed people of joining the union, such as legal advice, education and debt/financial advice. She also spoke of how being in the union helped people to support each other in times of need and that “in solidarity there is strength”.

The importance of educating the public on the policies of the DWP and there effects on people was an important issue to Turner “people need to be aware that the government are really demonising anyone that is signing on and sending people to workfare. These workfare places are not real job opportunities, they are just stacking shelves or sorting out clothing in charity shops.”

The campaign is set to continue as the DWP has shown no let up in pursuit of its policies. Hughes is determined to keep up the pressure and has vowed to keep the protest going when the Job Centre moves to its new location in Ashton town centre even though “they have told us we can’t demonstrate outside there…they say its private land but it isn’t, that part isn’t private land; so bring it on that’s what I say.”