Beauticians and their supporters marched today at Derby’s Council House to demand that beauty salons can reopen on July 4th like other companies.
The protest drew beauty therapists from afar like Ilkeston and the sensational opinion among activists was that the government’s decision was “unfair”.
Organized by 27-year-old Alicia Clough, owner of the Lunula Nails and Beauty Salon, the protest began on Clarke Street and peacefully made its way to the Council Hall.
The beauty professionals came out with the PPE they intend to wear once they have received the green light to start trading, while the supporters wore masks and gloves.
Activists carried banners with the message “Come on Boris, make an appointment to beauty” and others describing beauty as “the forgotten industry”.
One of the participants was Ilkeston’s beauty therapist, Gemma Baird, who set up her “individual beauty salon” in a wooden cabin.
He said: “I have not had any kind of help from the government, since March 23 I have not had a penny, I am incredibly lucky to have a husband who can provide for the family right now.
“The thing is for people in the sector who are self-employed, we don’t get anything, not everyone gets everything, so it’s really unfair, I need to work.
“We are 110% prepared and ready to reopen.”
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Access to a beautician was described by a Derby beautician as a safe haven for women and Becky Bailey, a client who attended the event, agreed.
The 42-year-old said: “There’s a lot more to it than just nailing or eyebrowing, it’s a big part of some women’s life and not being able to do it for such a long time isn’t going much well.
“Besides, here you have people’s livelihoods, the people who own the salons, the people who work in the salons, they don’t even know what’s going on.
“It’s ridiculous not to have a date in mind when they can go back to work and start supporting their families again.”
The event attracted a crowd of around 30 people, some of whom had written a letter to their local MPs and the council to share their concerns about the situation.
According to event organizer Alicia, about 15 letters were sent to the boardroom this afternoon, some of which were addressed to Derby MP Amanda Solloway.
The mother of two said she was “satisfied with the outcome” of the event and said she hoped the authorities would listen to their reasons for allowing the beauty salons to reopen.