Beauticians and their supporters marched on Derby’s Council House today to demand that beauty salons are permitted to reopen on July 4 like other businesses.
The protest attracted beauty therapists from as far away as Ilkeston and the resounding opinion among the activists was that the Government’s decision was “unfair”.
Organised by 27-year-old Alicia Clough, owner of Lunula Nails and Beauty Salon, the protest started out in Clarke Street and made its way peacefully to the Council House.
Beauty professionals came kitted out in the PPE that they intend to wear once they are given the go-ahead to start trading, while supporters wore face masks and gloves.
Banners bearing the message “C’mon Boris give beauty a date” and others which described beauty as “the forgotten industry” were carried by the activists.
One of the attendees was Ilkeston beauty therapist Gemma Baird who set up her own “one-man beauty salon” in a wooden cabin.
She said: “I have had no help from the Government whatsoever, since March 23 I haven’t had a penny, I’m incredibly lucky that I have a husband who can provide for the family at the moment.
“The thing is for the people in the industry who are self employed, we don’t get anything, not everybody gets everything so it’s really unfair, I need to work.
“We are 110% prepared and ready to reopen.”
Keep up-to-date on the Coronavirus crisis
Access to a beauty therapist was described by one Derby beautician as a safe haven for women and Becky Bailey – a client who attended the event – agreed.
The 42-year-old said: “There is a lot more that’s in it than just going to get your nails done or going to get your eyebrows done, it’s a big part of some women’s lives and not being able to do it for such a long time is not very good.
“Also, you’ve got people’s livelihoods on the line here, the people that own the salons, the people that work in the salons, they don’t even know what’s going on.
“It’s ridiculous to not have a date in mind of when they can go back to work and start supporting their families again.”
The event drew a crowd of roughly 30 people, some of whom had written a letter to their local MPs and the council to share their concerns at the situation.
According to event organiser Alicia, around 15 letters were dropped into the council house this afternoon, some of which were addressed to Derby MP Amanda Solloway.
The mum-of-two said she was “pleased with the turn out” of the event and said she hoped the authorities will listen to their pleas to allow beauty salons to reopen.