A UNION rally held in Barry’s King’s Square on Saturday, November 4, has called on Vale of Glamorgan MP Alun Cairns to use his government role to end cuts to the public sector.

The demonstration, hosted by Wales’ biggest union – Unison Cymru Wales – attracted several hundred activists to the town centre to hear speeches from prominent union leaders and Labour politicians.

While the theme of the rally was based broadly around the pay freeze on public sector workers, speakers also took the opportunity to criticise Westminster’s austerity policies, taking aim at Alun Cairns over his voting record on local government budgets.

The event – believed to be the biggest political rally in Barry for a decade – featured talks from Vale of Glamorgan AM Jane Hutt, Vale councillor Sandra Davies-Perkes and Wales footballing legend Neville Southall.

The group – serenaded by a Caledonian pipe band – ended the demonstration outside the Holton Road Civic Building.

Retired Unison member and former chairwoman of the Vale Unison branch, Margaret Wilkinson, said they were demonstrating to let the government know that working people would no longer settle for being “pushed around.”

“All we ask for is fairness – we never get fairness,” said Ms Wilkinson.

“Why can’t they give people the respect they deserve.

“Alun Cairns is the Welsh Minister. Why isn’t he looking after the people of the Vale of Glamorgan and Wales? All we ask is for a decent wage and decent living standards, and I don’t think that is the case at the moment.”

Cllr Davies-Perkes said that the turnout for the event reflected that the mood of the public was changing.

“People are tired of austerity,” she said.

“They can’t see the debt being paid off and they can still see more and more cuts coming down to essential public services. Alun Cairns is meant to represent the people of the Vale of Glamorgan and he’s voted for cuts coming down to local government.

“I think that people need the support of their local government, making sure we still have proper public services that can look after the vulnerable and people in the community.”

Jane Hutt warned that child poverty in Wales would soar, if cuts continued.

Alun Cairns has declined to comment on the event.