BANNERS were held high outside Skipton Town Hall at the weekend after more than 50 members of the Women Against State Pension Inequality group demonstrated their anger over what they claim is the 'great pension theft'.

The women attended from far and wide with the furthest attendee travelling from Grimsby.

They were joined and supported by Skipton councillors Peter Madeley, Alan Hickman and Chris Rose.

Keighley MP John Grogan sent a representative.

The woman sang and chanted outside the town hall and walked up and down the high street to raise awareness of the dilemma for women born in the 1950s.

The aim of their campaign is to achieve fair transitional state pension arrangements for all women born in that decade who are affected by the changes to the state pension law in the 1995/2001 Acts.

The 1995 Conservative Government’s Pension Act included plans to increase women’s state pension age to 65, the same as men's. The pension age will rise to 66 in 2020.

WASPI members say they agree with equality, but do not agree with the unfair way the changes were implemented, stating there was little or no personal notice, it was faster than promised and gave them no time to make alternative plans.

The group says it is not asking for the pension age to be reverted to 60, but is seeking a ‘bridging’ pension to provide an income until state pension age, not means-tested, and with recompense for losses for those women who have already reached their state pension age.

District councillor Andy Solloway said he supported the women.

He said: "Just over two weeks ago North Yorkshire County Council's full council approved a motion brought by Mike Jordan from Selby that they join nearly 160 other councils in writing a letter of support for the WASPI women, to the Work and Pension Minister.

"At first there was some opposition on the county council to this, it looked like it wouldn’t succeed, but it was entertaining to see hands slowly rising in support whilst the vote was being counted even, including support from the chairman and two members of the Executive.

"I have already informed Craven District Council that I intend bringing a very similar motion to the next full council and seek their support too.

"Successive governments have failed to address this unfairness. These women are simply fighting for what they have paid for."