Campaigning group draws on inspiration from the past

Coun Jo Platt with Waspi campaigners at the Battle of the Somme event at Pennington Hall Park
Coun Jo Platt with Waspi campaigners at the Battle of the Somme event at Pennington Hall Park

Women campaigning for a fair deal on the state pension channelled the spirit of the suffragettes to drum up support at a wartime event.

The Local Pension Group (LPG) Leigh, Makerfield, Wigan attended the commemoration of the Battle of the Somme at Pennington Hall Park in Leigh wearing the outfits of women who campaigned for the vote.

“The event was a huge success and people attended from all over the borough and other areas.”

Carole White

The group is part of national campaign Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi), which is protesting about the way increases to the age at which women can access funds for their retirement have been handled.

The group’s message proved popular with visitors to the World War One event, with hundreds of people signing the LPG petition and the campaigners attracting support from Wigan Council leader Lord Peter Smith, the Mayor of Wigan Coun Ron Conway and town hall cabinet member Coun Jo Platt.

LPG Leigh, Makerfield, Wigan member Carole White said: “The event was a huge success and people attended from all over the borough and other areas.

“LPG managed to draw lots of attention dressed in our suffragette outfits and on first glance it looks like we have added around 400 more signatures to the petition asking for transitional arrangements.”

The campaigners want state pension changes to be phased in slowly so women who were planning to stop work but now have no way of accessing money for their retirement can make alternative arrangements.

The borough group has been backed by local MPs, who have heavily criticised the Government’s handling of the reforms and the lack of communication with those who would be affected.

The group is keen to hear from women born in the 1950s who are affected by the state pension age rises and would like to get involved in the campaign. To find out more, email LPGclosedgroup@outlook.com