Notts Cuts Watch #9 and events in week starting 13th December 2010

The latest edition of Notts Cuts Watch is available now on Nottingham Indymedia:

http://nottingham.indymedia.org.uk/articles/805

This is a weekly bulletin detailing how the Age of Austerity has been impacting Nottinghamshire over the last week or so. This edition includes information on grit bins in the city, consultants in the county and what the students did this week.

The bulletin also includes a helpful run-down of anti-cuts events in Nottingham over the next week as below.

Note that we’re meeting on Monday 13th December at 7.30pm. This will be our last meeting before Christmas, so try and come along if you can.


UPCOMING EVENTS (Edited/updated from Notts Cuts Watch #9)

*Monday 13th December,2pm, Nottingham City Council meeting which includes a motion introduced by David Mellen requesting that the
government “review and change” their policies to avoid “leading to a wasted generation in Nottingham and the UK”.

* Monday 13th December, 7.30pm, Notts SOS meeting. Open planning meeting at the International Community Centre, Mansfield Road. See http://nottssos.org.uk/contact/ for venue details.

* Monday 13th December, 7.30pm, the local labour party is holding a debate at the Labour Group’s City Agent’s office about the Nottingham Labour Party’s strategy for the local elections next in May next year. Council leader Jon Collins is chairing. Why not go along and make some helpful suggestions? The address is Unit 13a, John Folman Business Centre, Hungerhill Road, NG3 4NB.

* Wednesday 15th December, 11am, Nottinghamshire County Council cabinet meets to discuss the budget and closure of Gedling School. Save Gedling School campaign are planning a protest at County Hall at 10am. Supporters are invited to bring placards and banners. Balloons will be release. Check Facebook for details.

* Saturday 18th December, the latest day of action against tax avoiding corporations. Nottingham details are on UK Uncut and on Facebook. As will other events, meet 1pm at Clumber St. Vodafone. Special carol song sheets will be available.

Them them eat paint! Education struggles set to continue in Nottingham after vote to raise fees is narrowly passed in Commons

Amidst the widescale revolt on the streets of London on the day of the vote to raise tuition fees, and the front page news spectacular of the paint bombing of the heir to the throne’s car on his way to a Royal Variety Performance, one thing is clear. After this narrowly won House of Commons vote, we are definitely not amused, and the fight against raised fees and other cuts to education will continue.

The choice of fees or graduate tax from different politicians is a diversion. The bottom line is that tuition fee rises, by whatever means students will be asked to pay them back, and the abolishing of Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) for 16-18 year olds are examples of ordinary, and in this case mainly young, people having to pay as individuals for the economic crisis. We are told there is no alternative but there is – make education, like healthcare a common good, freely available to all. Our society has become so much more unequal and this has to be reversed. Private individuals continue to increase their wealth in spite of the crisis that was caused by speculation and the search for quick profits.

The attack on the royals, whilst this one off opportunity will no doubt be debated endlessly in terms of ‘security’ as will be the policing of anticuts and fees protests in general, it’s importance is mostly symbolic. What is really important is that more and more people are prepared to take to the streets to say no to privilege, no to top management bonuses, no to multi-billion tax dodges, and no cuts in services, arts and education. Why should we be the ones to suffer while the rich carry on entertaining themselves seemingly regardless of what we are going through?

Not only students …

On the website of Nottingham Students Against Fees and Cuts names of a total of 85 university staff at University of Nottingham from the School of History, School and Modern Languages and Culture and the School of Politics and International Relations can be found, in full support of last weeks occupation and opposition to the rise in fees.

One of the staff supporter who spoke during the occupation has written an article on his blog: Trade unions and global restructuring

It is especially good to see education workers supporting the students’ initiative, and that a city-wide education network is in the making. This network will hopefully involve students in higher and further education colleges and schools, parents, teachers, lecturers, researchers, technicians, admin and clerical, porters, cleaners, caterers – everyone. Organising in education will be a theme of the forthcoming Notts SOS conference on 15th January 2011.

See also: Nottingham Students Against Fees and Cuts! Press release: Students expose Vice Chancellor’s regressive views and University’s lies and Notts Black Arrow: Nottingham Against Austerity

Parents against student debt - sign held on London anti-fees protest on 9 December 2010
Parents against student debt - sign held on London anti-fees protest on 9 December 2010

Nottingham City Cuts consultations – “They asked. We said no cuts”

Nottingham says no to the cuts posterCity consultations

Following the city council ‘consultations’ on the cuts, where we were asked to rate council services for importance, meetings have been going ahead with the title “We asked. You said, What next?” . This consultation is designed to draw residents into discussion about what should be cut. But there is a clear message of no cuts coming out from the exercise.

Here is one view from a resident of Forest Fields about an Nottingham City Council consultation on Wednesday:
NCC have no answers to the cuts

Something that the Councillor didn’t point out but that I thought was quite interesting was that all of the categories were given average scores of greater than 2.5, and all but one category was given an average over 3. These results look suspiciously like people want to keep all of their services.

There are now two more “We asked. You said, What next?” meeting dates left in the current round, both on 14th December.

And in the county …
From our own correspondent (Parish of Nottingham blog): http://parishofnottinghamshire.blogspot.com(Thursday, 9 December 2010)

Kay Cutts looked like she was going to explode today in full council:

A Beeston member asked her about the transfer of some land for the tram to the City Council. Evidently her second hand car salesman transport portfolio holder won’t sell it so the City Council are getting a compulsory purchase order – a long, expensive drawn out business. I’ll now quote a witness:

“The member asked her a straightforward question about the transfer of the land to which she replied rather curtly that a compulsory land transfer arrangement, not purchase was under way and her colour slowly changed from Vogon green to a lighter shade of red. The member then asked how she squared this with her promise not to obstruct the tram and that it may cost her friends in the City Council over £200,000 to get the compulsory order, how could she justify that waste of public money during these difficult times? Her complexion then went through the various stages of red to glowing traffic light, we all thought she was about to burst. She finally just stuttered out something about them not selling voluntarily before sitting down, looking rather embarrassed. We then realised why – sitting directlybehind her was a glowering Leader of the City Council; Jon Collins.”

Notts Cuts Watch #8 (29th Nov-5th Dec 2010) plus events for week beginning Monday 6th December 2010

Notts Cuts Watch #8 (29th Nov-5th Dec 2010) – this is the latest installment of the excellent Notts Cuts Watch which is a round up of the previous week’s cuts and anti-cuts news courtesy of Nottingham Indymedia. See http://nottingham.indymedia.org.uk/articles/775. It also includes a list of forthcoming events for this week. These events are also listed below, plus details of some of these events and more dates specific to education activity are mentioned on the Nottingham Students Against Fees and Cuts website.

The news this week has been dominated by snow which has rendered the north of the Nottinghamshire and much of the country almost inaccessible. But a little frozen water isn’t going to stop the important business of cutting private services and there’s no shortage of material for this week’s Notts Cuts Watch. All of it brought to you in a new, shorter format which is hopefully easier to use and more interesting .

You are also invited to submit additional news stories by emailing a special Notts SOS email address: nottssos+watch [at] gmail.com

Upcoming

The following is a run-down of the anti-cuts events happening over the next week (thanks to Notts Cuts Watch compiler).

  • Monday 6th December, 2.30pm. Rally outside the Great Hall in conjunction the Vice Chancellor meeting that the occupation successfully negotiated.
  • Monday 6th December, 3.30pm all students are invited to join an open forum discussion with the Vice Chancellor over the raise in tuition fees and cuts to the university, which is taking place in the Great Hall. All students are allowed to come, even if you weren’t in the occupation; even if you’re unsure about your position.
  • Monday 6th December, 6.15pm, Bakersfield Community Centre, Sneinton. At this Nottingham City Council “We Asked, You Said” event, the council will tell us the results of a recent survey sent out in the arrow about which services should be cut, Sneinton Against the Cuts are urging people to come along and “make your voice heard!”
  • Tuesday 7th December, 7.30pm,The 3rd meeting of the Nottingham ‘Anarchists Against the Cuts‘ non-group will take place at the Sparrows Nest.
  • Wednesday 8th December, protest against Nick Clegg in Sheffield. University of Nottingham Students’ Union are putting on coaches, leaving the university at 10am. It isn’t clear if this is open to non-students.
  • Wednesday 8th December, Defend ESOL: a meeting about a cut to funding for ESOL (English for speakers of other language), called by UCU (Universities and Colleges Union) and NNRF (Nottingham and Notts Refugee Forum). This cut to ESOL will affect both service users and teachers.
  • Thursday 9th December, MP’s will vote in the commons to raise tuition fees. NSACF have organised coaches to take students, staff and supporters down to London for the National Day of Action. The suggested donation for the coach is £5, but whatever you can afford. If you are interested, email: nsafac [at] gmail.com with your name. Coach leaves 9am from Portland Building steps, University of Nottingham.

Continue reading: http://nottingham.indymedia.org.uk/articles/775.

Corporate tax campaigners close Vodafone in Nottingham again and protest at (and in) other shops [plus videos]

Protesters inside Boots at Victoria Centre Nottingham on day of action by UK Uncut
A large grouping of anti-cuts and corporate tax campaigners from the Trades Council, Notts SOS and swelled immensely by the support of students and education workers on the other anti-cuts and fees protest in town on 4th December 2010, got Vodafone shutters closed down again (one on 3 seperate occasions on Clumber St.) as Nottingham’s contribution to the continuing UK Uncut days of action took place at Clumber Street and all around the city centre. Two Boots stores and Topshop were also targetted. Click on photo to enlarge the walk through one Boots store.

More media, reports, opinions: See photos on NSAFC website. Watch Video of Nottingham protest at one Vodafone shop, at St. Peter’s Gate, on YouTube. Read Notts Trades Council report. Read article and watch video on Notts Indymedia. Read article written for Coalition of Resistance site [Word] [PDF].

It should be noted that the recent bailout in Ireland included keeping corporation tax at present levels but to cut the minimum wage, showing that we are indeed paying for the banking and general capitalist crisis. Cuts, low corparate taxation and low wages are the state solutions to economic crisis and obviously fully endorsed by HMRC. Shareholders are also responsible as their dividends from the profits of these companies are in relation to the money saved on tax avoidance (and from exploiting workers who make the goods or work in their stores). On the same day of this protest it was on the news that Kraft who recently acquired Cadbury are moving a large part of its business operation to Switzerland to avoid paying UK tax showing that this is part of a ongoing strategy by global corporations to avoid tax with the full collusion of governments.

In London: Press release: Flagship Topshop Closed Amid National Protests Against Tax Avoidance. Many more actions took place around the country and are set to continue.

See also: UK Uncut protesters spied upon by undercover police (reported day before, 3rd Dec, Guardian).

Watch Video of Nottingham protest at one Vodafone shop, at St. Peter’s Gate, on YouTube:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOgLwXbs3tc&feature=player_embedded]

Watch Video of March through Nottingham city centre.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=NTWVuGaYSLM]

See also: George Osbourse tax avoidance song: Georgy Boy (1st of May Band)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLK7KCbwUOs]

Next Notts SOS meetings on 13th Dec 2010 and 10th Jan 2011 plus Conference invite for 15th Jan

We were meeting weekly but this has changed for the holiday period. The venue may also change in the New Year but we will keep you notified. Please put the Conference date in your diary. This will be a major strategic event for the anti-cuts campaigning in Nottingham and Notts.

Our next meeting is: Monday 13 December, at the International Community Centre, YMCA, 61b Mansfield Road, Nottingham, NG1 3FN. 7.30pm until 9.30pm. All welcome and you can just turn up.. This will be our last meeting in 2010.

In the New Year the next meeting will be Monday 10 January 2011, 19.30, venue to be announced, and meetings will then be fortnightly (e.g. 24th January, 7th& 21st February etc.).


You are also invited to participate in the Notts Save Our Services Campaign Conference taking place from 10am to 4pm on Saturday 15 January at the Dunkirk and Old Lenton Community Centre, Montpelier Street, Nottingham. Details to follow.

Tell your workmates, friends and neighbours about our campaign and get involved in saving our services.

Read our latest Notts SOS Newsletter no.2

Nottingham Students Against Cuts and Fees events on Monday 6th and Thursday 9th December 2010 [plus videos of 4th protests and Billy Bragg at occupation on 3rd]

Anti university fees demo in Nottingham 4th dec 2010Nottingham Students Against Cuts and Fees are organising big events this week that you should all come and get involved in. These follow the suspending of the occupation on Friday and the marching through nottingham on Saturday 4th December. Watch [video of the march] on the 4th and Billy Bragg’s views about the university’s ‘concessions’ put forward to end the occupation.

1. At 2:30pm on Monday 6th, there will be a rally outside the Great Hall in conjunction the Vice Chancellor meeting that the occupation successfully negotiated. Please come down and show your support and make some noise! Download flyer: nsafc_rally_forum_6_dec_2010.pdf

2. At 3:30pm, also on Monday 6th, all students are invited to join an open forum discussion with the VC over the raise in tuition fees and cuts to the university, which is taking place in the Great Hall. All students are allowed to come, even if you weren’t in the occupation; even if you’re unsure about your position. Come down and hear the debate and get involved! (Same flyer as above)

3. On Thursday 9th, MP’s will vote in the commons to raise tuition fees. NSACF have organised coaches to take students, staff and supporters down to London for the National Day of Action. This is a big event, involving all occupations and the student movement as a whole! Download flyer: nsafc_dayx_9_dec_2010.pdf

The suggested donation for the coach is £5, but whatever you can afford. If you are interested, please email: nsafac@gmail.com with your name – Coach leaves 9am from Portland steps on Thursday 9th.

Also, join the Facebook event. for the 9th December activities.

Snienton Against the Cuts meeting – Monday 6th December, 6.15pm

The next Snienton Against the Cuts meeting has been called.

SAY NO TO LOCAL CUTS

Monday 6th December, 6.15pm
Bakersfield Community Centre
312 Sneinton Dale

– FOR fairness, justice, and integrity in dealing
with the recession and the National Debt.
– FOR a solution tackling the underlying causes of the recession without blaming or penalising victims of the recession – eg. the unemployed, people on low incomes.
– FOR Public Services, which are key to a democratic and just society.
– AGAINST targeting and blaming particular groups or communities
– AGAINST setting communities against each other in a battle for resources.

Join our Facebook group or email SneintonAgainsttheCuts [at] gmail.com

At this Nottingham City Council “We Asked, You Said” event, the council will tell us the results of a recent survey sent out in the arrow about which services should be cut.

But why should services be cut when there is a fairer way?

Say NO to £1 charges for library internet.
Say NO to another increase in social care
charges for day centres for the elderly.
Say NO to cuts in services for the homeless.

This is the thin end of the wedge – Say NO to cuts in our services.
• Come and tell the council what effect these cuts will have on us: our elderly, our young, our disabled, our vulnerable, our communities.
• Ask them how they are planning to fight these cuts and defend our services.

No one asked us when the Government decided to slash public services and target the poorest and most vulnerable to pay for the banks’ mess.

No one asked us when they decided to “reform” the benefits system in the middle of a recession when it’s even harder to find full time work.

No one asked us when the Government picked on benefit claimants, large families and the disabled and ignored huge bank bonuses, tax evasion and banking mismanagement.

Why should we now be asked to “choose” which vital services should be cut and who should lose their jobs?

The government says we are “all in this together.”

• But they have taken away money and services from the poorest people.

• They have provided £850 billion to support the banks who are still giving out huge bonuses to their richest employees and creating no new jobs.

• The 1000 richest people in the UK are still seeing their income rise by £70bn in the past year, and the average chief executive still earns 88 times the average pay of a full time worker.

The City Council are our local representatives – they should be on our side – they know more than anyone the devastating impact the cuts will have on our communities. They need to send a clear message to the Government that these cuts are unfair, that they are damaging and that we will not accept them. They need to demand a fair solution.

Come to Bakersfield Community Centre at 6.15 on December 6th and make your voice heard!

Defend ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) – meeting on 8th December

You are invited to a meeting about a cut to funding for ESOL (English for speakers of other languages).

This meeting has been called on Wednesday by UCU (Universities and Colleges Union) and NNRF (Nottingham and Notts Refugee Forum). This cut to ESOL will affect both service users and teachers.

Date: Wednesday 8th December 2010
Time: 5.30pm
Place: The Square Centre, Alfred Street North, off Huntingdon Street. NG3 1AA

Background

The government’s proposals for changing ESOL funding next academic year pose an extremely serious threat. They radically restrict the rights of many non-English speakers to publicly funded classes, and threaten the jobs of ESOL teachers.

In their new strategy for FE, the government will restrict access to public funding to students from ‘settled communities’.

Only those students ‘actively seeking work’ and receiving JSA or the new ESA (Employment and Support Allowance) would be eligible for full fee remission. Others would be subject to so-called ‘co-funding’, which in all likelihood means an increase in course fees, including for those in low-paid jobs and on Working Tax Credit or housing benefit. In addition, asylum seekers and students on Section 4 support would no longer be eligible for publicly funded language classes.

This attack on ESOL funding would undermine integration, progression and access to decent employment. It could push provision back into the margins of voluntary teaching and under-resourced community classes.

UCU and the Refugee Forum are jointly calling this organising meeting for teachers, students and others to discuss what action we can take to defend ESOL.

Everybody welcome.

Keep up the pressure on Saturday 4th December, 1pm-5pm

BREAKING NEWS: The University of Nottingham occupation is voluntarily suspended. The University management has agreed to a meeting with students and staff on Monday, for a discussion about the demands of the occupation from Nottingham Students Against Fees and Cuts.

The hundreds of students involved are now free to join the events in town on Saturday!

1pm: Protest tax avoiding corporations! Starts 1pm at Vodafone on Clumber Street in Nottingham City Centre. Other shops may be visited of corporations that are avoiding tax using off-shore headquarters and other dubious methods.

then stay for

2pm-5pm: Third day of action on student fees and education cuts in Nottingham on Saturday 4th December 2010, Market Square, in Nottingham City Centre.

Let’s keep up the pressure in the run up to the vote on student fees on Thursday 9th, and beyond. Elsewhere, the 4th has also been called as a general day of action against austerity, and against welfare and housing cuts. The students’ occupations and demonstrations have sparked enthusiasm and strong will such that anti-cuts activity cannot be ignored. Much more will be needed but last month has surely provided the beginning we needed.

Read the latest Notts SOS Newsletter – Issue no.2, December 2010.