Organisers of a protest in Lincoln against the proposed closure of the Lincoln Walk-In-Centre have announced final timings and the route for the demonstration.
As reported previously, patients across Lincoln called the march on Saturday, August 12 as part of a campaign to save the centre.
Demonstrators will meet on Lincoln High Street at the bottom of The Strait, outside Kind bar, at 12 noon on August 12. They will then march into the city centre.
The protest has been arranged by the Lincolnshire People’s Assembly Against Austerity and is supported by the Lincoln & District TUC.
“Democratic rights under attack”
Nick Parker, protest organiser speaking on behalf of Lincolnshire People’s Assembly, said: “We are pleased to be able to finally announce our plans for next week’s demonstration against the closure of the popular Monks Road walk-in centre.
“We wanted to agree a route which would allow us to march past the walk-in centre itself, but unfortunately this was not possible due to significant resistance from senior figures in Lincolnshire Police.
“They demanded that we give 13 weeks notice to close roads and threatened to impose conditions under the Public Order Act and put the protest organisers at risk of criminal charges.
“Despite receiving legal advice from Liberty that their stance was potentially unlawful, we took the decision to concede to their position to ensure that we could publicise our plans in good time.
“Nevertheless, this raises important questions around our democratic rights which have been under increasing attack in recent years.
“Now we urge all supporters of the walk-in centre to join us in taking to the streets next Saturday in a massive show of support for the service and the fantastic staff who work there. There is widespread opposition to these proposals from local residents and this is a campaign that we can win.”
Lincolnshire West CCG is consulting with residents on plans that would see the centre closed permanently. In its place, officials are promising improved access to local GPs and advancements to the 111 service and self-care support.
Since plans were announced, the CCG has faced a barrage of opposition, with thousands signing an online petition and groups staging a protest outside Lincoln County Hospital.
Lincolnshire County Council’s Health Scrutiny Committee unanimously objected to the plans, and last night the City of Lincoln Council’s Leadership Scrutiny Committee called for the centre to remain open.
Further protests have also been arranged outside consultation events at the Abbey Access Centre on Monks Road for Wednesday, August 9 from 9.30am and 3.30pm, as well as a public meeting at the Birdcage pub on Baggholme Road.