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Hands off HRI: Thousands expected for Huddersfield march

March from St George's Square predicted to be biggest Huddersfield A&E demo yet

Thousands of campaigners are expected to pound Huddersfield’s streets in the biggest event yet to save the town’s A&E unit.

Campaign group #HandsoffHRI has organised a march through the town centre on February 27.

The event is expected to begin in St George’s Square at 11.30am with speeches from several speakers who are yet to be confirmed.

The march will then move off at 12pm through a route which is yet to be approved by Kirklees Council and the police.

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It is expected to pass Huddersfield Town Hall and other town centre landmarks.

Campaigners forecast that thousands of protestors will attend from Huddersfield and further afield, even though it was convened at short notice.

Organiser were jolted into action last month, when local NHS chiefs revealed their preference to close full accident and emergency services at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary (HRI).

A rally, organised by #HandsoffHRI in St George’s Square on January 27, was attended by approximately 1,000 people.

But one of the rally organisers Mike Forster believes the February 27 march could attract between 3,000 and 10,000 people.

Mr Forster said: “A rally is in one corner of the town, the march massively lifts the profile of the campaign over a wider area.

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“It gives us a focus and marches lift spirits and it shows the CCGs (clinical commissioning groups behind the plan) the strength of feeling that people have.”

The march was inspired by a series of well attended rallies organised for a campaign to prevent the closure of consultant-led maternity services at HRI nine years ago.

Mr Forster said: “When maternity services were under threat in 2006, 2,500 people turned up – and it was at shorter notice.

“There’s a greater strength of feeling with this and we are better organised.

“We’ve got over 46,000 people following us on Facebook and I would expect at least 10% of those people to turn out – and that would be a good turnout.”

For more information on the march search “#handsoffHRI March & Rally” on Facebook.



Doug Thomson
Huddersfield Town correspondent
Chris Roberts
Huddersfield Giants correspondent
Louise Cooper
Crime correspondent
Nick Lavigueur
Health Correspondent
Joanne Douglas
Local Government Correspondent
Linda Whitwam
Education Correspondent
Henryk Zientek
Business Correspondent
Martin Shaw
Mirfield Correspondent