Tag Archives: action

Support Connexions by writing to your MP today

An early day motion has come up in Parliament, calling for support for the Connexions service, and for the government to restore funding to the Connexions service and reverse their policy of placing the statutory obligation for careers advice on schools (without giving them any funding to do so!)

Connexions are asking people to write to their MP asking them to sign it – or in the cases of Roger Godsiff, Richard Burden and Steve McCabe, thanking them for signing it already.

You can view the Early Day motion and check if your MP has signed it here

You can email your MP easily using Write to Them

Connexions have been striking in Birmingham to defend their jobs and service in a city with well above average unemployment in both the youth and adult populations.  There has been much support for them on their picket lines, and now we can show our support in other ways as well.  You can have a look through an archive of posts about the Connexions struggle in Birmingham here

Here is a model letter for you to adapt – if you have personal experience of using Connexions and can tell your MP how they helped you, then please do – the more individual stories they get the better.



Please can you support this Early Day Motion which is being raised by Labour MPs, which questions the decimation of the Connexions Services nationally before the Con-Dems’ National Career Service comes on board next April (and for which the funding is not yet clear).

In Birmingham where I live,  Connexions are facing a 30% cut this year which we have resisted by sustaining a UNISON led campaign to preserve our service to young people.  Birmingham has an above average level of youth unemployment and the destruction of this service will only act to further marginalise young people in this city who are unable to get advice on employment and training.

The following EDM has been tabled in parliament by Alan Meale MP on Careers and Connexions Services. It currently has 27 cross party signatures.

“That this House is aware of the UK’s current fiscal problems which are inevitably leading to higher levels of unemployment and ultimately poor health, higher crime and social breakdown within communities; notes that at this time unemployment amongst 16 to 25 year olds in the UK has reached record levels with more than a million young people struggling to find work; is therefore alarmed that when help is needed to reverse this trend, hundreds of thousands of young people across the UK have either very limited or no access to face-to-face career guidance, a situation caused directly by the Government’s decision to place the statutory duty to ensure impartial careers guidance on schools, who have been given no additional funds to deliver such important services; and calls on the Government to reverse its policy and instead to provide sufficient funding to the Careers and Connexions Service to help our young people plan and organise their futures.”


Please show your support for the youth of this city by adding your signature to the Early Day Motion, along with other local MPs like Richard Burden, Roger Godsiff and Steve McCabe








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Events in April

Lots of events have been added over the next couple of weeks, they will be kept up to date on our Upcoming Actions page.

This week, on Wednesday 6th, Connexions UNISON have a strike, pickets from 1pm outside of Connexions offices on Broad Street, in Northfield and Kings Heath, followed by a rally in Victoria Square from 2:30pm-3:30pm.  They are striking over job losses.  Connexions provides career and other advice to 13-19 year olds.

On Friday 8th at 10AM, Stop the Cuts to Solihull Migrant Childrens Services, Outside the UK Border Agency, Dominion Court, 41 Station Road, Solihull, Birmingham B91 3RT:


The UK Border Agency has frozen its grant to local authorities
causing a massive overspend for solihull council’s unaccompanied
migrant children’s services. Solihull council has responded
in turn by cutting its own budget for these services to the tune of
£1.2 million.

It proposes to do this by pushing 16 year olds out of
foster care into independent accomodation with reduced support.
The policy is disciminatory by the fact that other young people in
the care system are not being placed under the same pressure to
leave care.

We say:
‘Re-instate the Grant
Full Costs for all Care Leavers’

Protest at 10am Friday 8th April

Outside the UK Border Agency
Dominion Court, 41 Station Road,
Solihull, Birmingham B91 3RT

Called by West Midlands Social Work Action Network

Supported by UNISON Solihull Branch, Asylum Support & Immigration Resource Team

Facebook Event
Then next week, Francis Maude visits Birmingham on Friday 15th April, PCS have called a demonstration from 9am at the ICC.

And the following Monday (18th) is Birmingham Against the Cuts planning meeting, at 18:30, Unison Offices, 19th Floor, McClaren Tower, Priory Queensway, B4 7NN.  Facebook Event

There will be local meetings and hustings around Birmingham in the run up to the local elections in May and we will do our best to keep you informed of those.

On Saturday 30th, Birmingham Trades Council and Birmingham Against the Cuts will have a demonstration for Mayday, assembling 12 noon at Birmingham Cathedral, marching to Chamberlain Square for a rally.  This should be a big demonstration, in tandem with demonstrations held all over the country to oppose cuts on the traditional workers bank holiday.  Facebook Event

Hope you can join us for some of these events.

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Budget Day Demonstration – 23rd March

March 23rd is Budget Day, when the ConDem coalition will set out their destructive austerity policies for the following financial year.

The imminent onset of austerity measures has had the effect of causing GDP to contract by 0.5% in the last quarter of 2010. The ConDems blamed snow, but Germany (which does not have severe austerity measures in place), grew by 0.6% GDP.

Nobel prize winning economists like Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugmann have argued against austerity measures, and even the IMF has warned that if too many countries introduce austerity measures this could cause the global recession to return.

We argue that cutting government spending at a time of weak, jobless growth, is not the best method for reducing the deficit, and that there are alternatives.

See False Economy for more information.
Come and join us on the 23rd March to demonstrate against austerity measures, and meet other people who are going to London the following Saturday for the TUC National Demonstration for the Alternative.

17:00-18:45, Government Office for the West Midlands, 5 St Philip’s Place, Colmore Row, Birmingham, B3 2PW
If you’re on facebook, invite your friends to the event: Facebook Event

For more information about March 26th, see the TUC website .  If you want to come and need transport, contact your union or email us birminghamagainstthecuts@gmail.com.  You can also find transport on the False Economy website


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10 Reasons to demonstrate on Saturday

Why should you come to the demonstration on Saturday against the council cuts? There are lots of reasons, but here are 10 of them:

1) Job Losses – 2,450 council posts will be cut this year (7,000 over 3 years) and 5,000 posts privatised (making it easier to cut funding in the future).  Birmingham already has an unemployment rate twice the national average and cannot afford to lose thousands more jobs.

2) Adult Care Services – 11,000 people who currently receive care having been assessed as having “substantial” care needs will no longer be eligible for home care, day care or residential care and will lose their care services.  Overall, more than £33million will be cut from Adult Care Services, affecting older people, those with learning and physical disabilities and people with mental health problems.

3) Youth Services – £3m will be cut from Birmingham Youth Services budgets.   Such a cut would close over 40 youth projects (more than 2/3rds) across the city and deprive young people and communities easy access to trained and qualified youth workers.

4) 1,600 jobs to go at Heart of England PCT, affecting NHS services in this city, and this is only 1 of 5 PCT’s to serve Birmingham so there will probably be more job losses to come.

5) Neighbourhood Office and CAB closures – CAB has been temporarily saved but neighbourhood offices are still under threat.  Both of these provide vital and free advice on financial, legal & housing problems and council services.  As unemployment rises, these services will become more important.

6) £10 million cuts in Childrens Social Care, affecting “looked after” children, some of the most vulnerable children in the city

7) £1.3 million cuts in library services, £1 million cuts in grants to arts and £1.25 million cuts in funding for Museums with entry charges “almost decided”.  Ikon Eastside will be closing, and this will probably just be the first of many cultural venues in Birmingham to shut down.

8 ) Pay Cuts and terms and conditions reviews for 26,000 council staff including refuse workers who have already been on strike.

9) £1.6m less spending on Community Safety Partnership, and reduction in funding for West Midlands Police Force (2,200 jobs to be lost, including 600 officers) will see rising crime

10) There are alternatives. False Economy maintain a nice collection of alternatives, including closing the tax gap, a robin hood tax on the bank, green jobs for growth and other solutions to the deficit problem and banking crisis that will not involve huge spending cuts in vital areas.

Of course there are many more than 10 reasons to march on Saturday against the council cuts.  These cuts will affect every person in this city, and every person has their own reason to come.

Then on Tuesday, the council meets to vote on the budget.  There will be a demonstration outside the council house, here are 10 more reasons to demonstrate on Tuesday

The demonstration assembles at 12 noon, Birmingham Cathedral, St. Philips Place.

We will have a short march around Birmingham City Centre, followed by a rally with the following speakers:

Bishop Urquhart (Bishop of Birmingham);

Lee Barron (CWU);

Trudy Allen (PCS);

Roger Jenkins (GMB);

James Smith (UCU);

Roger MacKenzie (Unison) and

Caroline Johnson (Birmingham Against the Cuts).

More speakers to be confirmed


Filed under Birmingham City Council, Cuts, Events

Birmingham City Council deputy leader hits out at cuts

The Birmingham Post has today reported that:

Birmingham City Council’s deputy leader has spoken of his frustration and exasperation at the “draconian” budget cuts forced on the city by the Government.

Coun Paul Tilsley is among 91 Liberal Democrat councillors to sign a letter accusing Tory Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles of gunboat diplomacy and “shaking a stick” at councillors.


Birmingham City Council is facing amongst the largest budget cuts in the UK, far more than wealthy, tory strongholds, despite the fact that Birmingham has the highest unemployment rate of any city in the UK.  We have seen that the prospect of national cuts, and the ending of the effects of the stimulus provided by quantitative easing led to a reduction in GPD of 0.5% in the 4th Quarter of 2010, and believe that the implication of cuts for this city (and indeed the UK as a whole) is a continued reduction of GDP, and the job losses that accompany that.

Birmingham Against the Cuts is calling for councillors to vote against cuts in the budget for 2011/12.

We hope that Coun Tilsley follows through on his criticisms of the council budget settlements by voting against the cuts.

We have a petition online for people to sign: here

On the 17th of February, there is a public meeting, 7:30pm at the Council House.


Cllr Salma Yaqoob, Respect
Caroline Johnson, Unison
Paul Mackney, former General Secretary UCU
Martin Empson, Campaign against Climate Change
John Lister, Health Emergency

Plus speakers from Local campaigns, and contributions from the floor.

All welcome.

Facebook Event

On Saturday 26th Feb there will be a rally and march, assembling at Birmingham Cathedral at noon.  March route is to be agreed with police/council.  Speakers to be confirmed.  This is the time to come out and show your opposition to the local cuts.

Facebook Event

On Tuesday 1st March, there will be a demonstration outside the council house from 2pm (it’ll be going into the evening so join us after work ).  This is the meeting at which the council budget will be set, and we need to have vocal and visual reminders to councillors that they should be voting against any cuts to local services.

Facebook Event

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Filed under Birmingham City Council, Cuts, Events, News

Save EMA Birmingham reports

ITV Central

Right to Work

Socialist Worker

Student protestors were today joined by workers and parents to protest against the scrapping of EMA, which pays up to £30 to students from families with low incomes who continue into Further Education. A report from the IFS found that EMA pays for itself and increases education participation and improves outcomes.

The protestors began at Waterstones, and decided to occupy RBS which announced £7Bn of bonuses earlier this week, to highlight the inequities of the cuts – which are hitting working class families hardest, whilst leaving the wealthiest untouched (remember that the Times rich list 2010 showed that the richest 1000 individuals in the UK increased their wealth by 30% between 2009 and 2010 – some £80Bn).


It has been reported that Parliament will vote on EMA on the 19th January now.  We hope that they will vote to keep EMA, and would encourage everyone to write to their MP, using http://www.writetothem.com, to express your support for a benefit that directly allows working class people to continue in education, and improve their skills and qualifications.

We will let you know of anything further protests or actions that are planned in Birmingham, so you can join the students on the streets to fight this cut.

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February Events

There are a number of upcoming events in February already, more details will come closer to the time but I thought we should let you know:

12th Feb: City Centre stalls by Birmingham Against the Cuts, Trade Unions and campaign groups

17th Feb: Birmingham Against the Cuts public meeting at the Council House – speakers to be arranged

19th Feb: Stalls across Birmingham by Birmingham Against the Cuts, Trade Unions and campaign groups

21st Feb: Black Activists Rising Against the Cuts (BARAC) Public Meeting

26th Feb: Planned for a march/rally in Birmingham City Centre against the council cuts – Birmingham city council have their budget setting meeting on the 1st March, and this demonstration directly beforehand will be to let them know that the cuts that they are implementing for the ConDem government are not acceptable.

Route, times and speakers are currently being arranged, but please put this date in your diary, and let people know about it.

More information on all events coming up in Birmingham are available on the Upcoming Actions page – don’t forget there are still plenty of things happening locally in January

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