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Neither Lord Mandelson or Mr Miliband were interested in meeting with Keep Metro Public or Stop the War coalition on Friday – no surprise there. However the substantial number of protesters certainly made themselves heard – apparently the two Ms were in the canteen just inside the Lisle Road entrance and were bound to hear the protesters. It was also reported that Alistair Darling had come along to join the local Labour luvvies. My, my three cabinet ministers in our town…

Keep Metro Campaign chair Vicki Gilbert said

We had a very good response from the 50 people leafletted and Stop the War had about 40 people out. It was good humoured and no trouble as they said on newcastle radio, though they did not mention what we were protesting about.

It was important to send a message to these senior cabinet members that we will not quietly accept privatisation of our public services.

In contrast, we send congratulations to Independent Councillor George Waddle for leading a debate on this issue in South Tyneside Council last Thursday and finally securing a vote on the Metro privatisation. The Labour Group had resisted such a vote for well over a year. The vote was carried on the resolution “We call upon South Tyneside Council to do everything possible to ensure that the Metro system is retained in public ownership.”


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