BATC Public meeting: The West Midlands Combined Authority – what it is and what it should be for?

The West Midlands Combined Authority – what it is and what it should be. For a People’s Plan for the WMCA

Birmingham Against the Cuts Public Meeting, Tuesday 4 October 7pm, Council House.

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Green light given for Children’s Services Trust outsourcing proposals

Moves to outsource children’s social care services in Birmingham progressed after the Council Cabinet yesterday gave the green light for detailed proposals to be drawn up for either a wholly owned company or an employee owned mutual to run the care services.

While the Council would retain full legal responsibility an independent trust would run the services on its behalf. The Trust proposals will potentially affect 1,200 employees whose employment would be transferred out of the Council.

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Act now to keep your Children’s Centre open!

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The redesign of Birmingham’s Early Years services is likely to take the best part of 5-6 years from conception to execution. Birmingham’s Early Years Services currently provide support to around 100,000 parents and 80,000 children at any one time. Early years services consist of Children’s centres, Health Visitors, Parenting support and Pregnancy and breastfeeding support services which support parents from the time a child is conceived up until the age of 5.

There has been a major service review over a nearly 3 three year period, and the current procurement process up to the award of the new contract is likely to take a further 10-11 months, there will be a further period where the contract is implemented. This extended period of time and the convoluted nature of the processes involved have provided useful political cover to the Council’s Labour leadership who have still not had to name and own the actual cuts and closures in Early Years services to come.

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NHS plans slammed as ‘opaque and semi-secretive’

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Cllr John Cotton heavily criticised the lack of public accountability and transparency involved in drawing up the Sustainability and Transformation Plans which will shape how local NHS services are provided over the next five years.

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National conference on Combined Authorities called by Greater Manchester TUCs on 24 September

Devolution: a grassroots assessment and response – towards a  People’s Plan? Contributions from trades union activists, community campaigners, academics and politicians on economic strategy, housing, transport, environment, NHS, democracy etc.

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Trade unions and the WMCA – now take the seats allocated , and demand parity with employers at the top tables

Trade Unions have been allocated seats on 8 lower-level committees alongside employers’ representatives. But while employers also sit on the top-level committees where the strategic decisions are made, the unions are excluded. Continue reading

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Closure proposals for city NHS Walk-in Centres

Proposals that could see the closure of all or some of the current of Birmingham’s 8 urgent care centres are being prepared for public consultation in the Autumn by the Cross City Clinical Commissioning Group. Urgent care is where an illness or Injury is urgent but not life threatening.

The Urgent care centres received a total of 322,058 annual visits at the last count . The busiest NHS walk-in centre is at Katie Road in Selly Oak which received some 64,000 visitors and is the only centre south of the city centre. The next busiest centre is Summerfield with 52,000 visitors. Continue reading

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