Category Archives: Kings Heath & Moseley Against the Cuts

Moseley, Kings Heath and Balsall Heath Anti Cuts Group Meeting On Sunday 3rd Feb

Kings Heath

Stall Held In Kings Heath Last Year

Moseley, Kings Heath and Balsall Heath Anti Cuts group will be holding a meeting on Sunday to discuss anti cuts action in this area. A number of local groups exist in Birmingham, with new groups forming in East Birmingham and Castle Vale following the Save Our City meeting.

4:30pm
Sunday 3rd February

Java Lounge Coffee Shop, Moseley High St

Anyone from these areas is invited to attend to discuss reviving the local group and fighting cuts to services in the B12/B13/B14 areas.

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Workfare Actions Around Birmingham in April

March was another good month for workfare campaigns, locally and nationally, with a great demonstration held in Birmingham as part of a national day of action on March 3rd, and Kings Heath Against Workfare being formed and holding a Workfare Walk Of Shame on Kings Heath high street – which provoked interesting reactions from store managers

Yesterday, another national day of action was held, with 20 events taking place around the UK, and Holland and Barrett being the main target. We didn’t hold an event in Birmingham, because we had our first city centre planning meeting on the 29th.

At our meeting, it was decided to hold a walk of shame in Birmingham city centre – a tour around the city exposing some of the high street profiteers and explaining what workfare is, why it should be scrapped and what should replace it.

This will be held on Easter Monday, April 9th – one of the busiest shopping days of the year. We will meet in Chamberlain Square, outside Birmingham Central Library or in the Paradise Forum if the weather is bad, at 12noon for a guided tour around the city centre.
It is anticipated that this will take about 2 hours- there are many places to visit along the way.

Click for route map

Please join our facebook event, invite your friends and share it to let people know it is happening.

Please click here for accessibility information about all Workfare events.

Unfortunately we have been unable to find a venue for the planning meeting we were going to hold, but will look to arrange one soon.

Then on Saturday 21st April, Kings Heath Against Workfare will be holding a stall from 12-2 outside Asda (one of the companies taking advantage of the forced labour schemes) on the High Street, to continue to raise awareness and build support for the campaign to end the use of workfare on Kings Heath high street.
They will hold a further planning meeting the following Wednesday, 25th April, 7pm-8pm at All Saints Centre on Kings Heath High Street.

And on Saturday 28th April, there will be a workfare walk of shame in Acocks Green – which is happening because someone on workfare at Acocks Green British Red Cross charity shop attended the Kings Heath walk of shame – connections are being made around Birmingham to build resistance to workfare and support for claimants and workers whose jobs are threatened.

Meet at 12 noon at the British Heart Foundation Furniture & Electrical Store on Shirley Road, at the roundabout with Warwick Road. Please be aware there is also a normal BHF store on the Warwick Road.

Update: On Saturday 19th May a walk of shame will take place on Erdington high street – details are to be confirmed, but we’ll post again once we know.

You can find out more about why we are supporting the Boycott Workfare campaign, and what workfare is in our post here.

Come along and support these events – continued pressure on workfare is bearing results, with homeless charity SHP pulling out last week, citing both a lack of sufficient funding and the sanctions regimes as reasons:

[quote]“We have also become concerned that the Work Programme structure leaves those who need the most support, at greatest risk of benefit sanctions. Sanctions don’t serve a constructive purpose for society’s most vulnerable and marginalised people. Rather, the sanctions system compounds the problem, pushing individuals further into poverty with little option other than to beg, steal or work for cash in hand in order to find the means to survive.[/quote]

Meanwhile, workfare profiteer A4e’s greed and fraud continues to be exposed, and we know that other providers, like Ingeus and Eos (who are Birmingham’s providers currently) do not do much better. Employment minister Chris Grayling’s lies continue to be exposed and unemployment continues to rise.
Make no mistake – the workfare scam is crumbling and continued pressure on companies, charities and public sector bodies that profit from or enable workfare can bring more of the schemes down.

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Kings Heath Against Workfare

A local group of residents, workers and claimants has formed around Kings Heath to oppose workfare on our high streets.

You can keep up to date with them directly on facebook by liking their page: www.facebook.com/kingsheathagainstworkfare.

The first event is on Saturday (17th March) – a walk of shame around Kings Heath high street exposing the workfare profiteers.

Gather outside Poundland, on the corner of High Street and Institute Road from 1pm, to set off around 1:30pm for a walk along the high street, stopping off to expose the businesses and charities that use forced labour in their stores.

The next planning meeting is scheduled for Thursday 21st March, from 7pm-8pm at All Saints Centre, Kings Heath high street.. we are waiting for final confirmation on the date but it should be correct – just please check back on our upcoming events page, or the Kings Heath Against Workfare facebook page next week to check.
Everyone is welcome to attend this meeting.

A leaflet for Kings Heath is available to download and print

You can read more about why Birmingham supports the workfare campaigns by clicking here.

There is a meeting on Thursday 29th March to discuss actions around Birmingham and the West Midlands.
7pm-9pm, Unite the Union, Transport House, 221 Broad Street, .

For accessibility information on all our workfare events, please click here.

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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.

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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

Boycott Workfare in Kings Heath

Poundland and Asda are just two of the high street names using unpaid labour sent on mandatory “work experience” placements from the job centre. These placements are full time, and can last for up to 6 months. Meanwhile, people are finding hours cut or paid jobs lost, as companies use people on workfare schemes for free.

In Kings Heath, we know that Poundland are using workfare labour, and we know from workers and ex-workers around Birmingham and the UK that people are losing jobs, or having hours cut because of this. Meanwhile, less than 1 in 5 people sent on workfare placements find a job within a year, and anecdotally the evidence is that workfare placements do not lead directly to jobs, and in many cases have provided no help, or been a hindrance to jobseekers finding work. In fact, the DWP itself says that workfare is not effective.

Workfare as a scheme does no good for anyone except the shareholders of the companies that get to have labour paid for by the taxpayer. It does not help claimants, it puts jobs – usually minimum wage jobs- at risk, and costs the taxpayer money.

Come to a public meeting in Kings Heath to discuss workfare, and campaigning to get Poundland to pull out of the scheme. Recently both Waterstones and Sainsbury’s have said that they will no longer take part in the scheme – by putting pressure on high street names we can get them to withdraw and make this programme unworkable.

Wednesday 7th March
7pm-8pm
All Saints Centre, Kings Heath High Street/Vicarage Road
B14 7RA
Facebook Event

Venue is wheelchair accessible, including accessible toilet.
We are looking for a BSL interpreter for the meeting – please contact us if you can volunteer to do this.

Parents are welcome to bring children, but there is no seperate creche for them.

Bus stops are within 500 metres of the centre, around the traffic light junction between Alcester Road and Vicarage road, which the centre is on the corner of.

Leaflets and posters for this meeting are available to download from our resources page.

A further meeting will be held on 29th March in Birmingham City Centre, which people outside of the south of Birmingham may prefer to attend. Boycott Workfare is supported locally by Birmingham Trades Council, Birmingham Against the Cuts and IWW West Midlands.

Read more about workfare, and why we are supporting the campaign to end it.

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Kings Heath Connexions Closes As Unemployment Rises

Kings Heath saw the closure of its Connexions office today, the latest in a programme of cuts that has already seen the closure of offices in Handsworth and Erdington, covering two parliamentary constituencies with the highest unemployment rate in the UK.
Offices in Yardley and Northfield will follow suit soon, leaving just a single office on Broad Street in the city centre to cover the whole of Birmingham’s young peoples’ needs for career and training advice.
Connexions will no longer be in schools either, it will be down to the schools to find money in their budgets to pay for careers advice for their pupils – an example of how this government is squeezing schools budgets whilst still maintaining that they are not cutting funding.

The latest office closure came just the day before the latest unemployment figures were announced with over unemployment rising nationally by 118,000 people, to 2.6 million.
In the West Midlands, the unemployment rate is now 9.2%, and amongst youth that figure is higher.

Over 1,000,000 young people are looking for work at the moment, and in Birmingham, the service which has helped them to find work and training is being closed.
This kind of cut is madness. Unemployment is rising, so we close the services that help people to find work and training, and instead send them on workfare “work experience” schemes that provide free labour for large businesses.

It’s time to end the cuts, and implement the alternatives to austerity. Invest in our economy, create real jobs and growth, to end the deficit and ensure that people do not pay for the bankers gambling habits.

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Filed under Birmingham City Council, Cuts, Kings Heath & Moseley Against the Cuts

Photo Review of the Year 2011

Birmingham Against The Cuts was formed at the end of 2010 to fight the council and central government cuts. 2011 has been a busy year for all of us, with some truly memorable events. You can click on a picture to go to an article about it.
Tell us your outstanding memory of 2011, a year which has seen huge demonstrations around the UK, direct action, two huge strikes and of course the legwork of stalls, leafletting and petitions.
Our first organising meeting for 2012 will be on January 9th, 6:30pm, Unison Offices, 19th Floor, McClaren Building, 47 Priory Queensway, B4 7NN. Please come along to help plan campaigning for next year.

Campaigns

Save Our Neighbourhood Offices

Save EMA

(c) Geoff Dexter-Sherborne Publications

Council Cuts

Save The NHS

Hands Off Bournville School

Save Merrishaw Day Nursery

ATOS / Disability Benefits

Save Charles House

Demonstrations

Mayday Demonstration

February Council Cuts

March 26th

30th June

Sep, Lib Dem Conference

June, Justice For All

Nov 30th

Oct, West Midlands Pensioners Convention

Public Meetings

Held by Stirchley and Cotteridge Against the Cuts

Feb, Stirchley and Cotteridge Against the Cuts meeting

September, Build the Alternative, Broaden the Struggle

Oct, Youth Fight for Jobs Jarrow March Recreation

Nov, Support the Strikers, They Strike For All of Us

Credit: Geoff Dexter

Feb Council Cuts Meeting

July, Hands Off Brum Services

People and Placards

March, International Women's Day

J30

July, Lobby of Council

J30 Strike

Sep, Lib Dem Conference

Nov 30th

Banners

Save Youth Services

Connexions

UK Uncut

Aston Uni Students

NCAFC Birmingham

UCU City College

Strikes

Dec 2010, Refuse Worker Strike

April, Connexions

May, EHRC

30th June

Sept, Unison at Lifford House

30th Nov

Nov 30th

Dec, Montgomery Primary School

Occupations

Nov, University of Birmingham Students occupation

Occupy Birmingham (now in the gardens behind Centenary Square)

Stalls, Leafletting and Petitions

Kings Heath

Feb, Kings Heath

April, Sparkhill

April, Cotteridge

Dec, Handsworth Library Petition

Ministerial Visits

February, Ian Duncan Smith

(c) Geoff Dexter Sherborne Productions

April, Francis Maude

June, David Cameron

With thanks to everyone who has contributed photos over the year.
For more photos of Birmingham protests this year, see Geoff Dexter’s Flickr Page

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