Tag Archives: kings heath

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.



Filed under Events, Kings Heath & Moseley 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
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.


Filed under Events, Kings Heath & Moseley Against the Cuts

Report from Kings Heath council consultation budget meeting

Birmingham City Council held a consultation meeting last night in Kings Heath, which was attended by many members of the public, who expressed opposition to the council cuts. Two of our supporters were in attendance and have said this about the meeting:

Dave Stamp:

Just a brief report from a very angry Budget Consultation meeting in Kings Heath, where a packed community centre overwhelmingly passed resolutions opposing all cuts to services , and calling for cuts to executives’ pay equivalent to the “savings” rates proposed in the document.
Astonishingly, the entirely partial presenting officer (Burrows?) took a transparently partisan Tory stance on deficit reduction, and insultingly responded to the call for executives’ pay to be cut by observing that the Counciil’s work was so important, and so beyond the comprehension of mere mortals that it’s essential to pay the highest rates possible to ensure that the most special and wise individuals imaginable will apply for vacancies.
I’m still left with the mental image of the pigs gorging themselves on apples and milk while the rest of the creatures on Orwell’s farm starve.

Aidan Harris:

Along with demands to know the audience’s political affiliations, misinformation about cuts to children’s centres and a disingenuous statement about not raising eligibility criteria for adult social services (not acknowledging that they had been forced to backtrack by a judicial review). A complete whitewash.

Council budget meetings continue, make sure you attend one near you and get resolutions passed against the cuts. You can look at reports from Sutton Coldfield and Longbridge meetings, or the Kings Heath meeting callout for examples of resolutions.
A list of meetings is in this post.

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

Stalls and Leafleting 19th February

Local stalls and leafleting Saturday 19th February

Bearwood outside Aldi 12.00 -2.00 contact Tony 07845969959

Erdington outside Coop 11.00-1.00 contact Pete 07809406973

Handsworth Clock Tower 12.00-2.00 contact Sue 07818068856

King’s Heath outside Asda 11.00-1.00 contact Bridget 07969415398

Sparkhill outside Sparkhill Centre Contact Mary 07970174167

Stichley outside Coop 11.00-1.00 Contact Nick 07828 013091

Sutton 12.00 contact Stuart 07736923865

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Filed under Erdington Against the Cuts, Events, Kings Heath & Moseley Against the Cuts, Stirchley and Cotteridge Against the Cuts

Birmingham Against the Cuts Stalls





Stalls were held today in the city centre and Kings Heath campaigning about the upcoming council cuts which will mean the loss of over 7,000 jobs over the next 3 years, and the reduction or closure of many services, such as CAB and adult care services.

There was a lot of interest at both locations, with hundreds of people signing the petition, and saying they will attend the events coming up to demonstrate against council cuts.

On 17th Feb there will be a public meeting 19:30pm and the council house.

On 26th Feb, there will be a demonstration, march and rally, assembling at 12 noon at Birmingham Cathedral.

On 1st Mar, there will be a demonstration  outside the council house from 2pm, as the council meet to set budgets for the following year.

There are also other events happening around Birmingham in the next few weeks.

The next planning meetings for Birmingham Against the Cuts are on Monday 14th and Tuesday 22nd Feb.  These will be focused on the meeting and demonstrations coming up.  Everyone is welcome to attend.

For more details on any of these, see the upcoming actions page on our blog.

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Filed under Events, Kings Heath & Moseley Against the Cuts