AROUND 500 Barnet residents and public sector workers joined a massive march in central London on Saturday protesting against central Government cuts.

The group included trade union members, Barnet council workers, teachers and even police officers angry at the way the Government is handling the budget deficit.

The coalition says it is necessary to slash public services in a bid to deal with the burgeoning national deficit.

A large contingent of people from Barnet joined almost 500,000 people on the peaceful march to call for an alternative to the cuts.

Bahir Laattoe, a member of Barnet Teachers' Association, said: “I can see the effects of the cuts around me all the time. Colleagues are losing their jobs on a daily basis.

“I am going to so many farewell parties for people who don't want to leave, but they are being forced to do so because of the cuts.

“I think this march will have a huge effect, people are walking together to show the devastating impact of the cuts and to show there is growing anger at what is happening.”

Barnet Unison branch secretary John Burgess said the action was just the beginning of the protest nationwide.

He told the Times Series: “There was a real carnival atmosphere on the main march. It’s a shame the national media focussed on the trouble and not the main point of the protest.

“A lot of people felt it was good to be surrounded by other like-minded people, they felt we had to start somewhere, we can’t carry on the way we are going. It was good for morale.”

At a rally in Hyde Park several big names in politics and showbusiness, including Labour leader Ed Milliband, addressed the audience.

Actor Tony Robinson, best known for playing Baldrick in TV show Blackadder, told the crowd: “On its own this march can do nothing, but when the argument is presented week after week, month after month, until the coalition is forced to overturn its vicious policies and put the UK back on its feet again.

“Don't surrender, we can win.”