Political backing for Waspi

Support for the borough's state pension equality campaigners is growing after a day of action with two high-profile events.
Wigan and Makerfield Waspi members with MPs and councillorsWigan and Makerfield Waspi members with MPs and councillors
Wigan and Makerfield Waspi members with MPs and councillors

Wigan and Makerfield Waspi protestors saw the Face of Wigan statue in Believe Square turned purple, the colour of the campaign, to raise awareness.

Wigan Council arranged for the striking landmark to bear the logo of Waspi as well as being turned the official hue of the protest movement.

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Following the promotion the campaigners, who are bidding for fair transitional arrangements for women born in the 1950s who have not received their state pensions at the age they thought they would, met local MPs and councillors at the Holiday Inn Express Wigan at Martland Mill.

Wigan and Makerfield Waspi co-ordinator Ann Edwards said: “The town centre promotion was very high profile. We have already gained new members and had phone calls and texts from people who have seen it.

“We also had a very successful meeting with around 25 ladies talking to the MPs and the politicians sharing their support for the campaign.

“It was also a great opportunity for women to share their stories and experiences.”

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Wigan Council’s Waspi champion Coun Pat Draper and town hall chief executive Donna Hall joined local campaigners at the purple statue for a show of support.

The evening meeting was attended by Wigan MP Lisa Nandy andMakerfield parliamentary representative Yvonne Fovargue, with borough-level politicians Coun Paul Kenny and Coun Steve Dawber also lending support.

Ms Fovargue spoke about four years of Waspi campaigning and the growth of the movement, also referencing her own speeches in parliament on the subject and her work in an all-party group.

Ms Nandy then encouraged the members to keep fighting against injustice, praising Waspi’s tenacity and organisation.

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The meeting received an update on 12 months of campaigning work in Wigan and Makerfield before Hilary Walker shared some of the poetry she has written.

Wigan and Makerfield Waspi meets on the last Tuesday of each month at The Venue at Wigan Youth Zone from 6pm until 8pm.

The group also holds a one-stop shop for state pension issues on alternate Fridays at The Life Centre North.

To find out more search for Wigan Waspi Group on Facebook or follow the local campaign on Twitter @WigMakWaspi