Monthly Archives: October 2013

Campaign to Save Laurel Road Community Centre.

Laurel Road Community CentreBirmingham Council are considering putting the centre under asset transfer, which we believe puts the future operation of the Centre at threat. We are campaigning to keep the Centre within the council as a properly funded, properly staffed public service.

What do we do?

Ideas and Discussion session – all welcome

7pm Tuesday Nov. 12th

Laurel Rd Community and Sports Centre

Laurel Rd, Handsworth, Birmingham

Accessibility information

Called by Handsworth Against the Cuts

Sue 07818068856

Alistair 07846490408


Filed under Birmingham City Council, Cuts, Events, Handsworth Anti-Cuts Group

An open letter to Unison Birmingham Branch Regarding Sheltered Housing Cuts

Following is an open letter regarding how cuts are affecting sheltered housing, from a resident of sheltered housing in Birmingham.

Dear Brothers and Sisters

I am a service user who lives in Sheltered Housing and also a member of the Unite union.

I have recently received a notice from the managers of the Services for Older People department which has responsibilities for Sheltered Housing (or Supported Accommodation, as it is sometimes called). The notice said there would not be a Support Officer (Warden) on site on Tuesday, 22 October because staff would be attending a training course. Training courses are obviously important but they should surely be staggered and run over two or three different days to allow for some Support Officers to be onsite as they always have been between Monday and Friday. Tenants surely have the right to know their Support Officer visits to their homes will take place.

A year or two ago it would have been unthinkable for there to be a situation where no Support Officer was on site on any week day to attend to the needs of Service Users but this now seems to be creeping in more and more. The Careline pull cords which tenants have are important but they only link us to a switchboard several miles away and despite their best efforts, the staff there CANNOT provide the face-to-face presence of a daily on-site Support Officer.

This absence of Support Officer coverage is very worrying and the situation seems to be getting worse the more the city council cuts back on financing its services.

Unison organises and represents many of these Support Officers (who work in isolation and must find it very difficult to properly liaise with their workmates) and it would be greatly appreciated to know what steps the union is taking to challenge what is increasingly looking like a worrying run-down in frontline support services.

Many thanks


Filed under Birmingham City Council, Cuts

Birmingham City Council Service Reviews – Green Paper: Safe, Clean and Green Neighbourhoods

Another service review green paper is out for consultation – Safe, Clean and Green Neighbourhoods – which covers, amongst other things, refuse collection and street cleaning. These service reviews are where the council starts to details how they will be cutting council spending as a result of cuts from central government.

You can download the green paper here:


Filed under Birmingham City Council

Report From Erdington Against The Cuts Planning Meeting

Dear All

I enclose a brief report on the Erdington Against the Cuts meeting on the 16th October.

1. Pete reported on the GMB campaign against Gove’s policy of sacking of classroom assistants which Gill Whittacker, regional GMB official, had spoken about at a recent Bham TUC meeting. It was agreed to support this campaign and organise a local public meeting on Wednesday 20th November with Gill as the main speaker. We would hopefully produce a leaflet with GMB assistance and leaflet local primary schools prior to 9 am and from 2.45 pm –3.15 pm. Stuart would check the availability of the Methodist Church and Bob suggested we lobby boards of governors of schools on this issue. Sharon volunteered to design the leaflet for the meeting.

2. Ian reported on progress with organising the Bham TUC conference on Saturday 22nd February at 11 am — 4 pm The Priory Rooms Bull St. Subsequent to the meeting the left wing NHS campaigner John Lister has agreed to speak. It was agreed we would organise a stall outside the Erdington Walk-In centre 11 am- 1 pm Saturday 16th November to promote the TUC NHS conference and Erdington Against the Cuts/GMB meeting on school assistants.

3. Stuart reported on Bham Labour Council plans to privatise some Leisure Service centres and transfer to community organisations if possible or close other Leisure centres. The Labour councillors seem to have no strategy to delay decisions hoping a Labour government will reverse any cuts but are selling off buildings including Libraries as a permanent reduction of Council services. We should try to find out what is happening to Leisure services in Erdington. Stuart will contact Josh Jones on this issue.

4. Stuart reported on Bham Against the Cuts plans to produce a campaign bulletin for the City Council budget consultation expected to be held in late Nov/Dec. Bob referred to a previous budget consultation meeting in Sutton Coldfield.

5. Tony referred to the Firefighters strike on the 19th Oct and the Royal Mail strike on the 4th Nov. It was agreed to support both if comrades were available.

Stuart Richardson
0777 156 7496

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Filed under Erdington Against the Cuts

£4m repair bill for Birmingham’s community libraries

Repayment schedule for the Library of Birmingham loans

Repayment schedule for the Library of Birmingham loans

A freedom of information response on the physical state of Birmingham’s community libraries has revealed an estimated total repair bill of over £4m. With 20 local libraries requiring repairs of £100k or more.

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Filed under Uncategorized

Birmingham Claimants’ Union Meeting – 30th October

Next Birmingham Claimants’ Union meeting is on the 30th of October at midday at tuc centre for the unemployed, 448, Stratford Road, Sparkhill, Birmingham, B11 4AE.

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Filed under Events

Bedroom Tax – Unfair, Unworkable and Counterproductive


Photo (c) Geoff Dexter-Sherbourne - flickr

Photo (c) Geoff Dexter-Sherbourne – flickr

Yesterday, anti-bedroom tax campaigners lobbied Birmingham City Council to enact a no eviction policy, so that those who are caught by this unfair charge do not risk losing their homes. Veronica Kenning, a Shard End resident who has terminal cancer and is refusing to leave her home is facing eviction as a result of bedroom tax debts. Well-wishers of Veronica will be gathering at her home tomorrow from 4pm-6pm to show support. At the council meeting yesterday, the council passed a motion calling for the policy to be scrapped, another sign of growing resistance from the local Labour party.

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Filed under Uncategorized