Archive for the ‘Press release’ Category

Two events have been called at Minet Library at Myatt’s Park, this Saturday, National Libraries Day, in response to controversial plans by the council to shut Libraries.

Lambeth Council is planning to sell the Minet and Waterloo Libraries.  Funding will also be stopped for Durning, Carnegie and Upper Norwood Library. If community groups do not come forward to take over Durning, Carnegie and Upper Norwood Library, they too may face closure.

Ruth Cashman, Unison Representative for Lambeth Libraries commented;

“Library staff and our Library Friends Groups have been gearing up for a huge membership and publicity drive around National Libraries Day and now we find out the Council has announced plans which threaten half of the borough’s Libraries. Frankly, it’s a slap in the face to library staff, our Friends of Libraries Groups and the communities we serve. We now know exactly what the long-running and costly Cooperative Libraries project was, an attack on a comprehensive public library service across the borough. Labour was reelected boasting that it kept all our libraries open, where is that commitment to the service’s future now?”

Lambeth Council launched the Cooperative Libraries initiative as part of its Cooperative Council Plans. Outlining the plans for the Cooperative Libraries Project in November 2011, Councillor Steve Reed, then Leader of Lambeth Council said;

“I’m excited about the future for Lambeth’s libraries.  While other boroughs have been forced to close libraries thanks to Government funding cuts, thanks to Labour in Lambeth  our library service is now secure for the future.”

UNISON say they will work with the community to fight the Council’s proposals.

The Save Lambeth Libraries campaign have called an event called “Save Our Library Because…” at Minet Library, at 3pm on Saturday 7 February, World Libraries Day. This is followed by a candle lit vigil in Myatt’s Field Park to protest both Library cuts and 50% cuts to the Park, called by the Myatt’s Field Hub.

The Save Lambeth Libraries campaign have called on everyone unable to attend the events to tweet their support for their libraries. Their Facebook Page states

“We are asking people who cannot make it down to the events to tweet a photo to Jane Edbrooke, Cabinet member responsible for Libraries (@JaneEdbrooke) and your local MP with the hashtag ‪#‎SaveLibraries. If you do not have a twitter account, send the photo to us at Save Lambeth Libraries and we will send it out for you. ‬

  • Take a big piece of paper
  • Write “Save Our Libraries Because…” across the top
  • Fill in your reason – it can be something you’ve written, a quote or a picture
  • Send us a photo of yourself holding your “Save Our Libraries Because…” page, tweet it, post it…”

ENDS

Download pdf version: PRESS RELEASE Library Workers Accuse Council of Insult to National Libraries Day after Cuts and Closures Announcement

Got photos? Add a link to them in the comments!

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This list will be updated as more come in. If you know one we have missed please post a comment at the bottom of the post.

Lambeth Council

All pickets from 7am to 10.45pm (at least).

Lambeth Town Hall, Brixton – 2-7 Town Hall Parade, Porden Road, SW2 5RW (behind the Town Hall)

Phoenix House – 10 Wandsworth Road, Vauxhall, SW8 2LL (over the road from Vauxhall tube station)

International House – 6 Canterbury Crescent, Brixton, SW9 7QE (behind Brixton police station)

Olive Morris House – 18 Brixton Hill, SW2 1RL (more…)

NEWS RELEASE

Contact for enquiries – Jon Rogers 07957 505 571

UNISON members in Lambeth libraries are taking strike action over proposed cuts which will destroy the service. 90% of library staff in Lambeth are members of UNISON and all libraries are expected to close on 22 July 2011 unless the council withdraw its proposals.

Lambeth Labour Council is cutting £1.2 million pounds from the library service over the next 3 years. The first round of cuts is a cut from the Cultural Services staff budget which threatens all Enquiry Desk staff with redundancy and deletes all the librarian jobs in the borough.

Enquiry desk staff buy books, advise readers on book choices, job hunting, local information and council services, well as helping people find stock in the library. They also run all the reading groups, parent and toddler storytimes, silver surfer sessions, workshops and organise events bringing authors to local libraries.

Ruth Cashman, UNISON steward for West Norwood Library explains that the cuts make staffing levels in libraries unviable but there is an alternative.

“The cuts proposed by the council will mean the end of many of the libraries’ best loved services; reading groups, author talks, storytimes and ‘Silver Surfers’. They will also mean people can’t get help finding jobs or bidding for council houses. One library will close due to inadequate staffing as soon as someone takes annual leave!

Some jobs in Cultural Services are safe, in fact there are new positions created for backroom managers who don’t have contact with the public or deliver any of the much loved services. Valued frontline jobs are being axed but the managers who should be talking responsibility for the crumbling library buildings or the preventable closure of West Norwood Library are escaping any effects of the cuts.

UNISON has proposed a structure that protects frontline services and avoids compulsory redundancy whilst still making the required savings. The council have a choice whether to accept it or plough ahead with their unworkable plans.

Library staff are striking for the future of a service we care about – Staff don’t want to close libraries even for a day. If the council agree to our proposal, which saves jobs and services, as well as money, the strike will be called off – they have a choice.”

Notes

1) UNISON is meeting management to try to negotiate a resolution of the
dispute up to and including Thursday 21 July.
2) If the strike goes ahead then there will be picket lines on the morning of
Friday 22 July. The main picket line and photo opportunity will be
outside Brixton Library.

Compulsory work for benefits – is being rolled-out across the country. Join the fight-back in Lambeth.

When New York City introduced workfare in the 80s it sacked 30000 unionised workers and replaced them with compulsory work-for-benefits slaves. What New Labour started the ConDems are going for at full speed.  Already Tesco, Primark, Poundland, Whittington Hospital and Finsbury Park tube station stewards are “employing”  workers on compulsory work-for-benefits and around 300 voluntary sector organisations are offering to do the same (e.g. Age Concern, Barnados and Shelter).

A4E is a leading, and rapidly expanding, champion and executor of this slavery. Disabled people are being forced off ESA into “jobseeking”, and single parents forced to work even when they can’t afford childcare. On Thursday we tell Brixton A4E exactly how we feel @ 10am 444A Brixton Road. Check out boycottworkfare.org and unemploymentmovement.com

 

We agree our declaration

Posted: May 24, 2011 by lambethsaveourservices in Press release

Opening PanelThe following declaration was (hastily) agreed at our Peoples Assembly on May 21 2011. Ideally we would have had more time for amendments and discussion but we voted to reconvene the assembly in the near future. Please bring amendments to our next assembly!

Lambeth People’s Assembly aims to mobilise, organise and unite in effective action all those affected by the slash and burn austerity programme of the Tory-Lib Dem government:

  • Public sector workers targeted with massive job cuts, a pay freeze and privatisation
  • The most vulnerable – the poor, unemployed, single parents, the disabled, pensioners and youth – whose benefits will be slashed and services destroyed
  • Women, youth and ethnic minorities who will be disproportionately affected.
  • Everyone, who will be hit with higher taxes, pension cuts, and over a million further job losses in both the public and private sector due to austerity and the recession.

Yet we didn’t cause this crisis – the bankers did. This is a crisis of the capitalist system. The trillion pound bank bailout and the economic recession caused by the credit crunch, is the root of this debt crisis. But tax cuts for big business, coupled with tax avoidance by the wealthy, means the rich get richer and the hole in the budget gets bigger.

Lambeth People’s Assembly rejects the idea of slashing public services completely. There does not need to be a single cut and we reject every single one!

Instead, tax the rich, banks and business to protect and extend public services, build council housing and launch an environmentally sound public works programme that will provide useful, well-paid and permanent jobs. The market capitalist economy isn’t working so we should take the banks and big corporations into common ownership.

Read the rest of our Declaration

The next planning meeting is on Thursday 2nd June 6:30pm, in the Vida Walsh centre in Brixton. See our calendar for all our events.

You can also get regular updates and get involved with the campaign using our email lists.

John McDonnell
Stuart King reports on the May 21 Lambeth Peoples Assembly (with thanks to information from World to Win reporters)

Over 130 people came on a hot spring day to the first formal meeting of the Lambeth Peoples Assembly held in the Town Hall. As Ruth Cashman the first speaker pointed out, the first assembly had taken place when we occupied the council chamber in Lambeth the night they passed the cuts budget.

On the day a wide range of trade unionists and people from local organisations, including disability campaigners, librarians, pensioners, transport and health workers, students and lecturers gathered to establish the Assembly as a focal point for the struggle against the cuts.

Ruth Cashman, a Librarian and Unison member, explained the series of vicious cuts being pushed through by Lambeth, resulting in park rangers being sacked, crucial Library staff being made redundant and school crossing patrols cut, putting children’s lives at risk. Hundreds of redundancies were being pushed through across the council at a time of growing unemployment.

Speaker from UNITE
Starting a theme that ran throughout the day Ruth said that the Labour councillors were carrying out the coalitions dirty work and trying to blame the Tories for the fact that they were too cowardly to stand up and fight with their own communities.

John McDonnell, MP told the Assembly: 
“There has been nothing resembling the current cuts since the 1930s, a time when recession turned into a full-blown Depression. Then people said, ‘Never Again’ and hence the welfare state was set up, but now this is being axed.”

He noted that Britain was one of the richest countries in the world, and yet in his own constituency some people forced off disability benefits, often by simply making a mistake on a form, were now having to rely on food packages to survive.

“It is important to share and compare experiences and decide on what actions to take,” he said. “It is crucial to visualise the kind of society that we aspire to.” He called for a build-up of actions to bring down the government.

Kingsley Abrams
Lambeth councillor Kingsley Abrams was cheered as the only Labour councillor in Lambeth not to vote for the cuts. As punishment, the Labour Party had suspended him for six months, now seemly reduced to three due to pressure from the new national leadership of UNITE.

Sarah Tomlinson of the Lambeth National Union of Teachers explained how changes to teachers pensions meant paying much more in, while working longer, into your late sixties. She also reported on a struggle against a planned local “free school” backed by Tory education minister Michael Gove, which would take more resources from Lambeth’s underfunded secondary schools.

Arwen, RMTRMT member and train driver Arwyn Jones, from Morden depot, spoke of his victimisation and summary dismissal after a strike on the Northern Line Underground. While the threat of strike action had led to the re-instatement of a sacked colleague, London transport had reneged on a promise on his case and now the RMT was balloting again for strike action.

London Metropolitan University

(more…)

Lambeth peoples assembly is Saturday 21st may, assembly rooms, lambeth town hall

Saturday 21st May | 12pm – 4pm | Assembly Hall, Acre Lane, London SW2

Lambeth Save Our Services has called a People’s Assembly as part of the campaign to fight the cuts to services in Lambeth.

Our libraries, children’s playgrounds, schools, NHS services, elderly peoples’ provision are all under threat of the axe. Local people are fighting back.

The Lambeth People’s Assembly will be both a festival of resistance and an organising centre to exchange experience and plan for action.

The event will take place from 12-4pm at the Lambeth Town Hall. Join us! and spread the word! Please let us know you’re coming via facebook. You can also download a poster for the event.

Update: Provisional Agenda

1. Intro (start time 12.00 noon)
The Cuts: where we are nationally and locally (1 hour). Short introduction then open floor

2. Stand-up anti cuts routine (start time 1.15pm)
(to be confirmed) (20 mins)

3. Workshops (start time 1.45. pm) provisionally six proposed (45 minutes)
1. Education
2. Housing
3. Disability and other benefit cuts
4. Health
5. Pensioners
6. Libraries/recreation/Youth services

4. Music/refreshment break (start time 2.30pm – 30 minutes)

5. Organising the communities (start time 3.00pm)
No platform just short intros from floor on how cuts are effecting particular groups and fighting back: disability groups, women, UK uncut Barac, Smiley Culture.

6. Conclusion and declaration (start time 3.30pm)
John McDonnell, Ted Knight summing up how we take Peoples Assembly forward, short written declaration. (30 minutes end at 4.00pm prompt)

Wednesday night

Posted: February 28, 2011 by lambethsaveourservices in Demonstrate, Rally & Occupy!, Press release

Lambeth Councillors fled their own chamber on Wednesday night as hundreds of local trade unionists and anti cuts protesters demanded a no-cuts budget.

It all started peacefully enough with a large and lively demonstration outside Lambeth Town Hall. Three to four hundred people took over the pavements outside the town hall and spilled onto the busy inter-junction. There was massive support from passing motorists and bus drivers as horns blared in support of the protest, prompted by placards saying ‘Honk your horns against the cuts’.

The protest was called by Lambeth Save Our Services who had been leafleting and doing stalls in the week leading to the protest. Members from Unison, Unite, GMB, UCU and RMT joined service users in denouncing the planned £37.5 million cuts to Lambeth services – cuts which will effect everything from cutting adventure playgrounds and children crossing patrols to the complete abolition of the park ranger service.

(more…)

 

Contact – Jon Rogers 07957505571

Anti-cuts campaigners call for mass lobby of Lambeth Council as it considers £37 Million cuts package

A packed planning meeting of local anti-cuts campaigners on Wednesday 2nd Feb called upon the people of Lambeth to rally at the Town Hall on Monday evening, 7 February, as the Council considers a £37 Million package of cuts which will cost 600 jobs, including all School Crossing Patrol staff and all Parks Rangers.

“Local people must demand that this Labour Council does not make these cuts,”said local resident Andy Tullis, “we need to be there on Monday night to make sure our views are heard.”

Representatives of local trade unions, pensioners and tenants were joined at the meeting by students and anti-cuts protesters from UK Uncut. Organisers are predicting a large turnout at the lobby of the Council on Monday night.

ENDS

Notes

  1. Lambeth Save Our Services is a local umbrella organisation opposing cuts in public services, supported by the local branches of the UNISON, GMB and NUT unions, by Lambeth Tenants Council and Lambeth Pensioners Action Group. For more information see http://lambethsaveourservices.org/.
  2. The lobby on Monday 5 February will commence from 6pm outside Lambeth Town Hall. Protesters will be dressed as School Crossing Patrol staff (“lollipop ladies”) as one of the Council proposals is to sack all their School Crossing Patrol workers.
  3. Details of Lambeth’s Cuts proposals are included in papers going to the Cabinet meeting available online at http://www.lambeth.gov.uk/Services/CouncilDemocracy/Consultations/BudgetConsultation.htm