Twenty three of us went to Pensioners Parliament in Blackpool this week and talked about our Freedom Rides in South Yorkshire and called for NPC to look at spreading the campaign into a national demand for free travel on trains for elderly.
Thanks to all those who gave donations to help cover £400 cost of bus over there particularly Mike who gave £20 and Derek who gave £25.
We had a good open BRAG meeting in Barnsley on Thursday. We decided that we will assemble at Barnsley train station on Monday at 11am again and buy a ticket to Wombwell with the intention of staying on to Meadowhall.
This was very successful last time – we travelled to Meadowhall with a Wombwell ticket, on to Sheffield without paying and back to Barnsley without paying. This is a way of getting past the police blockade at Barnsley station and still maintaining the idea of a high profile public protest with Freedom Ride being at the heart of what we are doing.
At Meadowhall we will have a rally with others from across South Yorkshire where we will discuss future plans. It is suggested that we have weekly Freedom Rides again on Mondays. There were suggestions at the Barnsley meeting that we might use buses to board at different stations – think about this and other ideas to decide on when we meet at Meadowhall.
We also thought about a number of us going to Doncaster to leaflet like we did in Rotherham and Sheffield. Mexborough might be another area to think of as well. Again, bring suggestions along on Monday.
In Barnsley tonight we are lobbying the Barnsley council leader, Steve Houghton, at his surgery. It is probably a good idea to look at other councillor surgeries across South Yorkshire for different groups to go and lobby.
We have the next council meeting in Barnsley on Thursday 24th July at 10.30am so we will most probably organise a lobby of that from 9.30am. It should have the minutes of the Transport Committee that brought in the new arrangements from 8th June so that will be a good reason to be there. Other areas could look at when their councils are meeting.
The Transport Committee is meeting again on Monday 30th June at 2pm in Barnsley. They should be meeting at their offices on Regent street but they have “booked other rooms as well, after the large turnout at the last meeting”. We can discuss at Meadowhall about lobbying that meeting again.
If anyone needs to get in touch with me phone 07985028003.