Chancellor’s Autumn Statement protest 23rd November 5-6pm Waterstones, Bull Ring

On Wednesday 23rd November Phillip Hammond, the new Tory Chancellor, will make his Autumn statement. For all of the claims that Theresa May has distanced herself from the Cameron government the Autumn statement will continue the Tory policies of cuts and austerity. Continue reading

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TIME TO END THE RUN-DOWN OF THE LIBRARY SERVICE

PRESS RELEASE FROM THE FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARIES OF BIRMINGHAM.
Tuesday 18th October.
‘We have done the best we can to protect the city library service; the cuts could have been worse’, is the view of the Council leadership, and ‘the problem is caused by the huge cuts to the Birmingham rate support grant from central government, causing acute financial difficulties for the council’.

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The West Midlands Combined Authority, employers and the claimed ‘skills deficit’: the implications for schools

The WMCA has recently published its Strategic Economic Plan (SEP), ‘Making Our Mark’ (1). It indicates that the Combined Authority and the employers it represents will put pressure on schools in the West Midlands to align themselves more closely to the employers’ ‘skills agenda’. (2) Continue reading

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Health campaigners slam NHS plan secrecy

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(taken from the Slide presentation to the Scrutiny Committee)

Health campaigners have criticised the decision to withhold the Sustainability and Transformation plan on the future of the local NHS from the Health, Wellbeing and the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee to prevent it from being available to the public.

According to the report going to today’s meeting of the Committee:

“On 28th September, the HOSC chairs of Birmingham and Solihull will receive a private briefing on the status of the STP plan. We cannot release the plan to Scrutiny in the normal way as this would in effect release it into the public domain, which we are currently being advised not to do until after 21st October.”

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

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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