Birmingham Against the Cuts has repeatedly made the case for the democratisation of the WMCA. Now Unison has published its manifesto calling for an elected Assembly and seats for union reps on the Board. And James Burn, the Green Party candidate for Mayor, has made a series of proposals about Scrutiny that echo what BATC has been arguing for. Continue reading
Unison has just launched its manifesto for the West Midlands Mayor election, with a list of 20 ‘asks’ for the candidates. Ravi Subramanian, Regional Secretary, said: “The election of the mayor for the West Midlands Combined Authority presents a golden opportunity for the region. This manifesto is not solely about the interests of public sector workers. It is a progressive, inclusive agenda around transport, education, housing, governance and the economy that will make the West Midlands a better place for the many, and not the few. UNISON are asking all mayoral candidates to publicly state which of our 20 asks they will carry out if elected.” Continue reading
Remember David Cameron claiming that the NHS was ‘safe in his hands’? After 6 years of Coalition and Tory rule the evidence is mounting of a developing financial crisis in the NHS resulting from the Health and Social Act reforms and the deliberate underfunding of the NHS. A crisis which is set to deepen over the next five years and will increasingly affect the health care services we all receive. Continue reading
A brilliant extended analysis by Tom Crewe of the attack on local councils, just published as a free essay by the London Review of Books. Read it now at http://www.lrb.co.uk/v38/n24/tom-crewe/the-strange-death-of-municipal-england
The Resolution Foundation report ‘Midlands engine trouble: The challenges facing the West Midlands Combined Authority’ was published a few days ago (http://www.resolutionfoundation.org/app/uploads/2016/12/West-Midlands-Metro.pdf). It is full of useful material, but it contains two serious errors. Continue reading
The council is running public consultation sessions on its budget plans for 2017 onwards. It could be an opportunity for the council to show that they value public discussion and the views of the citizens of Birmingham who elected them, with at least one session in each constituency and long enough for everyone to have a chance to have their say and councillors to respond.
But that’s an opportunity the council has rejected. Instead there are just two public sessions, each only one hour long. It’s a token consultation before they railroad the cuts budget through.
The sessions are:
Tuesday 13th December, St Barnabas Church, Erdington 6:30pm-7:30pm
Friday 13th January, Stirchley Baths, 2pm-3pm
Places are limited and you need to book at https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/brumbudget17
You can also post your comments on the council website at birminghambeheard.org.uk
There is some useful detailed material on the council’s budget at http://www.itv.com/news/central/2016-12-07/council-tax-to-rise-by-3-99-major-shake-up-of-jobs-millions-to-be-saved-in-birmingham-city-councils-2017-budget/
The Library Lobby, which is leading the campaign against the closure of the town’s library, is holding a march and meeting on Saturday. Starting at 1100 outside Aldi, there will be a march through the town centre, first to the library, then to the United Reformed Church on Brassington Avenue for a public meeting about the future of the library in the face of the proposed closure by Birmingham City Council. The aim of the campaign is to retain a full library service in the town, not necessarily in the current premises. Continue reading