Posts Tagged ‘anti cuts’

The big borrow

Saturday 11 April 2.30pm

Waterloo Library

Lambeth Libraries are under threat! Come and join the campaign!

The Culture 2020 consultation proposes:

  • Half of Lambeth’s Libraries under threat of closure
  • Immediate sell-off of Minet and Waterloo Libraries
  • Funding stopped to Carnegie, Durning and Upper Norwood Libraries
  • Cut opening hours at remaining libraries
  • Reduce size of West Norwood and Brixton Libraries
  • Replace Libraries with bookshelves in pubs

Come to Waterloo Library and take out your full 15 book allowance, we plan to empty the shelves and show we need our libraries. You can sign up for a library card on the day, bring a proof of address (you do not need to live in Lambeth to join the library).

There will be storytelling and face painting for children, on the day.

What can I do to help?

  1. Download our Big Borrow poster (PDF)  (or in jpeg below) and stick it up at home/work/school/public noticeboards/shops to spread the word.
  2. Share this post on your facebook/twitter/email
  3. Come to the library on Saturday and withdraw your full allowance with all your friends and family!

Big Borrow V1

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ANNOUNCEMENTS

NHS Actions

– Saturday Simon Hughes office lobby 10-12am

– March 7: TUC backed Rally to save our NHS. Lobby at Westminster Idea to have a human chain around St Thomas’. Lambeth SOS has backed it. Come one come all and spread the word.

Connexions, national careers service, in Brixton on Acre Lane is shutting at the end of March. There’s a petition against the closure to sign and circulate. Unison is working on campaigning against it and lobbying the council.

Press release and website statement coming.

London Region RMT invited SOS to speak to them. Next Thursday evening – Couple of people are going. Anyone else who wants to go is welcome to join.

BUILDING FOR FEB 29 COUNCIL BUDGET LOBBY

Lambeth Pan Disability Forum are mobilizing for it. South London DPAC and Lambeth Accessible Transport will join us.

UK Uncut are really keen to support the town hall demo – putting lots of publicity and info on it

PUBLICITY

Please sign up to join in the comments as well to spread the word out! Postcards, flyers are available at the UNISON office.

TUBES

Stockwell: Tuesday, Feb 21 – 4:45-6pm

Oval: Wednesday, Feb 22 – 4:45-6pm

Kennington: Thursday, Feb 23 – 4:45-6pm

Brixton: Friday, Feb 24 – 4:45-6pm

Anybody is welcome to join or do any other time or station, please add a comment or use the discussion email list so that we don’t duplicate effort!

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Public service trade union, UNISON, has today condemned the chaotic management of Lambeth’s troubled “Arms Length Management Organisation” (ALMO) Lambeth Living.

On the evening of Wednesday 26 January it was announced to the board of the ALMO that the Chief Executive had left. This happened on the same day that staff had been told, in response to rumours, that the Chief Executive had not left and came just weeks after the sudden departure of another Director.

“Housing staff are trying to get on with their jobs, but are being badly let down by senior management and the ALMO Board led by Keith Hill,” commented UNISON Branch Secretary Jon Rogers. “There is no question now but that Lambeth Living has failed and that Lambeth Councillors should bite the bullet and take direct responsibility for the management of council housing in Lambeth.”

UNISON is calling upon Lambeth to stop the ALMO proceeding with damaging cuts to front line services which were championed by the senior managers who have now left.

“Estate Services Officers threatened with redundancy have been out there day in, day out, helping tenants,” said Mr Rogers, “in the mean time some of the senior managers who decided to sack these hard working staff have been leaving. Lambeth Living as an organisation is now a bad joke.”

Lambeth Save our Services are protesting against the proposed council budget by holding a demonstration at the next council cabinet meeting at 6pm on Monday 7th February outside Lambeth town hall.

We want as many people to come to show the council that we are serious about fighting their proposed budget from which the South London Press estimates a quarter of council staff will lose their jobs. Invite friends and colleagues, bring kids and family, make posters and banners – this is going to be huge!

Lambeth’s Labour run council has already asked all staff to consider voluntary redundancy which shows how desperately they want to cut staff and services. They claim the budget will hardly affect front line services by cutting unnecessary services and slashing back office staff yet all school crossing staff and park rangers are likely to lose their jobs as well as many staff who work hard behind the scenes to support front line services. There cannot be such deep and drastic cuts without huge consequences to our local community – we need to fight these cuts and now.

We call on the council to refuse to carry out the Conservative-Liberal Democrat cut in council funding and deliver the services we actually need. Not only does the current budget impose many cuts, it does nothing to tackle enormous senior management pay (£220,000 for the chief exec!), wasted money on expensive consultants, badly negotiated external contracts and a housing ALMO (arms length management organisation) that desperately needs to brought back in-house to save money and jobs. This budget will be bad for Lambeth!

So please get involved with Save our Services and come and demonstrate on Monday 7th.

Download the leaflet and circulate to everyone you know. Printed copies available – get in touch.

Join the event on Facebook and invite everyone you know.

We will be leafletting and running stalls in the run up so please come and say hello and help out.

  • Thursday 27th Jan – 5 till 6.30pm – Oval tube, Stockwell tube station
  • Friday 28th Jan – 5 till 6.30pm – Oval tube, Stockwell tube, Brixton tube stations
  • Saturday 29th Jan – 11am – Streatham high street – probably by the Odeon

Around 200 people amassed outside southwark town hall today to protest aginst the 33 million in cuts to the council budget. The police tried in vain to only allow a small group with banners in front of the town hall by locking the gates and marshalling people across the road to the designated demonstration area. When the crowd including Lambeth SOS members politely refused a council worker eventually opened the gates and the protest continued.

There were ad hoc speakers from various local organisations and campaigns, including Southwark SOS, trade unions and members of the occupation at Camberwell School of Art. The atmosphere was good with some excellent home made banners.

A number of people went into the public gallery where inside the Labour run council was deciding its budget for 2011 – The government is cutting funding to Southwark by 31% leading to £33 million in devastating cuts to local services.

Loads has been going on at Lambeth SOS and it’s about time to publicise it!

On Monday 17th January 2011 the Labour Party councilors met in the town hall and voted on the provisional council budget (ironically the consultation meetings start the next day – local democracy eh?). 39 of the councillors agreed the budget (more details on this for follow). Lambeth SOS, Lambeth Unison, Right to Work, Lambeth Trades council and others were on the steps letting our councillors know they should not pass on ConDem cuts to the people of Lambeth.

On Tuesday 18 January 2011 people from SOS went to the first of 2 Council budget consultation meetings took place (the next is today). There is a good discussion of what happened on urban 75 but basically £37 m in cuts, 600 jobs to go. Having a consultation meeting after the budget has been decided looks really bad for the council and its hard to see how much influence these meeting will have. Come to our demonstration on the 7th feb when the council cabinet votes to make our voice heard!

We had a planning meeting on Thursday 20th Jan. Really good turn out of about 25 people from loads of organisations and lots of new faces. we are getting bigger every week and  The main topic was our demonstration on the 7th Feb at the town hall. We are going to build for this really hard and we want hundreds of people to come along to show the council how we feel about their budget. Full minutes to follow but provisional key info about the budget:

  • 1-200 jobs gone/going this financial year at the council and 600 next year (from april) to be cut, that’s  35 million or about 15% of staff. This will devastate many services.
  • All school crossing wardens to go.
  • All park rangers to go.
  • Lots of money cut in libraries including likely job cuts.
  • Deep cuts in back office staff – call centres and customer centres included.
  • Several services to be prepped for hand over to voluntary sector.
  • Entire workforce offered voluntary redundancy.

So pretty grim stuff. To fight this we need everyone to come on the 7th Feb and be heard!

Council Budget docs available here http://www.lambeth.gov.uk/Services/CouncilDemocracy/Consultations/BudgetConsultation.htm

Overview:  Scrutiny of the draft revenue and capital budgets 2011/12 – 2013/14

Full info (called appendix 1 – are they trying to hide it?): http://www.lambeth.gov.uk/moderngov/mgConvert2PDF.aspx?ID=26412 9

Capital spending info – big project money (appendix 2): http://www.lambeth.gov.uk/moderngov/mgConvert2PDF.aspx?ID=26419

ALSO – We will be promoting SOS today in Brixton and Streatham with stall so please come and say hello and help out. We will also and attending the consultation meeting today and leafletting tube stations all week. to help out email lambethsaveourservices@gmail.com.


lambeth soso logoChair: Paris. Minutes: Stuart
Present: 12 intrepid activists in snowshoes (around 25-30 apologies because of weather)

Important diary events coming up:

  • Thur 9 Dec: No Fees No, Cuts education march on parliament on day of vote on Fees Bill. Assemble 12.00.noon Malet St. Lobby supported by NUS.
  • 11 Dec Defend Council Housing Meeting, Renton Close Community Centre , Brixton Hill
  • 14 December Southwark SOS protest at Southwark Town Hall, Peckham Road 19.00, night of Cuts Budget, (NOTE: now cancelled)
  • 24 January special meeting of Lambeth Council Cabinet to discuss cuts budget. Voting on cuts budget: 23 February

1. Reports


a) 20 Nov Lambeth conference

: discussed the very useful workshops, Paris still collecting action points. Education group had exchanged emails and were setting up telephone network. Link to student demos and Stockwell Park anti-academy campaign. Welfare Group – discussing setting up a claimants action group, not just the unemployed because benefit cuts broader effecting in work benefits, housing benefit. Talked about having section of website, news-sheet at some point, local film showing with Southwark. Health Group discussed concentrating on the white paper and GP budget changes. Take up issues in patient participation forums. One such Lambeth Link meets at Stockwell resource centre on 17th January and we should attend to put case against changes. Try and link up with Southwark Keep Our health Service Public group at King’s Hospital. Housing Group discussed need to go out to TRA’s (Tenants and Resident Associations) make the case against cuts and for taking ALMO Lambeth Living under council control again. Invited to China Walk TRA in 13 Dec. Possibility of organising Alternative Housing Conference – challenge Council representative to debate ALMO. 29 Jan or 5th Feb possible dates. It was reported that Defend Council Housing having a lobby of parliament on 15 Feb. Also Unison still waiting on date for strike in Lambeth Living over redundancies maybe end January.

Agreed:

 


i.
If a strike was happening then the day of strike might be a good time for a rally/conference on housing in the afternoon, providing enough notice of strike was known – first strike maybe 22nd or 29th Jan.
ii. That the groups from workshops should try and organise in their areas with Thurs meetings an umbrella group of campaign. Contacts for 4 groups:
Education: btinternet DOT com> and (Paris)
Welfare: <RosanneAT lycos DOT com> and and
Housing: <danj23 AT yahoo DOT com> and
Health: <michellesmith1983 AT hotmail DOT co DOT uk> and possibly Teresa (contact through Andy above)

b). Coalition of Resistance Conference Sat 27th


Over 1200 present, useful workshops bringing together anti-cuts activists across country, series of good speakers – National Council of 120 plus agreed, will meet quarterly. Unite Executive has since agreed to back CoR – new Gen Sec McCluskie spoke at conference. (further info can be found at CoR’s website coalitionofresistance.org.uk)

c). Local Labour Parties


Stuart reported that left Southwark and Lambeth (LRC) was meeting Sunday evening. Jeremy reported invite to Streatham LP women’s group Sat 4th morning

d). Lambeth TUC


Jeremy reported that Anton the TUC sec will be contacting Lambeth SOS with a view to working together in future.

e) RMT strikes


Short report and discussion on ongoing RMT dispute over cuts and redundancies. No more strikes till January.

2. Students and Fees struggles

Report on days of action and occupations. The campaign is now focused on a national day of action on 8th December and mass demonstration/lobby of parliament on 9th December when the Coalition is hoping to rush through the legislation. Rob reported on organisation of school students locally.

AGREED:

 


i) Try and get delegates from students especially South Bank to meeting (main campus however is in Southwark)
ii) Lambeth SOS members where they can to leaflet Lambeth FE college students about 9th Dec. demo

3. South London Conference idea


Last meeting agreed to set up working group from Lambeth, Southwark, Lewisham, Greenwich, Croydon to examine usefulness of conference of those groups early next year to develop links/action. Croydon now setting up a working group to get this off the ground.
AGREED

i) Stuart to try to set up meeting and work with Ruth on it.

4. Next meeting of Lambeth SOS

Thursday 16th December (this would also be a seasonal drinks type meeting)
Items must discuss: 1. Lambeth Budget meetings 2. Sth London conf progress

Summary of diary items

 


8 Dec Wandsworth launch of Anti cuts group
9 Dec: No Fees No, Cuts education march on parliament
11 Dec Defend Council Housing Meeting, Renton Close Community Centre , Brixton Hill
13 Dec Invited to China Walk TRA
14 December Southwark SOS protest at Southwark Town Hall
16 December next Lambeth SOS organising meeting., 6.30 Vida Walsh
15 January SE TUC day of action against cuts
17 Jan Lambeth Link NHS
24 Jan Lambeth Council Cabinet
End January Lambeth Living strike?
15 February Defend council Housing Lobby
23 February Lambeth council budget meeting
26 March National TUC demo