A GROUP of over-60s took to Stroud to ‘paint the town purple’ this weekend in protest over state pension inequality.

Members of the Gloucestershire and Cotswold Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI), distributed leaflets, took signatures for a petition and marched with banners to lobby the government for pensions they haven’t received.

The national campaign started with five women in 2015 to combat the impact of both the 1995 and 2011 Pension Acts, which included plans to increase the retirement age from 60 to 65.

Maude Lomberg, 60, formerly from Slad Valley and now of Cirencester, worked in Ebley Mill for many years while it was the heart of the wool industry.

Now she’s the Gloucestershire and Cotswolds WASPI co-ordinator and led the events on Saturday dressed in the suffragette colours of black and purple.

“Most of the people that this affects don’t use the internet and that’s where the campaign is currently based,” she said.

“That’s why we’re taking to the streets to spread the word.

"There are so many women in their sixties that don't know that their pensions won't be arriving."

Maude had been working for 39 years when was told she would’d have to work another six to obtain her pension.

WASPI has distributed over 200 paper petitions and over 100 MPs, including Stroud’s Neil Carmichael, have supported the campaign.

The funds the organisation raises will pay for legal proceedings - which have now begun - to claim damges for the effect the changes have had.

WASPI cite the poor advertising of the changes in particular, which were distributed in magazines and very easy to miss, despite their importance.

In a debate in parliament on Tuesday, November 15, led by SNP Ian Blackford, MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber, MPs discussed the state pension age for women, he said: “Many of the 2.6 million women affected have made more than 35 years-worth of national insurance contributions.

“There has been a gross failure of communication at all levels."

Similarly, Eilidh Whiteford, SNP MP for Banff and Buchan, said: “Nearly half a million women had only a year’s notice to change their retirement plans.”

WASPI raised £100,000 in three weeks for their legal campaign and obtained 193,186 in their initial petition.