Why should you come to the demonstration on Saturday against the council cuts? There are lots of reasons, but here are 10 of them:
1) Job Losses – 2,450 council posts will be cut this year (7,000 over 3 years) and 5,000 posts privatised (making it easier to cut funding in the future). Birmingham already has an unemployment rate twice the national average and cannot afford to lose thousands more jobs.
2) Adult Care Services – 11,000 people who currently receive care having been assessed as having “substantial” care needs will no longer be eligible for home care, day care or residential care and will lose their care services. Overall, more than £33million will be cut from Adult Care Services, affecting older people, those with learning and physical disabilities and people with mental health problems.
3) Youth Services – £3m will be cut from Birmingham Youth Services budgets. Such a cut would close over 40 youth projects (more than 2/3rds) across the city and deprive young people and communities easy access to trained and qualified youth workers.
4) 1,600 jobs to go at Heart of England PCT, affecting NHS services in this city, and this is only 1 of 5 PCT’s to serve Birmingham so there will probably be more job losses to come.
5) Neighbourhood Office and CAB closures – CAB has been temporarily saved but neighbourhood offices are still under threat. Both of these provide vital and free advice on financial, legal & housing problems and council services. As unemployment rises, these services will become more important.
6) £10 million cuts in Childrens Social Care, affecting “looked after” children, some of the most vulnerable children in the city
7) £1.3 million cuts in library services, £1 million cuts in grants to arts and £1.25 million cuts in funding for Museums with entry charges “almost decided”. Ikon Eastside will be closing, and this will probably just be the first of many cultural venues in Birmingham to shut down.
8 ) Pay Cuts and terms and conditions reviews for 26,000 council staff including refuse workers who have already been on strike.
9) £1.6m less spending on Community Safety Partnership, and reduction in funding for West Midlands Police Force (2,200 jobs to be lost, including 600 officers) will see rising crime
10) There are alternatives. False Economy maintain a nice collection of alternatives, including closing the tax gap, a robin hood tax on the bank, green jobs for growth and other solutions to the deficit problem and banking crisis that will not involve huge spending cuts in vital areas.
Of course there are many more than 10 reasons to march on Saturday against the council cuts. These cuts will affect every person in this city, and every person has their own reason to come.
Then on Tuesday, the council meets to vote on the budget. There will be a demonstration outside the council house, here are 10 more reasons to demonstrate on Tuesday
The demonstration assembles at 12 noon, Birmingham Cathedral, St. Philips Place.
We will have a short march around Birmingham City Centre, followed by a rally with the following speakers:
Bishop Urquhart (Bishop of Birmingham);
Lee Barron (CWU);
Trudy Allen (PCS);
Roger Jenkins (GMB);
James Smith (UCU);
Roger MacKenzie (Unison) and
Caroline Johnson (Birmingham Against the Cuts).
More speakers to be confirmed