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WASPIs outside the Seniors' Fair © Roberts Photographic

WASPIs outside the Seniors’ Fair © Roberts Photographic

WASPIs lobby Rudd over unfair pension legislation

WASPI stands for Women Against State Pension Inequality, and the local chapter of the WASPI Campaign were outside last Friday’s Seniors’ Fair, waiting to get their message across to Amber Rudd MP. Local WASPI, Gill Sutton, shares her experience of the day.

“They say that 60 is the new 21! “ so says Amber Rudd’s Facebook page introduction to her Seniors’ Fair. I of course refer to Amber’s Seniors’ Fair for local residents held at the Saga office in Priory Square on Friday 27 October. Try telling that to the WASPI women who are trying to gain justice and compensation for women who had little or no notice that their state pension age would increase – for some up to age 66 – but who now have to continue working – if they can. Most of whom had worked for 40 years under the impression that they could retire at age 60. Just who is the ‘they’ Amber is referring to ?

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© Roberts Photographic

Being a member of the Hastings and Rother WASPI group, together with Waspi colleagues, a Seniors’ Fair seemed an ideal opportunity to continue our awareness raising campaign – with this in mind – to coin another of Amber’s Facebook phrases – we made our way to Priory Square to hand out our leaflets to passers by. We were aware from contacting Hastings Borough Council beforehand that we should not encroach on Saga’s frontage so we stayed well away.

The morning’s campaigning began successfully with support from councillors, the police and members of the public. However it went down hill when I wanted to have a look inside the Fair for myself.

Having reached the first exhibitor I was then then booted out by Saga security – under the pretence that it was a capacity issue ! However it soon became clear it was a case of being a WASPI that had led to me being asked to leave. Despite people leaving the Fair and other members of the public being admitted I was still asked to wait outside and not let back in.

Removing my WASPI sash made no difference and at one point a community police officer who had been manning one of the exhibitions was asked to stand in the door way – (I spoke with her once I eventually did get in) I imagine ‘they’ thought I might be intent on trouble. I was even questioned as to whether I was actually a local resident and why I wanted to get in – my response being that I was a local ‘senior’ and wanted to see what information the stalls had to offer – which I thought was the purpose of the Fair. Initially this didn’t appear to make much difference. Other members of the public continued to be let in and not asked if they were local. It wasn’t until I suggested it was ‘discrimination against Waspi’ that there was any real progress. Eventually common sense prevailed and I was allowed in, I believe Saga’s security’s strings were being pulled by a higher authority – several blue suits were hovering.

Well done Saga, Amber, and her team what a good impression you have made on me and other members of the public who witnessed the debacle I had to go through in order to attend a public event for local residents.

Hastings and Rother WASPIs have a Facebook page which you are welcome to join if you wish to support their campaign.

Posted 12:06 Wednesday, Nov 1, 2017 In: Campaigns

1 Comment


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  1. Angela Boas

    I too am a WASPI and was there on 27th with this group. I had no trouble whatsoever getting into the Fair. In fact, everyone was very helpful and Amber Rudd was charming. Myself and a further WASPI went in without our sashes and spoke to several stall holders and left WASPI information leaflets. I also spoke to Amber Rudd who I felt, gave me a positive message. Several other ladies who took part on that day and stood outside said they encountered NO problems and did not see the scene that Gill Sutton described.

    I would be grateful if you could publish my comment in order to portray an unbiased view.

    Kind regards

    Comment by Angela Boas — Sunday, Nov 5, 2017 @ 14:27

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