The group Save our Services in Surrey (SOSiS) have been active for several years now and represent a range of political parties and ideas on the left of the spectrum. The thing that ties these diverse individuals together is a desire to fight for our public services in the county and an understanding that austerity is an ideologically-driven agenda that is wholly unnecessary.
Woking Labour Chair Barry Faulkner and newly elected vice chair Vicki Kirby have been attending meetings of the group in a personal capacity with a view towards building broad-based campaigns against austerity and attacks on council services.
On February 11th Barry (above, standing) spoke as part of a panel at a SOSiS meeting in Staines discussing “Corbynmania: keeping up the momentum”. The meeting was well attended by over 40 local people, and other speakers included Sean Hoyle, President of the RMT Union, and a junior doctor from St Peter’s Hospital.
A wide range of groups were in attendance, including Momentum disabled members, the Socialist Party, the Greens, Plane Stupid environmental campaigners and a Labour PPC. All those in attendance recognised the things they had in common and though there were also issues dividing individuals, everyone agreed to get behind the Labour leadership where possible, especially when it came to fighting attacks on the NHS and other essential public services.
We may come at issues from slightly different angles politically, but there is more that unites us than divides us. The entire meeting gave a rousing ovation to Holly, the junior doctor who spoke, and the justice of the doctors’ cause was universally accepted.
SOSiS will continue to campaign on issues of importance to Surrey residents, such as the “Justice for Zane” campaign seeking answers to the death of seven-year-old Zane Gbangbola in his family home in Chertsey in 2014.