Hundreds of protesters with pots and pans are expected to descend on Lewisham this weekend for a noisy demonstration against the council’s cuts. Reporters KELLY SMALE and NINA MASSEY find out more.

THE Carnival against Cuts, which has been organised by Lewisham People Before Profit and Lewisham Anti-Cuts Alliance, will take place across the borough on Saturday (February 19).

People are being encouraged to gather outside libraries, banks and children’s centres from 11am until noon to sing, chant, hand out leaflets and bang saucepans in opposition to the cuts.

Demonstrators will then assemble outside the town hall at 1pm for a march past Lewisham Hospital and Ladywell Leisure Centre, finishing with a rally on the grassy area on the corner of Lewisham High Street and Rennell Street.

Campaign organiser John Hamilton said: “Steve Bullock should be saving the essential services in Lewisham such as libraries, street wardens and nurseries.

“His job is to say to central government ‘this is not possible’.”

Mr Hamilton added: “This is the first chance we have really had to make our voices heard in a unified way.

“I think the people of Lewisham are waking up to the idea that together we can do something.”

Demonstrations will take place in 34 locations across the borough.

Protesters can wave their banners and placards from 11am outside the Jenner Health Centre in Stanstead Road, Forest Hill; New Cross Library in New Cross Road and Barclays Bank in Bromley Road, Downham.

There will also be demonstrations outside Connexions and Opening Doors in Lewisham High Street and Clyde Nursery in Alverton Street, Deptford.

The Lewisham branch of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) will be joining the carnival.

Lewisham NUT branch secretary Martin Powell-Davies said: “We are very concerned about the proposed cuts. They are going to cause damage to education in the borough.

“We are urging as many teachers as possible to attend the carnival so we can demonstrate en masse.”

Other groups supporting the demonstration include the Public and Commercial Services Union, Goldsmiths University and College Union, Socialist Party, Madcap Coalition, Right to Work and Alliance for Workers Liberty.

A Lewisham Council spokesman said: “Government cuts mean we have to find savings of £88m over the next four years and as part of this process we have carried out an extensive consultation with residents.

“We appreciate people have the right to express their opinions and demonstrate."

A protest is also planned for 8am on Thursday (FEB 17) outside the town hall before the mayor and cabinet meeting where Sir Steve will be deciding on more cuts.

Lewisham Anti-Cuts Alliance will supply breakfast.

Carnival of Cuts demonstrations across the borough

Protesters will be singing, chanting and banging on saucepans at the following locations:

- Bellingham Green Playclub in Randlesdown Road, Bellingham

- Blackheath Library in Blackheath Grove, Blackheath

- Lewisham College in Lewisham Way, Brockley

- Brockley Rise Adult Education Centre in Brockley Rise, Forest Hill

- Convoys Wharf in Grove Street, Deptford

- Barclays Bank in London Road, Forest Hill

- Grove Park Library and Grove Park Playclub in Somertrees Avenue

For a full list, visit carnivalofcuts.org.uk