No closure of Exploris aquarium

By Jim Rutherdale, NIPSA Branch 560 (personal capacity)
Ards Borough Council are proposing to close Exploris, Northern Ireland’s only aquarium and a superb asset for everyone in the North, with the loss of 18 jobs. Exploris is especially important to teach generations of kids about the natural world.
Yet again austerity is shown to be against the wishes and needs of the vast majority of ordinary working people. We have to ask why the politicians in Ards Council are intent on closing this educational facility? If they represented the majority of working people – and not the rich – they would refuse to vote through any job loses or closures of services.
Exploris costs £550,000 a year to run but with 100,000 visitors a year paying £7.50 for an adult and £5 for a child it’s clear this is a viable service. But Ards Council are opposed to providing public services. The council had voted to hand over Exploris to the private sector but the company involved pulled out when they heard they would have to pay the staff pensions. Obviously they couldn’t make ‘enough’ profit! Privatisation has shown yet again to be completely inefficient and no substitute for democratic public control of services. The lower Ards peninsula is already a blackspot for unemployment and also linked with that, has suffered dramatically from the collapse of the housing market.

The unions representing workers at Exploris and Ards Council together with the local communities must build a major public campaign to force the councillors to keep Exploris open as a fully publicly-owned service.

Total
0
Shares
Previous Article

Colorado disaster exposes fracking risk

Next Article

Tunisia: State repression of political opponents escalates

Related Posts
Read More

NHS pay disgrace: Unions should fight for the 15% now!

The pitiful submission by the Tories of a 1% increase for all NHS staff  to the Pay Review Board is a huge kick in the teeth to all those frontline workers. The government’s hypocritical excuse for the award is that they cannot afford it. This jaw dropping assertion has left even media commentators agog at the Tories’ complete underestimation of the mood in the workplace and the wider public. As soon as the information was made public on March 6th, nurses’ social media posts began to hum with fury and rage, as well as understandable despair. Sunak had just delivered a budget which had committed to spend another £65bn in the next 4 months and then claimed there was no money left!