Tag Archives: cotteridge

Tomorrow: All Out! Strike for Pensions Justice!

Tomorrow is set to be a historic day, with one of the largest strikes in the history of the UK, as millions of public sector workers strike to defend their pensions, rejecting an offer by the government which would see them pay more, work longer and get less in order to pay off the deficit.

Almost every public sector union is taking part in this co-ordinated action, and there are plenty of things happening in Birmingham. This strike is not just about pensions, it is also about cuts, and defending the whole idea of a public sector providing services on the basis of need.

From 4am there will be pickets at refuse collection depots around the city, with other workplace pickets running from 7am. Some confirmations of pickets have been received, and are listed here, but you should expect them at almost every council and government workplace.
Parents should have heard from schools as to whether they will close, but with almost every teaching union, including the NAHT head teachers union, on strike we expect to see all schools closed.

At 9am the first local demo, organised by Stirchley and Cotteridge Against the Cuts, gathers in Cotteridge. It will proceed to join the Selly Oak rally, and then the main TUC demo.

10am sees 4 local rallies around Birmingham:
Selly Oak – at the University South Gates, by the New Bristol Road (the newly opened bypass)
Handsworth – By Handsworth Library, Soho Road
Erdington – Six Ways
East Birmingham Heartlands Hospital

These rallies will feed to the main TUC march which assembles from 11:30am at Lionel Street Car Park, and should proceed through the city centre. We have had uncomfirmed reports that Birmingham City Council want to charge us £10,000 to walk through our city! We hope that the TUC do not bow to pressure and pay up, and that we march through the city in defiance of this blatant attempt to prevent us expressing our democratic rights.
The march proceeds to a rally at the NIA which beings at 1:30pm – doors to the NIA open at 12:30pm. The rally has many speakers from the union movement:
CHAIR: Lee Barron, CWU Midlands Regional Secretary & Midlands TUC Chair
Brendan Barber, TUC General Secretary
Kevin Courtney, NUT Deputy General Secretary
Janice Godrich, PCS President
Karen Jennings, Unison Assistant General Secretary
Martin Johnson, ATL Deputy General Secretary
Chris Keates, NASUWT General Secretary
Barry Lovejoy, UCU Head of Further Education
Joe Morgan, GMB West Midlands Regional Secretary
Tony Woodley, UNITE Executive Officer

Tomorrow is set up to be a great day – all it needs now is you!
Remember that you can sign up to a union on the day and still strike, so at work today, or on the picket lines tomorrow, make sure anyone who isn’t unionised knows this, joins up and comes out tomorrow.

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Filed under 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, strike

Stirchley and Cotteridge Against the Cuts Nov/Dec activities

Activities agreed at last night’s planning meeting. Please help out where you can.

Charles House;

Mon 21st Nov; 7pm – Lobby of Cllr Les Lawrence. Ward Committee, Hamstead House

Sat 26th Nov; 10-2pm Cotteridge Church Centre Xmas Fair (check time we turn up)

Sat 10th Dec; 11 – 1 – Street stall at Kings Norton Green

Thur 19th Jan; 7pm – Kings Norton Ward Committee, St.Pauls JI School, Pool Farm
Also, please fill in the petitions which you can find at the end of this post

Birmingham against the cuts Public Meeting 24th Nov at the Council House 7pm

Sat 19th Nov; 12-2pm – Leafleting in town centre, outside Waterstones, near the Bull, alongside TUC day of action.

Mon 21st Nov; 2.45pm – leafleting Cotteridge JI school parents

4.30pm – leafleting at Kings Norton Station – car park entrance

Tue 22nd Nov; 2.45pm – leafleting Bournville JI school
4.30pm – leafleting Bournville Station

Wed Nov 30th; most of the day! Huge public sector strikes over pension attacks
7am – probable picket at Lifford House, maybe picket at Lifford Refuse depot even earlier, probable pickets at Connexions – Northfield and other places.

9am – protest at Cotteridge Church Centre. Be there with our banner!

10am – Trade Union rally outside University main gates, opposite Fire Station.

11am – Demo assembly Lionel St, town Centre

1.30pm – Rally at the NIA

(Sat 26th Nov; Waterstones, further Trade Union leafleting 12-2pm)

Lifford House lobbying

Fri 18th Nov; 5pm – lobby of Councillor Dawkins. Woodlands Park Rd.
Monday 5th Dec; 7pm – lobby of Cllr Dow, Selly Park Tech College for Girls.

Stirchley and Cotteridge against the Cuts next meetings

Wed 23rd Nov; 7.30pm – Special meeting of SACAC. One item on agenda – Nov 30th! Cotteridge Church Centre.
Thur 1st Dec; 7.30pm, Stirchley Community Centre. Elm room. There will be a proposal put to the meeting; “This group agrees to have joint campaign/candidate with the Green Party, on a no-cuts basis, in the May 2012 local elections. This is to be in the Bournville, and possibly Kings Norton and Northfield, wards”

Stirchley and Cotteridge against the Cuts Social!

Thur 15th or Fri 16th Dec; at the British Oak, Stirchley, with Naomi Paul (Comedienne) and “No More Numbers” (GreenDay) band – to be confirmed. Any more talent amongst our supporters?
(We need to raise £££ to pay for printing and other expenses)

Cotteridge Church Elderly Day Centre
No news is good news? Some money seems to be coming in for the next few months

Academy News

KNHS voted to go with ARK. Maybe delay till next September. Debts paid off by BCC before conversion? No news of Hawkesley JI. West Heath JI?

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Cotteridge anti-cuts stall report

This morning, a tremendously successful street stall was held at the Cotteridge island by the “Stirchley and Cotteridge against the Cuts” group, in alliance with the parents from Charles House. We distributed a leaflet demanding the home stays open and filled up our petition boards to overflowing with signatures from passers-by. We were also distributing the “Birmingham against the Cuts” leaflet, which calls for support for the November 30th strike and advertises the public meeting at the Council house on November 24th.
This local group is simultaneously campaigning on; the Cotteridge day centre for the elderly, the moves to academy status in three local schools, re-opening Merrishaw Community Day Nursery, the pension strikes, the local NHS, the Council “consultation” exercise on the cuts, and now Charles House! It is all getting a bit much and we need some new people to help out. Anyone who lives in the Stirchley, Cotteridge, Kings Norton, or Northfield area, please get in touch!

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Stirchley and Cotteridge Against the Cuts September events

Following our meeting on Tuesday, a lot of activity has been planned. If you can help out in any of these activities it would greatly be appreciated.
Contact StirchleyAntiCuts@Gmail.com if you can help, or would like to get more involved with this group.
Saturday September 3rd. 11am.  Street stall to build support for the public meeting in town on September 8th and the demonstration at the Lib-Dem Conference, Sept 18th. Cotteridge Island, by Subways.

Monday 5th September. 10am  Join the lobby outside of the meeting between Chrissie Garrett, the Council official, and Merrishaw parents, at Hamstead House, Fairfax Road, West Heath, B31 3QY.

Wednesday 7th September. 7pm  Next campaign meeting against academy status for Bournville School. Rowheath Pavilion, Small meeting room. B30 1HH.

Thursday 8th September. 5:30pm-6pm. Lobby of Bournville School Governing Body. Bournville School. Griffins Brook Lane B30 1QJ

Thursday 8th September. 7pm. Rally against the cuts, with Bob Crow, Jack Dromey and others. Birmingham and Midland Institute, next to Council House, 9 Margaret St. B3 3BS.

Saturday 10th September. 11am. Stall at Stirchley Co-op to build support for the demonstration at the Lib Dem conference.

Monday 12th September. 6.30pm. Birmingham against the Cuts meeting. UNISON Offices, 19th Floor. McLaren Building, Priory Queensway. Dale End.

Sunday 18th September. 10am.Meet at Cotteridge Island by Subway for our local demonstration as we walk with our new banner down to Stirchley Co-op, before catching the train from Bournville Station to Fiveways to join the march to the Lib Dem Conference at 11am. (Assemble at Granville St. B1 1SB)

Tuesday 20th September. 6.30-7pm. Year 7 parental consultation meeting for Bournville Parents over academy status. Bournville school. Lobby.

Wednesday 21st September. 7.30pm. Next meeting of Stirchley and Cotteridge against the Cuts. Cotteridge Church Centre.

Saturday 24th September. Fund raising car boot stall. Studley?

Saturday 5th November. Social?

  • In addition, there will be leafleting sessions outside Bournville school and Kings Norton High School, details to be announced, Volunteers please.
  • There could well be union funded coaches going up to the demonstration at the Tory Party conference on October 2nd. UNITE?

See our Upcoming Events Page for details of city centre leafletting for the events on the 8th and 18th. Also check out a very useful article about how Iceland stood up to the cutters;


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Parents’ Outrage over “Outstanding” Nursery Facing Closure

Campaigners demonstrate against the nursery closure, 30th July

On Friday 26th August, Merrishaw Community Day Nursery is set to close. This is despite it providing an essential service for this locality. It provides specialist support for children and parents with special needs as well as general nursery provision. This enables mothers to go to work and try and better themselves.

Over a year ago, local Councillors gave assurances that this valuable resource would remain open. But this
year, that promise has been reversed. Provision for specialist support is to be relocated elsewhere, and child minding is to replace the local, experienced centre. This was despite a recent assurance from local Councillor Les Lawrence that rumours about the closure were scaremongering.

Parents have actively opposed this closure since early 2010. The most recent event was a demonstration through West Heath and a big lobby of a Northfield Councillor’s surgery on Saturday 30th July.

Since then, Councillors Randal Brew and Reg Corns (who was instrumental in establishing the nursery), have asked the council to postpone the closure, pending meaningful consultation. They have been joined in this by Richard Burden MP.

There needs to be further consultation and postponement of the closure as there are still big questions to answer;

When the Department withdrew its proposed reorganisation of Community Day Nurseries in 2010 one of the most powerful arguments that had been put forward was that it took resources away from the South of the City even though South Birmingham has the highest number of referrals in the City (395 between April 2008 and March 2010) and the highest number of referrals to the new 2 year scheme (539). Indeed, the Department’s own report at the time identified that “Children’s centres in the south of the City have less childcare provided as part of their onsite provision which goes some way to explaining the above pattern. It is also the case that there are more under 5s subject to a child protection plan in the south than elsewhere”
(Para 3.1.4).

On Wednesday 24th August there is to be an open day at the nursery. We are urgently appealing for the local Councillors, the MP, and prospective Councillors for 2012 to attend at 12pm and declare a reversal of the closure decision and to change the nature of the event from a wake to a celebration.

Merrishaw Parents and Stirchley and Cotteridge against the Cuts

If you want to get involved, contact Stirchley and Cotteridge against the Cuts: StirchleyAntiCuts@Gmail.com


Filed under Cuts, Events, Stirchley and Cotteridge Against the Cuts

Walk to save Merrishaw Day Nursery

Merrishaw Day Nursery – rated outstanding by Ofsted – is under threat of closure. Parents have been told that the nursery will close on the 26th August. Merrishaw is one of 8 nurseries around Birmingham facing closure, with parents being offered spaces at alternative nurseries (many of which are run by private companies, and may not have the same outstanding rating as Merrishaw), which are never as close as the current provision, and in some cases are a couple of miles away.

A parents campaign to save Merrishaw has been running, supported by Stirchley and Cotteridge against the Cuts, and this morning they met at the nursery to walk to Hampstead House where the local councillors hold surgeries.
Around 30 parents, grandparents and children were joined by local anti-cuts activists and Richard Burden MP.

Vanessa, a parent of a child at the nursery said

We need to make sure people realise how important Merrishaw Day Nursery is and what a wonderful service they provide

Millie and Charli with their banner

Millie and Charli, two children who attended Merrishaw said

The best thing about Merrishaw was the finger painting because it got really messy. I liked the dressing up and the puppets and the gardens

It was more fun than school and I think it helped with my education because we learned to count to 10 and the colours and shapes. All the workers were really nice and we made lots of friends at the nursery

Bob Whitehead from Stirchley and Cotteridge against the Cuts said:

this is a valuable resource to the community, it cannot be downgraded or lost. The council is spending millions on unneccessary consultants they can easily afford a few thousand to keep this open. If the worst comes to the worst Labour must re-open it next May

Richard Burden MP with Vannessa

Richard Burden, Labour MP for Northfield joined parents on the March. You can read what he said last year about community nurseries here. Today he said:

They are saying no service is being lost … the trouble is they are doing that whilst slashing lots out of the budget … if you are going to do integrated family services properly you can’t do it on the cheap

The group walked from Merrishaw Day Nursery to Hampstead House, where Conservative party Councillor Randal Brew was running the surgery this morning. He met with the group to hear their concerns. He has said he will be meeting other councillors about the nursery on Monday and will report back to the parents about the meeting.

If you want to get involved with this campaign and other campaigns in the area, contact Stirchley and Cotteridge against the Cuts – email StirchleyAntiCuts@Gmail.com, call 07828013091 or go along to their next meeting on Tuesday 16th August, at the Whit Marley Social Centre, 10 Ivy Road, Stirchley (Just off Pershore road on Stirchley high street) from 7:15pm.

If you are a parent at one of the other nurseries, please get in contact with us as we would like to support you to fight these closures – the parents at this nursery made it clear to Cllr Randal Brew that they were against the closure of all nurseries, and not just Merrishaw. Given a concerted effort, we can fight the cuts and keep our services open. Get in touch, and get active with a group in your area.

Other reports: B31 Blog
Dr Miles Weaver (Labour party activist)

Update on the campaign: Parents’ outrage at closure


Filed under Birmingham City Council, Cuts, Events, Stirchley and Cotteridge Against the Cuts

Save Merrishaw Day Nursery from closure

Stirchley and Cotteridge against the Cuts are supporting  a parents campaign to save Merrishaw Day Nursery in West Heath from closure.

This closure is imminent and the campaign needs your urgent support. A similar threat was announced 12 months ago but a campaign by parents, staff and UNISON caused councillors to u-turn.

The campaign also believes that the rest of service will be scaled down so that only those classed as “children in need” would be able to access the day nursery.

Don’t let this  happen!
*We are not being heard
*No consultation
*We do not want our children  to move.
*Our children are happy and settled at Merrishaw.

What you can do

1. Join our stall / street leafletting on Saturday.  We will meet at West Heath Shops, Alvechurch Rd, by the Co-op at 10:30am

There will now also be a stall/street leafletting on Saturday 23rd July, from 10:30am, at Faifaax Shops, bottom of Cropredy Road, West Heath

2. Join us on Saturday 30th July, 9.30a.m at Merrishaw Nursery, 49  Merrishaw Road, B31 3SL as we walk to Hampstead House to deliver our petition to the councillors.

Next Stirchley and Cotteridge Against the Cuts Planning meeting will be on Tuesday 26th July, 7:15pm, Stirchley Community Church, Perhsore road (opposite the old Stirchley Paths)

To contact Stirchley and Cotteridge Against the Cuts, Email StirchleyAntiCuts@Gmail.com or call 07828 013 091

Although Birmingham City Council has previously denied that there will be any closures, GMB union which represents many of the nursery workers were able to find out from the council that the plans do in fact involve closing the following nurseries:

Teviot Tower – Aston
The Chestnut Centre – Bordsley Green
Yatesburry Avenue – closed in May 2011- Castle Vale.
Millpool Gardens – Kings Heath
Merrishaw – West Heath
New Spring St – Ladywood
Belgravia -Highgate
Dyson Gardens – Alum Rock.

These plans have not yet been finalised, and GMB will be working against the plans with the workers and we need to include the parents who use these nurseries and make sure that the councillors know that their communities do not accept the need to close nurseries in Birmingham.

If you are a parent who uses one of these nurseries, please get in touch with us at BirminghamAgainstTheCuts@Gmail.com.  Perhaps you could work on a campaign to save the nursery that you use, along with other parents.  If you’ve never done any campaigning before, don’t worry, we can put you in touch with experienced activists living in your area who can help.  Working together we can save our services from closure.



Filed under Cuts, Stirchley and Cotteridge Against the Cuts