Category Archives: Handsworth Anti-Cuts Group

West Handsworth Neighbourhood Forum – Wed 5th Feb

dec 5th draft B council house gradientCouncil Cuts – What, Where, When and Why

A public meeting with Steve Salt, District Head, Perry Barr and Alistair Wingate, Handsworth Against the Cuts. Local Councillors also invited.

7pm, Wed 5th Feb
St Augustine’s School
Avenue Road, B21 8ED

Continue reading

1 Comment

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

Save Laurel Road Community Sports Centre – Public Meeting – Sat 15th Feb

13.01202Following last Tuesday’s meeting of Handsworth Against the Cuts and the Save Laurel Road Campaign it was agreed to hold another of our popular Handsworth public consultation meetings, this time on the issue of the decision of the council to put the Laurel Road Centre forward for a ‘Community Asset Transfer’. If you wish to learn more of the impact that this could have on the future of the Centre and other council run public services, come along and join in the public discussion and debate. See full details below and find enclosed a doc. version you may wish to print out or forward on to your contacts.

SAVE LAUREL ROAD COMMUNITY SPORTS CENTRE!

PUBLIC MEETING – ‘SAY NO TO COMMUNITY ASSET TRANSFER’

Saturday 15th February, 2.00pm

at Laurel Road Community & Sports Centre, Laurel Road Handsworth B21 9BP

followed by coffee and cakes!

Further important dates for you diary – it would be great if you get to any of these meetings as events are moving at some speed.

Thursday 30th January, 3.00pm – Perry Barr District Committee, Council House, Birmingham. (Briefing paper to be presented)
Wednesday 5th February, 7.00pm – St Augustine’s School, Avenue Road, Handsworth, B21 8ED. (Public meeting hosted by West Handsworth Neighbourhood Forum)

DON’T LET BIRMINGHAM CITY COUNCIL

DESTROY OUR SERVICES!

NO CUTS! NO PRIVATISATION!

NO COMMUNITY ASSET TRANSFER!

2 Comments

Filed under Events, Handsworth Anti-Cuts Group

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

3 Comments

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

Save Handsworth Leisure Centre and Public Services!

13.01202Under threat:

Laurel Road community Centre
Handsworth Play centre
Newtown Pool and Fitness Centre
Handsworth Library
Handsworth Leisure Centre

PUBLIC MEETING-

Saturday 21st Sept 2.00pm
Laurel Road Community and Sports Centre
Laurel Road (off Oxhill Road)
Handsworth B219BP

Contact Sue 07818068856
or Al 07846490408

2 Comments

Filed under Events, Handsworth Anti-Cuts Group

Report on Handsworth Leisure Centre Public Meeting Saturday 1st June 2013

HAtC 1.6.13Over 60 people gathered in Handsworth Leisure Centre for a discussion about the Centre’s future. Caroline Johnson, a centre user and assistant branch secretary of Birmingham Unison branch, explained why Handsworth Against the Cuts feared the centre was at threat of privatisation over the short or longer term, via the use of Trust status or the ‘right to challenge’ process.

Continue reading

3 Comments

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

Save Handsworth Leisure Centre – Public Meeting, Saturday 1st

Users of Handsworth Leisure Centre protest at cutsSave Handsworth Leisure Centre
No Cuts-No Privatisation

PUBLIC MEETING

2pm
Saturday 1st June

Handsworth Leisure Centre Dance Studio, Holly Road, Handsworth, B20 2BY

Continue reading

3 Comments

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

Reports and Photos from Saturday’s Leisure Service Privatisation Activities

Saturday saw many places around Birmingham hold stalls and petition sessions against the planed privatisation of Birmingham’s Leisure Services.

Moseley Road Baths


Stall held by Friends of Moseley Road Baths

Sparkhill

Sparkhill and Springfield Against the Cuts was Joined by Campaign to Save Sparkhill Baths. Some Local people took away petition sheets. Thanks to Friends of Moseley Road Baths for supplying the leaflets. We left Slogan posters on the baths & on an Olympics Poster for passersby to see.

Northfield

There was overwhelming support for the protest and petitioning session outside Northfield Baths on Saturday morning, organised by Stirchley and Cotteridge against the Cuts. Passers-by and pool users were queueing up to sign and take our leaflet. They were made aware of the no-consultation plans to privatise all of Birmingham’s leisure services and how this could lead to higher prices, cuts in its personnel and a reduction of access. As an example of what is in store, Harbourne’s New Baths and Leisure Centre is run by D C Leisure Management (annual turnover of £95 million). Are they doing this out of sheer altruism, or is there something in it for them? And if the latter answer is yes, what right do they have to syphon off public money for their own profits? And will there not be pressure to increase profits and prices as time passes? And what about democratic control of such resources by the people who pay their taxes and pay to use the facility? What is the point of electing Councillors if they have no say over local resources?

It is clear from the response to our petitioning session that the Council will have a fight on its hand if it intends keeping on with this retrograde step. We will do everything in our power to stop it.

It would be good to hear that the Labour Party will immediately reverse such measures if and when it takes power in the Council in May. It would also be good to see the local Labour Party at our next protest.

As well as campaigning against this privatisation in Northfield, our leaflet also highlighted the funding crisis of the local CAB and the intention to close Millmead Children’s home in Bartley Green. The field of operations of Stirchley and Cotteridge against the Cuts seems to be widening ever further. It is looking like Northfield and Longbridge will soon need an anti-cuts group of its own.

Handsworth

Handsworth against the Cuts activists were busy petitioning at the Handsworth leisure centre on saturday 10th march and sunday 11th march.People -especially young people- were encouraged to write their own message to Birmingham city council, and we had a great response( the sunny weather helped).
Handsworth Against the Cuts also held a stall on Friday, you can read about it in this post.

More photos from the weekends activities are on our Facebook Page, and future events about leisure service privatisation or other anti-cuts and anti-austerity issues can be found on our upcoming events page.
If you want to get involved with this campaign, please contact your local group or email BirminghamAgainstTheCuts@Gmail.com

3 Comments

Filed under Birmingham City Council, Handsworth Anti-Cuts Group, Sparkhill & Sparkbrook Against the Cuts, Stirchley and Cotteridge Against the Cuts

Handsworth Against the Cuts Hold Stall Against Leisure Centre Privatisation

Activists from Handsworth Against The Cuts (HATC) lobbied MP Khalid Mahmood’s constituency surgery about the the council’s attempt to privatise the leisure centres. Concern was expressed by the MP’s
representatives and also a willingness to have attend/ hold a public meeting. We were also told that the councillors in the ward were against the privatisation. Other HATC activists had attended a Handsworth community conference and had raised the issue there that morning as well, so the pressure is being applied.

On the same day a stall was done at the Leisure Centre, we now have 489 signatures opposing privatisation, not including the petitions that people have taken away to get friends, neighbours and family to sign. There is a great depth of feeling on the subject…

Saturday 10th March is a day of action on Leisure Centre privatisation with stalls being held around Birmingham – see here for details

2 Comments

Filed under Birmingham City Council, Handsworth Anti-Cuts Group

Day of Action Over Leisure Services Privatisation

As we reported on Monday, Birmingham City Council have begun a process that could see a £200m outsourcing of leisure services to private, profit seeking, companies.

This affects people all over the city, and Handsworth Against the Cuts were out on Saturday, raising awareness and gathering signatures on a petition to keep these services in house.

Outsourcing and privatisation are all too often used as a way to cut costs at the expense of services or through changes to staff pay and conditions, rather than as a way to improve the services provided.
As the council seek to make £100m of additional cuts over the following year, we can be sure that this is being used as a way to cover some of that, or at least it will be if we let it.

On Saturday 10th March, Birmingham Against the Cuts will be co-ordinating local groups and individuals around the city to petition at leisure centres that are under threat.
As we receive confirmation of times, this list will be updated. If you live near one of these centres, or use it regularly, go and join them, or tell us that you will be there between certain times, and we will put that on this list and try to get people to join you.
A city-wide petition is being finalised, and will be available to download and print closer to the day, along with leaflets and posters.

— Alexander Stadium,
— Beeches Pool,
— Billesley Indoor Tennis Centre,
— Castle Vale Pool,
— Cocks Moor Wood Leisure Centre,
— Erdington Pool,
— Fox Hollies Leisure Centre,
— Handsworth Leisure Centre, 11am on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th Handsworth Against the Cuts
— Harborne Pool and Fitness Centre,
— Kingstanding Leisure Centre,
— Linden Road Leisure Centre,
— Moseley Road Pool: 11am onwards, Friends of Moseley Road Baths
— Nechells Sports Centre,
— Newtown Pool,
— Northfield Leisure Centre 11am onwards, Stirchley and Cotteridge Against the Cuts
— Saltley Leisure Centre,
— Shard End Leisure Centre,
— Small Heath Leisure Centre,
— Shenley Court,
— Sparkhill Pool and Leisure Centre, 11am-1pm Sparkhill & Springfield Against the Cuts
— Stechford Cascades,
— Stockland Green Leisure Centre,
— Tiverton Road,
— Wyndley Leisure Centre.

Please note that this is not a complete list – the tender document says that these are included, but does not limit privatisation to just these facilities – so if your local centre is not listed here, do not think you are safe.

Email us at BirminghamAgainstTheCuts@Gmail.com or just turn up if your centre already has times listed.

2 Comments

Filed under Birmingham City Council, Erdington Against the Cuts, Handsworth Anti-Cuts Group, Kings Heath & Moseley Against the Cuts, Sparkhill & Sparkbrook Against the Cuts, Stirchley and Cotteridge Against the Cuts, Stockland Green Against the Cuts

Today Birmingham City Council Will Vote Through £100m Of Cuts – Here’s What We Won And What We Are Losing

Today from 2pm, Birmingham City Council meet to debate and vote on the budget for 2012/13. Over the last 6 months, consultations have been ignored or sidelined by the ConDem coalition locally, in favour of rushing through as many cuts as possible before they lose control of the council at the local elections in May.
With over 200 pages and £100m of cuts being made, we’re not going to list everything here. The complete budget is available here. If anyone wants to tell us about a particular cut that is going to affect you, or that you are aware of, please do so, either by email (BirminghamAgainstTheCuts@Gmail.com or by commenting on this post.
Many of the cuts announced still have consultation processes to go through or complete. Through the consultation process and alongside lobbying, demonstrations and where applicable strikes, with the support of the people who need the services being cut, we can stop some of the cuts.
But if we are to stop all of the cuts, then we need to be changing things at both national and local level, arguing for the alternative to cuts, and resisting cuts through action on the streets.

Anti-cuts and anti-austerity events take place every week in and around Birmingham. We do our best to list all of them on our upcoming events page. Through mass action we can change things – right now the workfare schemes are in huge trouble, and the Health and Social Care Bill (NHS reforms) has gone from looking like a lost battle to fully on the rocks, as healthcare professionals line up to condemn the bill.
Join Us.

Here is some of what has been won and lost in this years budget.

1,200 jobs are expected to be lost – in addition to the 4,800 that have already gone as £100m gets slashed from Birmingham City Council’s budget – taking the total to over £300m. Just over half of the £500m Barclays are being made to repay from a tax avoidance scheme.

Adults and Communities

118 jobs will be going in home care, as the council cuts back the services to only be available for people immediately upon leaving hospital. Anyone else receiving home care will be forced into the private sector.
269 jobs will be lost in adult education. It is not at all clear what this will actually mean, or where the jobs are. However, at times of rising unemployment, it can never be good to lose the people who might be able to help retrain and give people skills.

Shelforce

80 jobs to be lost as this business which provides supported employment for disabled adults, and until recently produced a profit for the council, is still looking to be closed. The fight to keep it open and get the council to invest in the business so it can return to profitability continues, and this is not definitely lost yet.

Homes and Neighbourhoods

Library services are being cut. No libraries will close, but most are seeing their hours reduced.

Handsworth library – originally earmarked to only be open 3 days per week, will now open 5 days per week after a campaign by local group Handsworth Against the Cuts. They were not able to restore Friday openings unfortunately.

As reported yesterday, Leisure services are to be privatised in a £200m outsourcing operation. Handsworth Against the Cuts began petitioning last week, and we are organising a day of action on Saturday 10th March to build awareness of this move. All our local groups will be arranging petitioning sessions – if you can join them, let us know. If you want to hlep in your area and there is no local group, we have petitions and are making leaflets, and can try to put you in touch with other people in your area.

Children, Young People and Families

100 jobs have been saved, for now, at Connexions (although their budget was already reduced by around 40% last year). The council have agreed to continue the service, hoping that they will be able to raise money by selling their skills into schools. Connexions used to supply services directly to schools from their budget, but now if schools want careers advisers, they have to pay for them out of their budget.
This is an example of how the government is cutting education budgets by the back door, but it is also an example to show us why we need to oppose all cuts – this move is simply looking to shift the cut from the council budget to the schools budgets. Only by ending the austerity agenda and implementing alternatives to the cuts can we truly defeat this cut.

I have saved the most maddening cut for last.
£6.7m is to be cut from the Childrens’ placement budget. This covers looking after children who are taken into care. It is also an area that is still under consultation, in part thanks to the campaigns that have saved Charles House and Cambourne House.
Two other houses have been earmarked as facing closure: 56 Millmead Road and Mulberry House.
Closing care homes means needing to rehouse the children who live there.
The council say this will be done by increasing fostering.
But at the same time they are cutting the adoption and fostering budget by £1m.
The alternative is to pay the private sector or other local authorities to look after the children concerned. Last time the council closed Childrens homes, it increased costs by 41%.

Through concerted actions by parents and campaign groups, Charles House and Cambourne House were saved – these were respite homes for disabled children, rather than homes for children in care. Many of the children in care will not have parents who will fight for them. It is up to the residents of Birmingham to ensure that they are properly looked after, and to come together as a community to protect and help some of the most vulnerable citizens, who are also too young to have a voice at the ballot box.

The consultation on the childrens’ placement budget is ongoing. We will be campaigning on this, and we need support – especially if you live near a care home. Please get in touch with us if you want to be involved.

5 Comments

Filed under Birmingham City Council, Cuts, Handsworth Anti-Cuts Group, Stirchley and Cotteridge Against the Cuts