A union rep on the Board – a first step towards democratising the WMCA?

At the WMCA Board Meeting on 17 February it was agreed “that the Trade Union Congress (TUC) be co-opted (1 seat) onto the WMCA Board” and have “a seat on relevant working groups”, with voice but no vote. Continue reading

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The NHS Crisis and STPs – How Should Labour Respond? Public Meeting 7pm Wed 22 Feb


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by | February 15, 2017 · 4:33 pm

Local Health Campaigns: a report from Keep Our NHS Public Birmingham – and a public meeting on 22 February and the national demo on 4 March

 STPs (“Sustainability & Transformation Plans”) – no further ‘engagement’ events in the Black Country to date (none at all in Birmingham!) so continued lack of consultation to proposed changes (and possible cuts) to NHS prevails. KONP is planning to ask a question at Full Council on 28th Feb. Continue reading

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Public campaign saves two libraries – but one to close and staff numbers cut

The campaign by Friends of the Libraries of Birmingham has been key to saving two libraries – Aston and Sutton Coldfield.

The Library Lobby protest against the proposed closure of Sutton Coldfield Library

Extracts with thanks from Birmingham Post report by Neil Elkes, 7 February:

Two community libraries have been spared the axe but a third is in the firing line under revised plans from Birmingham council chiefs.

Plans to shut Aston Library have now been dropped entirely and Sutton Coldfield Library has been given a stay of execution until the end of August while talks to secure its long term future carry on.

Meanwhile the Kents Moat Library off The Meadway in Garretts Green will be closed and services transferred to the nearby Glebe Farm Farm library.

More than 2,000 people responded to plans to restructure Birmingham’s library service and cut £1.9 million from the budget during three months of consultation.

The threat to Sutton Coldfield Library prompted a 6,500 name petition and, crucial to its preservation, was a pledge of £150,000 funding from the Sutton Coldfield Town Council to keep it afloat.

Initial plans to shut Aston Library and beef up the nearby Birchfield facility have been scrapped entirely.

And, according to library bosses, residents suggested the closure of Kents Moat Library as part of the plan to regenerate the Poolway Shopping parade in which it is based.

It means that 36 out of 37 community libraries in Birmingham will remain open.

Further to the closures there will be increased spending on the book fund, up from £140,000 per year to £380,000 as well as investment in new technology and maintenance of facilities.

Staff numbers will be cut from 112 to 99 full time equivalent staff.

See Birmingham Post for libraries’ new hours at http://www.birminghampost.co.uk/news/regional-affairs/two-birmingham-libraries-been-saved-12565617?ptnr_rid=407789&icid=EM_BirminghamPost_Nletter_News_smallteaser_Text_Story7


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WMCA Mayor Hustings Tuesday 21 February 1-3pm West Brom Library – what will they do about public service cuts and lack of democracy?


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by | February 2, 2017 · 1:38 pm

Birmingham City Council Proposes Cutting Support Services to Vulnerable People – Join us in Victoria Square on 14th February 3 – 4.30pm


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by | January 31, 2017 · 2:50 pm

Challenge these claims that the WMCA will be controlled by a presidential executive Mayor

Why it is important to challenge these attempts to assign monopoly power to the Mayor is that it is exactly what the government wants: to marginalise the role of elected councillors in the WMCA and to create an all-powerful executive presidential model of mayoral leadership.
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