Category Archives: petition

Beeches Pool Under Threat Of Closure – Sign This Petition

Cllr Karen Hamilton At The Pool

Beeches Pool in Perry Beeches is threatened wth closure, the Labour councillors for the ward are campaigning to keep it open – you can find out more information about the closure and campaign on their blog

Petitioners are encouraged to sign the paper petitions which are circulating, some of which have already been submitted by Cllr Karen Hamilton – but if this is not possible please use this e-petition

Please spend a few moments to sign this petition:
http://epetition.birmingham.public-i.tv/epetition_core/view/SaveBeechesPool

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Save Colmers Farm Leisure Centre

Colmers Farm Leisure CentreBirmingham City Council have stated that they plan to close the much loved Colmers Farm Leisure Centre as part of their budget cuts. Needless to say, the community of South Birmingham are dismayed by this news.

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Save Birmingham Law Centre

This is from the Birmingham Law Centre:

Birmingham Law Centre is facing a very bleak future and may soon have to close. As with every law centre, we are having to deal with a massive reduction to our income due to the government’s legal aid cuts. However, unlike most law centres, we receive no funding from our local authority.

Please sign our online petition

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Sign the War On Welfare (WOW) Petition

Disabled activists have started a petition calling for cumulative impact assessment on welfare reform, and a New Deal for sick & disabled people based on their needs, abilities and ambitions. You can read here about why a cumulative impact assessment is so important.

We call for:

A Cumulative Impact Assessment of all cuts and changes affecting sick & disabled people, their families and carers, and a free vote on repeal of the Welfare Reform Act.

An immediate end to the Work Capability Assessment, as voted for by the British Medical Association.

Consultation between the Depts of Health & Education to improve support into work for sick & disabled people, and an end to forced work under threat of sanctions for people on disability benefits.

An Independent, Committee-Based Inquiry into Welfare Reform, covering but not limited to: (1) Care home admission rises, daycare centres, access to education for people with learning difficulties, universal mental health treatments, Remploy closures; (2) DWP media links, the ATOS contract, IT implementation of Universal Credit; (3) Human rights abuses against disabled people, excess claimant deaths & the disregard of medical evidence in decision making by ATOS, DWP & the Tribunal Service.

Please sign this petition – 100,000 signatures means they have to have a debate in the commons, or refuse one which in itself will make the news.
We support the end of all forced work under threat of sanctions, this petition is focused on disability benefit claimants who have joined those on jobseekers allowance as being under threat of being forced to work for free for companies and charities.

You can find the WOW petition team on their website, Twitter and Facebook.

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Clinical Commissioning Groups: the Motors of Health Service Privatisation

Driving the Government’s plans to privatise the NHS will be local Clinical Commissioning Groups comprised of groups of GP’s. There are currently three proposed CCG’s in Birmingham, Cross City, Birmingham South and Central, and Sandwell and West Birmingham. It is understood that the Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG is in the first wave of CCG’s awaiting authorisation from the NHS Commissioning Board.

The CCG’s will play a key role in commissioning health services and will have a nationwide budget of £64bn at their disposal. They are charged with developing Commissioning Plans and replace the role of Primary Care Trusts. The CCG’s will have responsibility for commissioning or buying health and care services including non-specialist acute services, community services, Mental health, and continuing healthcare among others.

The big move to privatisation is the requirement upon CCG’s to contract with ‘Any qualified provider’. Once registered as a qualified provider with Monitor private sector companies will be free to seek contracts with CCG’s anywhere in the country.

CCG’s in London have already signed contracts worth £7m with consultancies including KPMG McKinsey, and Price Waterhouse for ‘intensive organisational support’. Some of these consultancies were active in influencing Government health policy from the outside, actively lobbying for Health and Social Care Act, and will they will now profit from and influence the development of CCG’s from the inside.

Influence over the CCG’s is a potentially important battle ground and 38 degrees, an online campaigning community, has launched a petition demanding that CCG’s amend their constitutions to protect NHS services and to ensure proper consultation with patients.

Through 38 Degrees, meetings are being convened to involve local people in campaigning to pressure their CCG’s to make changes to their constitutions. In Birmingham a campaign group has started to meet and has plans to make contact with the three local CCG’s and will be seeking copies of their draft constitutions. An important priority for the campaign is to explain to the public what is happening to their NHS and to get them involved in lobbying their CCG.

If you would like to get involved

1. Sign the 38 Degrees petition

2. Join in with the street petitioning activity in Victoria Square in Birmingham City Centre on Saturday 10th November from 11am.

3. Updates on the campaign can be found on the West Midlands Save our NHS webpage

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CAB Closure Petition Stall – Tuesday 12-2

The campaign with

Stall earlier this month in support of Birmingham CAB

Communities Against the Cuts
to get the council to fund the £120,000 that Birmingham CAB needs to keep its offices in Northfield, Tysley and Kingstanding will continue with a petition session by the CAB, Gazette Buildings, 168 Corporation Street, Birmingham, B4 6TF on Tuesday 23rd October from 12noon-2pm.

Without this funding, the CAB will be forced to close its offices around Birmingham. The loss of these advice centres could not come at a worse time for Birmingham residents, as welfare reforms threaten to overwhelm advice services even before these cuts and the loss of legal aid income restrict their ability to help people further.

So come and join us on Tuesday, even if just for 20 minutes on your lunch break, and help gather signatures to present to the council to demand they find the money to keep CAB open and stand up to this coalition governments failing austerity agenda.

You can download a PDF of the petition for your local shop or workplace by clicking here

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Sacked Remploy Workers Demonstrate For Their Jobs

Disabled Remploy workers who are being made redundant as the government closes factories demonstrated outside the Tory party conference yesterday, calling on the government to stop the closure and privatisation of the Remploy Factory sites and to enter into meaningful discussion on the structure and future of Remploy and the whole of supported employment programme in Britain with a view to introducing a new vision based on public procurement work.

This government attacks disabled people on benefits, cutting support and declaring as many as possible to be fit for work and not entitled to any support at all. They say they are doing this to help people back into work but at the same time they close Remploy, which was set up after world war two to provide supported employment for returning soldiers disabled in the war.

In the West Midlands the factories in Birmingham and Coventry supply the automotive industry and employ nearly 200 people between them, many of whom are disabled. These two factories are profitable but need investment of around £8-£10m over the next two years for stock and cashflow purposes if they are to move to a sustainable Community Interest Company model. The government though is looking to sell the factories (which really means the contracts they have) in April 2013. If this goes ahead it is obvious that a profit motivated company will buy the contracts, and then after 6 months when the TUPE’d disabled workers are no longer protected, they will either just close the factories and move production to cheaper locations elsewhere or gradually reduce the number of disabled employees who often need more support and have higher cost than other employees.

Remploy is committed to supporting disabled workers and has done so throughout it’s existence. Many people work there their whole lives. Stephen had come down from Leeds for the demonstration, he will be made redundant on the 16th of November after 27 years of work at Remploy, and says that he feels he has no chance of finding work.

You put news on and you just hear this joke government cutting police, fire service, NHS and no chance of anyone getting a job. I feel angry and let down because they said they wouldn’t take my right to work in Remploy away

85% of Remploy workers who were made redundant in a previous round of closures have not been able to find work, and if the West Midlands factories close, their chances do not look great. Earlier this year Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) expanded their Solihull plant, receiving 20,000 applications for 1,000 jobs. This has just been repeated at their Castle Bromwich site. For Remploy workers who have been in factories supplying the automotive industry, JLR would seem like an ideal place to find work, but with such incredible levels of competition, it’s hard for anyone to get an interview, let alone the job.

Instead they will be facing life on benefits with ATOS assessments no doubt declaring them fully fit for work (since hey they’ve all been working already) and placing them on unemployment benefit without the extra support the Work Related Activity Group for disability benefits should provide.
Thus their next experience of a workplace is likely to be unpaid, on forced workfare schemes.

Phil Davies, GMB national officer told us about the background behind these closures:

Sheltered workshops are allowed under EU procurement rules and can successfully keep disabled workers gainfully employed if supported by public contracts. Instead this government used RADAR, Mind, Mencap, Scope, RNID and Leonard Cheshire as “Trojan horses” to close the Remploy factories.

Radar characterised Remploy as some out of date solution with attempts to stigmatise it as a form of ghettoisation and linking it to old institutional forms. You could use the same argument against staging the Paralympic games.

These organisations started with an aspiration we all share where all disabled people are treated in an equal way in employment and that ideal state may lead to a completely different view of what support is required.

This is what happens when you make “the best” the enemy of “the good”. You start with resolutions that will not be achieved in the short run. They are then pickled into a rigid dogma, a code, and you go through the years sticking to that ignoring real needs, and you end in the grotesque chaos of disabled charities – disabled charities – used as Trojan horses to enable redundancy notices for more than 2,700 disabled workers in 54 locations across the UK. The Tories knew what they were doing using these “useful idiots”.

You can support Remploy workers by signing their petition, and by coming to London on 20th October for the TUC national demonstration for A Future That Works – a slogan whose relevance is only too clear when thinking about Remploy.
We offer our solidarity to all Remploy workers and hope that the government reverses the closures and restores funding to Remploy to continue to support disabled people to work and not just sit at home hoping to find work.

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Stall And Petition in Support of Birmingham CAB – Saturday

Birmingham CAB is facing the closure of three of four offices, leaving just the city centre bureau open for giving advice, as funding cuts in the council budget cuts have left the organisation short of £120,000. Communities Against the Cuts have already gathered hundreds of signatures for a petition demanding the council makes up the shortfall, from residents in south west Birmingham who use the Northfield office that will close, and others have had similar responses around the offices in Tyseley and Kingstanding. We’ll be in the city centre with Communities Against the Cuts on Saturday from 11am-1pm by the city centre CAB offices on Corporation Street.

11am – 1pm
By CAB Offices, Gazette Buildings, 168 Corporation Street, Birmingham, B4 6TF

Birmingham advice services are set to be “overwhelmed” by benefits casework following welfare reforms, and CAB having already seen a 141% rise in casework just for disability benefits in the past two years.
With council tax benefit cuts, a change in sanctions regime for unemployed and disabled claimants, a £50 fine for mistakes on your benefits forms, housing benefit caps and the change to universal credit adding to their caseload, the CAB and other advice services are facing funding cuts and the ending of legal aid for benefits cases.

For Birmingham CAB, funding cuts have left them £120,000 short and unable to maintain their offices outside of the city centre. This means that residents around Birmingham will have to travel further at greater cost on a limited budget to access advice that might meant the difference between a successful appeal for an ATOS or benefits sanction decision and not having enough money for food and heating.

If you can come and help us on the stall on Saturday it would be very appreciated – if you can just pop past and sign the petition that would be great. If you want a copy of the petition to take round your street or put in a local shop, please email us at BirminghamAgainstTheCuts@gmail.com

You can also donate directly to CAB by visiting www.bcabs.org.uk, texting BCAB01 followed by £ and your donation to 70070, or calling 08444 77 10 10.

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Remploy Demonstration At Tory Party Conference – 8:30am Wednesday

Sacked Remploy workers are going to demonstrate outside the Tory Party Conference from 8:30am on Wednesday over the closure of 36 Remploy factories with compulsory redundancy for 1,752 people of whom 1,518 of these are disabled.

8:30am
ICC, Broad Street, Birmingham, B1 2EA

Accessibility information: Demonstration will be held outside. I’m afraid I don’t know how long it is expected to go on for. There is level access to the demonstration area in Centenary Square, and accessible toilets within 500 meters in Paradise Forum and Brindley Place restaurants/bars.

New Street, Moor Street and Snow Hill Train Stations are all around the same distance from the ICC and have level access. Five Ways train station is slightly closer but does not have level access.

One of the many attacks on disabled people that this government is carrying out. Remploy supports disabled people into work and one of the main things it does is provide workplaces where disabled people are fully supported.

Remploy being the largest and the oldest employer of disabled people in Britain is not only a workplace but a way of life for thousands of disabled people who want sustainable employment of their choice.

Remploy was established after the Second World War to provide employment for those brave men and women in the armed forces injured in the pursuit of freedom. Remploy quickly developed into the biggest and most important employer of disabled people in Britain, and still continues today to provide sustainable employment for those men and women returning from active service.

Employees now face the threat of closure after the Government accepted the recommendations of the Report prepared by Liz Sayce and opened a three month consultation period finishing in October 2011.

The Sayce Report aims its javelin against the employment of disabled people, Remploy, residential training colleges and other organisations supporting the disabled and other vulnerable members of our society

36 out of 54 sites are closing, leaving 1,500 disabled people out of work. 85% of Remploy workers laid off in previous closures are still looking for work and with the economy in the state it’s in, this is likely to be repeated for any workers losing their jobs here. What awaits them is cuts in disability benefits and the ATOS assessment process which doctors say is driving people to commit suicide.
With advice services looking to be “overwhelmed” by disability benefit casework, the future does not look bright for Remploy workers.

Please sign the petition against the closures and come along to the demo on Wednesday.

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More Action On Leisure Service Privatisation

With potential privatisation still looming over leisure centres around Birmingham, we are continuing to campaign, and are asking people to take our petition to their local leisure centre, let people know about the threat and gather signatures to let the council know that we do not want private companies profiting from our public services. We’ve already got hundreds of signatures, we need to make that thousands.

You can download the petition here.

Saturday 21st April is the next day of action, let us know if you can do a stall or petitioning session at your leisure centre and we’ll publicise it here and get other people to come along. Last time there were stalls at Moseley Road Baths and Handsworth, Northfield & Sparkhill leisure centres.

Saturday 21st April:

Handsworth Against the Cuts urges all its supporters to use this weekend to get petitions filled in. We have found that people are very willing to sign on the door. Here is Handsworth’s version: (see attachment).

Please deliver petitions to the address given on the petition or contact Alistair 07846490408 or Sue on 07818068856.
We are keen to get the petitions handed in to our councillors ”
Download the petition for Handsworth here

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