Tag Archives: hyperlocal

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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Stockland Green Against The Cuts & Youth Fight For Jobs Demo – Erdington, Sat 19th May

Local group Stockland Green Against the Cuts, supported by Youth Fight For Jobs are organising a Youth Jobs March on Saturday 19th May, assembling 11am outside the Co-op on Erdington High Street.

No education, no jobs, no homes, no services. This is the bleak future that young people face. We are expected to pay for a crisis caused by the rotten system we live under.

There are currently 1 million 18-14 year olds out of work. This joblessness is a result of the ConDem austerity yet the government tries to punish the unemployed by forcing them to work for their dole. This gives their big business mates the opportunity to get some work done on the cheap.

The cap on tuition fees has been raised to £9,000 a year, pricing many working class people out of universities. And in one of the stingiest attacks, EMA has been scrapped. Education is becoming the preserve of the rich.

Extortionate housing costs and cuts to housing benefit mean that areas such as London will see social cleansing as only the super rich will be able to afford to live there. In Birmingham, 34,500 housing benefit claimants – many of whom are in work – will be chasing 23,000 low cost houses, and it is unknown how many of those are available to people on benefits, as the “No DSS” clause seems to be getting more and more common.

Youth services are being cut to the bone. The riots last year were fuelled by cuts to youth services. If the government carries on its present course then we could see the inner cities set ablaze again.

They say there is no money, but they found the money to bail out their cronies the bankers, and the rich owe £120 billion in unpaid taxes!

Fight for a future

Now is the time for young people to fight back! We need to stop the ConDemolition wrecking ball that is smashing our hopes and futures.

Join us in Erdington on Saturday 19th May

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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

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Stirchley and Cotteridge Against the Cuts, March Activities

Stirchley and Cotteridge Against the Cuts work on local issues around the south and south west of Birmingham. They have been involved in the campaigns that stopped the closure of Charles House, and saw Bournville School reject academy status. Never content to rest on their laurels, the group have a busy March planned:

1) Protest outside Kings Norton Library. (against cutting opening hours from 5 days to 4) Meet at 5pm, Thursday March 8th. Pershore Road South (near the Green).
We will go on to the ward committee at 7pm.

2) Protest at Ward Committee of Bartley Green about closure of Millmeads Childrens home. (details later)

3) Protest outside Northfield Sports and Leisure Centre over its proposed privatisation. Saturday 10th March. 11am outside the baths.

4) Protest outside Stirchley Library 15th March.

5) Weoley Castle Circle protest over Millmeads. Sat 17th March

We will update this post as full details of some of the activities are finalised, but please note the dates in your diaries now. You can get involved with this group by emailing them at StirchleyAntiCuts@Gmail.com, or by turning up to one of their events.

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Handsworth Library Petition Hand In

The petition calling for restored opening hours at Handsworth Library will be handed in by Councillor Waseem Zaffar at the Council meeting on Tuesday 6th December. Initiated by Handsworth Against the Cuts, the petition has gathered a magnificent 860 signatures thanks to the many residents and community activists who got involved. At a meeting on Saturday 26th November, residents pointed out that the library is used by people of all ages and backgrounds – by those who need to use the computers, by schoolchildren doing projects, and by elders of the community who enjoy the safe and sociable atmosphere.

Recent reports have revealed that cuts are happening to library services across the city – and these were never subject to consultation. Handsworth Against the Cuts will continue to push for proper opening hours for our own library, but not at the expense of others. We need to campaign to keep both our central and community libraries open for business.

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Stirchley and Cotteridge Against the Cuts Newsletter

· At our last meeting we all agreed that the November 30th strikes, the city centre demonstration and rally at the NIA had been very successful. Congratulations to all concerned! You can read our report from the day and see more photos here

· We were very pleased to have two parents from Charles House at our last meeting. They have a pledge from Councillor Les Lawrence that he will attend to meet parents next Friday at 12.30pm. The press will most likely be there. The next day, 10th December, there will be a street stall on Kings Norton Green, meet at 10.30am, where they also plan to visit the local Councillor’s surgery.

· We had a first discussion about the problem of having three pro-cuts council candidates in Bournville and other local wards at the May elections. A representative from the Green Party attended and confirmed the offer of a no-cuts collaborative approach. Various views were put forward on this and it was agreed to re-discuss the issue at our next meeting and come to a decision. Despite being invited, a representative from the Labour Party did not attend.

· We agreed to make a special free offer to Charles House parents for our upcoming social on December 15th. The updated flyer is attached. You will see that bar food will be available.

· Our next meeting will be on Wednesday 14th December, venue to be confirmed.

You can contact Stirchley and Cotteridge Against the Cuts by emailing

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Scathing Attack on Library Cuts from Former Head of Libraries

John Dolan, the former head of Birmingham Libraries, attacked the council’s library cuts programme in a open letter published in the Birmingham Post.

The Birmingham Post sets out cuts planned for Birmingham Libraries.This comes out one day before the last Council public consultation meeting on its budget plans. There was no mention of libraries in list of cuts up for public consultation. In all the public papers the words ‘library’ or ‘libraries’ are not used anywhere.

This is actually about dismantling the service through the back door while pretending to fix the front door. Birmingham has already dismissed most of the senior and middle management.

You should read the whole letter – it was also published on Voices for the Library

It comprises a comprehensive analysis of the way in which Birmingham City Council is seeking to dismantle an important service for the community. Handsworth Library will not open on Fridays, and many other libraries are also restricting their opening hours – We have been told the Central Library will now close at 6pm each day, making it difficult for anyone who works to use the service.
Aside from lending books, audio books and often music and films, libraries also offer internet access, often in communities that have low access rates. For someone who is unemployed, having access to the internet is vital to help find work or training opportunities.

Handsworth Against the Cuts is already campaigning about library cuts in that area, so if you want to be involved with that, get in touch with them. If your local library is facing cuts and you want to fight that and the library cuts in general, let us know, or come to our next open planning meeting on Monday 12th December. (let us know you are coming so it gets on the agenda).

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Handsworth Against the Cuts Stall tomorrow

Saturday 5th November 11am-1pm outside the library, Soho Road.
Help us gather signatures for our petition against library cutbacks.
We will also be leafleting for the BAtC Public Meeting on November 24th and in support of the planned strikes over pensions.

NB if you live in Handsworth Wood, Handsworth, Lozells or Winson Green please sign our petition and better still get others to do so. There is a copy here. Signed petitions need to be returned to the address shown by the weekend of December 3rd so they can be presented to the full council on December 6th.

thanks

For contact details and past posts from Handsworth Against the Cuts, see their page by clicking here

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Save Charles House

A packed emergency meeting of parents and supporters was held yesterday at Charles House. This is based in West Heath and provides respite care for disabled children, including such things as autism. It takes children from all parts of the city and provides expert, quality care.
The meeting was addressed by the Council official responsible for such provision, Eleanor Brazil (Director CYPF), who explained that “savings” (cuts) were behind the threat to this Council service. She said its occupancy rate was only 57% and that was similar to another home in the city. Foster care might be an alternative.

When it came to question time for parents, a host of heartfelt, angry and tearful comments were made. It was stressed time and time again that without the respite care being delivered by Charles House, parents would not be able to cope. It would lead to family breakdowns, which would then cost the state even more.
Most parents said that they had found it very difficult to get their children into the house for respite care; it was time consuming and bureaucratic. If it was made easier and more transparent, the take up rate would very quickly climb to 100%.
As regards to fostering care, one parent said that she had been turned down by eighteen potential foster parents because they didn’t have the skills needed to look after her child. At Charles House they do have those skills! Incidentally Birmngham City Council wants to cut at least 23 Fostering Social Workers currently based at Lifford House!
No, the whole proposal to close or merge Charles House is misconceived nonsense. It should be kept open in its own right with a full level of provision. In reply to the economic argument, the Council is spending £200 million this year in repayments to the banks, via the government. As it was the banks that caused the economic problems behind all of this in the first place, let them wait for their money! The Council has also spent £186 million on Capita. What is the Council getting for this, and is it more important than respite care for disabled children and parents?

There was huge support expressed for a campaign to save Charles House by the parents. Several Labour (current and potential) Councillors were there to offer support. And so were Stirchley and Cotteridge against the Cuts, who pointed out the lessons of the Merrishaw closure and offered a few ideas on how to win this time.
The “consultation”period ends on 6th January 2012. There is now a large breathing space to build up such a campaign, that this vital resource will be left alone.

by Bob Whitehead and Chris Hughes

There will be a “Save Charles House” group meeting. Next Thursday at 10.30am, 10th November, At Charles House.

There are two petitions we would ask everyone to sign:
here

and here

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

Handsworth Against the Cuts – Library Cuts, Petition, Next Meeting

Dear Friends

Those of you that use our local libraries will have noticed that we are are already suffering cuts in service here in Handsworth. We have already seen the loss of the library service that was based at Hawthorne House. Then earlier this year, we lost another day’s opening at Handsworth library on the Soho Road. Now users are experiencing further closures for example early closure or lunch-time closure. The reason given is staff shortages.

We know how hard our library staff work and that the cuts in library provision and job losses has made life even more difficult for them. We want to show support for our library service and ask the council to ensure that a full service can be maintained for local residents by stopping and reversing the cuts. Attached is a petition which we are launching on Saturday. We will be outside the library on the Soho Road from 11.00 – 1.00, Saturday 15th October. Please come and help us and pick up copies to take to friends and neighbours, or download and print the petition yourself, Our aim is to give the petition to local councilors.

We will discuss this at our next meeting on Thursday 27th October, 6.30pm Shaeed Udham Singh Centre (back room) 346 Soho Road. The main item will be a discussion of Birmingham’s youth unemployment led by Rick Hatcher who has recently written a pamphlet on this topic. We will also discuss how to build support for the November 30th pensions day of action

Warm regards

Sue Thomas, for Handsworth Against the Cuts

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