I live in Tameside and this is my local area. It’s a very poor area with small pockets of the more wealthier individuals, and sometimes I view these vast differences much the same as Charles Dickens did when he wrote A tale of two cities. Those with the extra cash sometimes have no idea that so many are going without the very basics.
It’s not easy living in Tameside when you are poor, much the same as any other area in the country. Tameside is a name for an area which covers many small towns. Some of them quite rural, some of them urban.
There is a very high level of unemployment in Tameside combined with evil zero hour contracts, a very harsh DWP sanctioning regime and also universal credit which was piloted in Ashton Under Lyne.
We are hit from all angles. We have the bedroom tax to pay, the council tax supplement and combine this with the DWP sanctioning regeime it’s a disaster waiting to happen.
Food banks aren’t everywhere and aren’t easily accessible for all. When you’ve got no money then you can’t even consider public transport, and the food that food banks provide are just meant to keep you going, mainly to stop you from starving. In my eyes it’s a travesty that food banks even have to exist. The government is quite proud of their existence when in reality they should be holding their heads in shame.
When people are constantly hungry they become ill. Your immune system becomes depressed and I’m sure there has been an increase in doctors surgeries and my local hospital which is Tameside hospital. I can bet that nurses and doctors couldn’t believe the amount of malnutrition in their hospital. It must be like stepping back into Victorian times and is truly shocking.
It’s a complete travesty that a hospital has to hand out food to patients to take home. It’s nothing short of a national disaster. But ask this government if they care and the answer will be no.
But it’s getting worse. The local authority has got to make more cuts and many of them are going to be targeted at the poorest in Tameside and the services that are offered to the poorest in Tameside. I urge Tameside council to think again. By doing this then the situation is only going to get worse. I realise that your budget is being cut but please don’t take the lifeline away from those in the most need.
I will write later about our regular weekly demonstration yesterday. And once again I want to thank you for your support.