Monthly Archives: January 2012

Anti-cuts activity in Nottingham – February 2012


This is the latest update from Nottinghamshire Save Our Services (Notts SOS) with details of what we’re up to and other anti-cuts activity in Nottingham over the next week or so. We will add to this with updates as they arise.

UPDATE!! OCCUPY NOTTINGHAM presents:
Community outreach and social evening – Sneinton.
Date/Time: Tuesday 28th February 2012, 7pm-10pm
Venue: Sneinton Hermitage Community Centre, Sneinton Boulevard, NG2 4GN
Details: http://occupy-nottingham.org.uk/occupy-nottingham-presents-community-outreach-and-social-evening-sneinton/

—————

NOTTS SOS MEETINGS

We meet every two weeks which means that the next meetings are Monday
6th February and Monday 20th February.

Meetings start at 7.30pm and are held at the International Community
Centre, Mansfield Road. Meetings are usually finished before 9pm and
there’s often an opportunity to carry on any discussion informally in
the pub afterwards. Please do come along and get involved.

—————

CITY COUNCIL CUTS CAMPAIGN

Update: Another stall will be Saturday 11th Feb in the Market Square between the Lions 11am – 2pm.
Our campaign against cuts at Nottingham City Council will continue
next Saturday (4th February) with a stall in Market Square. We’ll be
there from 11am-2pm distributing leaflets and collecting signatures
for our petition.

If you can help for any time during that period, please come along.

—————

WITNESS APPEAL: DECEMBER 17TH

If you witnessed any of the arrests resulting from the Notts Uncut
“Christmas Special” demonstration on Saturday December 17th 2011,
please contact Notts Uncut: nottsuncutaction@gmail.com

Anything you saw, no matter how insignificant it might seem, could be important.

—————

PROTEST AGAINST ATOS AND POLICE REPRESSION

Although the CPS and Atos backed out from continuing the ridiculous
case against the “Atos Two”, Atos continue to make people’s lives a
misery and Notts Police have been busy in the last few months
harassing and arresting protesters in the city (see:
http://nottingham.indymedia.org/articles/2334).

In response, Nottingham Defence Campaign have called a protest against
Atos and police repression next Friday (3rd February) 12.30pm. Meet at
the junction of Carlton Street and Heathcote Street (outside Ice
Nine).

More information (plus leaflets and posters):
http://nottingham.indymedia.org/articles/2335
—————

NOTTS UNCUT

Our friends Notts Uncut are having an open meeting next Tuesday (31st
January) at The Roebuck (Wetherspoons), St James Street, Nottingham.
from 7.30pm.

They will be planning for the future, discussing ideas for future
actions, strategies and tactics, publicity, “recruitment” (for want of
a better word) and whatever else comes up.

If you’ve been to any Notts Uncut actions and have ideas, constructive
criticism, suggestions for the future, they encourage you to come
along and share them. Alternatively if you haven’t been on any of
their actions and want to come along and find out more you’ll be very
welcome.

The Notts Uncut phone number is 07856565214. Please feel free to get
in touch if you can’t make it on the night but want something bringing
up, come along but can’t find us etc. Alternatively the Notts Uncut
e-mail address is nottsuncutaction@gmail.com

More details: http://nottingham.indymedia.org/events/2363

Nottingham protest against ATOS Healthcare and police repression in Hockley – Friday 3rd February 2012


Press Release from Nottingham Defence Campaign

PROTEST AGAINST ATOS & POLICE REPRESSION IN HOCKLEY

Activists have called to a protest against the conduct of Atos ‘Healthcare’ and what they describe as ‘police repression’ coming Friday (3rd February 2012).

In September 2011, two Nottingham residents, a retired paediatric nurse and a wheelchair user were arrested following a peaceful protest at the local offices of Atos ‘Healthcare’. Faced with an impressive solidarity campaign and apparently worried that their case had no chance of holding up in court, the CPS and Atos backed down. The charges of aggravated trespass were dropped.

The case of the ‘Atos Two’ was followed by arrests of Notts Uncut activists just before Christmas and the confiscation of a photography student’s tapes after he filmed an arrest.

Supporters of the arrestees have described these events as worrying signs that the local force is changing its attitude towards peaceful protesters. This seems to have been confirmed by a police officers’ remark who commented on the arrest of the ‘Atos Two’ by stating that there “had been too much of this sort of thing and we were told to crack down on it”.

Jamie Kennedy from the Nottingham Defense Campaign said: “The police have wasted time and resources on ridiculous charges. Meanwhile, Atos’ biased and abusive conduct against benefit claimants remains unchanged. They might have backed off from going after the Atos Two but we will certainly not let them off the hook!”

Protesters will gather on Friday 3rd February 2012 from 12.30pm at the junction of Carlton Street and Heathcote Street, Hockley, Nottingham; see http://nottingham.indymedia.org/articles/2335

Contacts

Nottingham Defence Campaign
Tel: 07758867343
Email: nottsdefence@riseup.net
Twitter: http://twitter.com/NottsDefence
Website: http://network23.org/nottsdefence

Notes for editors

1) Regarding the original protest against Atos see: http://nottingham.indymedia.org/articles/2053
2) Regarding the charges against the ‘Atos Two’ see: http://nottingham.indymedia.org/articles/2168
3) Regarding the solidarity campaign for the ‘Atos Two’ see: http://nottingham.indymedia.org.uk/articles/2207
4) Regarding the arrests of Notts Uncut activists see: http://nottingham.indymedia.org.uk/articles/2276
5) Regarding the harassment of student photographer see: http://nottingham.indymedia.org.uk/articles/2238
6) A Statement of Support for the Atos Two has been signed by more than a hundred persons and organisations, including Welfare Rights Groups, Councillors and John McDonnell MP: http://nottingham.indymedia.org/articles/2195
7) Atos Healthcare was selected by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to administer the Work Capability Assessments (WCA).
Campaigners claim that WCA are part of a deliberate policy by the coalition government designed to force as many people as possible off disability benefits regardless of their physical and/or psychological abilities.
Critics of Atos Healthcare point to the high number of successful appeals against decisions by the company. A report by BBC Inside Out East found that more than one third of appeals were successful: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-15681502
Furthermore the expertise and conduct of the so called ‘healthcare professionals’ undertaking the assessments has been severely questioned by campaigners. In August it emerged that twelve doctors employed by the company were being investigated by the General Medical Council over allegations of improper conduct: http://gu.com/p/3x7jd

Notts Uncut open meeting – 31st January 2011


Notts Uncut, our local campaign against corporate tax avoiders including Vodaphone, Boots and owners of several other high street stores are having an open meeting next Tuesday 31st January 2012 to plan for the future, so discussing ideas for future actions, strategies and tactics, publicity, getting more people involved and whatever else comes up. Venue is the Roebuck (Wetherspoons) on St. James Street, Nottingham City Centre, starting at 7.30pm.

The Notts Uncut phone number is 07856565214 and it’s fine to advertise this number to anyone who can’t make it on the night but wants something bringing up, comes along but can’t find us etc.

Also if anyone saw any of the 3 Notts Uncut arrests on 17th December 2011 and would be willing to act as a witness please contact nottsuncutaction@gmail.com or phone the number above.
They are back at Bridewell Court today. Witnesses can be hugely important to building a defence case. If you were there its really important that you take notes about what you remember and get in touch as above. If you know somebody else who was there, make sure you get on to them to do so.

Notts SOS meeting – Monday 23rd January at the YMCA International Community Centre


Notts SOS meets every two weeks on a Monday, and the next meeting is Monday 23rd January.

As ever, we meet at 7.30pm at the YMCA International Community Centre, Mansfield Road. Meetings are usually finished before 9pm and there’s often an opportunity to carry on any discussion informally in the pub afterwards.

Please do come along and get involved.

Notts SOS protest city council cuts budget


Notts Save Our Services

PRESS RELEASE – January 21st, 2012

Anti-cuts campaigners protest Nottingham City Council cuts budget

Anti-cuts campaigners today (Saturday 21st January) launched a campaign calling on city councillors to vote against Nottingham City Council’s proposed budget for 2013-14.

Nottinghamshire Save Our Services (Notts SOS) held a stall in the Market Square to raise awareness of what the council is planning and collect signatures for a petition calling on the council not to impose further cuts.

Notts SOS is also calling on people concerned about the impact of the cuts to attend consultation sessions being run by the council to challenge councillors to reject the proposals.

Earlier this week, Nottingham City Council announced budget proposals which foresee a 3.49% council tax increase alongside 195 job cuts.

The council are looking at selling-off Portland Leisure Centre; closing two centres for older people, Marlstones Elderly Person’s Home in Bulwell and the Willows Centre in Beechdale; closing the Museum of Nottingham Life at Brewhouse Yard; cutting food waste collections and closing nine recycling centres; reducing funding to Connexions, a support service for young people; and reducing redundancy payments for laid-off staff to the legal minimum.

In total the council hope to save £20m to cover a shortfall arising from reduced government funding as a result of the coalition government’s austerity drive.

The council has also said that this would not be the end to the cuts, with an additional £24m of cutbacks required by the end of the spring 2015.

Notts SOS believe that the cuts agenda is ideologically driven and are urging councillors to stand-up to central government.

Claire Taylor from Notts SOS said, “Council Leader Jon Collins and Deputy Leader Graham Chapman have been vocally critical of central government and often with good reason. Now it’s time for them to put their money where their mouth is and refuse to pass the cuts onto the people of Nottingham. Even a single council refusing to implement a cuts budget would shake the coalition government.”

Rosemary Muge from the group added, “The same week the council announced it’s planned cuts, Goldman Sachs revealed an £8 billion pay and bonus bill for UK staff in 2011 – equating to £238,832 for every worker. The bankers who caused this crisis have avoided paying for it and instead the cost is being borne by ordinary people. Nottingham is already a deprived city it needs investment not further cutbacks.”

Notes for editors

1. Notts SOS was launched in September 2010. They oppose cuts to services, job losses and cuts in benefits and aim to support workers organisations, service users, community groups in fighting cuts in Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire. They hope to inspire confidence to think, meet and act. And to be inspired.

2. Last year Notts SOS held a demonstration when the city council met to set its budget. A petition was presented to Deputy Leader Graham Chapman. Councillors were later heckled from the public gallery and Jon Collins was challenged by protesters while he was being interviewed for the BBC.

ENDS

Links:

Notts SOS website: http://nottssos.org.uk

Notts SOS Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/nottssos

Notts SOS Indy.im feed: https://indy.im/nottssos

Contact email: nottssos [at] gmail.com

Nottingham City Council’s draft Budget for 2012/13 published – public consultation meeting dates


Nottingham City Council’s draft Budget for 2012/13 has only just been published.

For a summary see http://www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=17124.

These include 195 job cuts and a council tax increase of 3.49%.

Additionally, the council are looking at

* encouraging staff to volunteer to work 35 hours rather than 37
* selling-off Portland Leisure Centre
* closing two centres for older people, Marlstones Elderly Person’s
Home in Bulwell and the Willows Centre in Beechdale
* closing the Museum of Nottingham Life at Brewhouse Yard
* cutting food waste collections and closing nine recycling centres
* reducing funding to Connexions, a support service for young people
* reducing redundancy payments for laid-off staff to the legal minimum

The budget will go before a full council meeting on 5th March.

We’ve already begun a campaign to encourage councillors to vote
against the budget. Keep an eye out for stalls and protests around the
city.

Public consultation meetings are being held as listed below. It is important that as many people as possible go to these meetings to pressurise councillors not to implement this cuts budget. Get yourself there and urge your contacts to attend.

Saturday 21 Jan 12, Sherwood District Centre, Outside Co-op., 684 Mansfield Rd., NG5 2GE, 10am -12noon. Contact telephone: 0115 883 8469.

Tuesday 24 Jan 12, Clifton Cornerstone Southchurch Drive, Clifton, NG11 8EW, 6:30pm 915 3079

Wednesday 25 Jan 12, Indian Community, Centre (ICCA), Hucknall Road, Carrington, NG5 1QZ, 6pm 883 8469

Wednesday 25 Jan 12, Bentinck School Bentinck Road, Radford, NG7 4AA, 4pm 883 8469

Wednesday 25 Jan 12, Greenway Centre Trent Lane, Sneinton, NG2 4DF, 6.30pm 915 3079

Monday 30 Jan 12, Top Valley Community Centre, Top Valley Way, NG6 9DD, 6pm 915 9127

Tuesday 31 Jan 12, Loxley House LB41, (BSL interpreters will be present), Station Street, N2 3NG, 5pm 876 4955

Wednesday 1 Feb 12, Thomas Hewly’s Baptist Church, Church St, Lenton, NG7 1SJ, 2pm -3.30pm, 883 8469

Wednesday 1 Feb 12, Southwark Primary School, Park Lane, Basford, NG6 ODT, 6pm 915 9127

Friday 3 Feb 12, Bulwell Market Place Bulwell, NG6 8HD 9.30am 915 9127

Monday 6 Feb 12, Meadows Library Wilford Grove, NG2 2DR, 6-8pm 915 3079

Wednesday 8 Feb 12, Chase Neighbourhood Centre, Robin Hood Chase, St Ann’s, NG3 4EZ,4.30pm 915 3079

Wednesday 8 Feb 12, Sheila Roper Community Centre, Baslow Drive, Lenton Abbey, NG9 2SU, 7pm 883 8469

Thursday 9 Feb 12, Bilborough Market Bracebridge Drive, NG8 4PN, 9.30 -11.30am, 915 9127

Thursday 9 Feb 12, Kingswood Church Lambourne Drive, Wollaton, NG8 1GR, 7pm 883 8469

Thursday 16 Feb 12, Nottingham Salvation Army, 397 Aspley Lane, NG8 5RR, 6pm 915 9127

Notts SOS Stall in Old Market Square on Saturday 21st January 2012


We will be running a Notts SOS Stall in Old Market Square, 11.00 to 14.00 Saturday 21st January.

Come and sign a petition against council cuts and pick up general info, or just come over for a chat. Volunteers to help with this or future stalls are welcome.

Notts SOS campaigners condemn government of “haves/have yachts”


Notts Save Our Services

PRESS RELEASE: January 17th, 2012

Anti-cuts campaigners condemn government of “haves and have yachts”

Nottinghamshire Save Our Services (Notts SOS) have condemned Education Secretary Michael Gove’s suggestion that a new royal yacht be gifted to the Queen to mark the diamond jubilee.

Gove made the suggestion in a confidential letter sent to Jeremy Hunt, the culture secretary and minister overseeing the celebrations, and to the deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg.

In 2007, when the Royal Yacht Britannia was decommissioned, the cost of a new yacht was estimated at £60m.

Downing Street has been quick to insist there will be no government money for the project, despite the suggestion in Gove’s original letter, that might be a possibility. It appears that the key source of funding will be millionaires and corporate sponsors.

The government apparently feels it cannot tax these organisation and individuals to fund public services, but is happy to ask for sizeable donations for a new royal yacht. Whether public money or not, campaigners believe that this is a kick in the teeth to those affected by the vicious cuts imposed by the coalition government.

Rather than directing money to help those afflicted by their policies, the coalition would rather fritter it away on an oversized bath toy for one of the richest people in the country.

Brian Hocknull from Notts SOS said, “We keep being told that there’s no money, which is why services have to be cut. But apparently there’s money enough for the Royal Wedding; money for tax breaks for Philip Green, Vodafone and Goldman Sachs; money for wars in Libya and Afghanistan; money to turn London into a police state during the Olympics; and money for a new royal yacht. It seems the only thing there isn’t money for is ordinary people.”

“So much for all being in it together. My local Authority has had its central government funding cut by at least 28% over 4 years which will lead to decimation of services and privatisation of many remaining ones – both resulting in many redundancies” said Richard Buckwell, Ashfield UNISON’s branch secretary.

“My members also face pay cuts over 4 years, and the government is in the process of stealing £900 million from our pension funds – will this be going to fund a new royal yacht? We should be told”

Claire Taylor from Notts SOS added, “The reality of the government’s so-called austerity drive is that it those at the top are shielded from it. Public sector workers see their pensions under attack and their jobs at risk; disabled people fear being forced off benefits by welfare privateers such as Atos; and unemployed people are expected to work without pay under the Work Programme.

“Meanwhile the rich keep getting richer. Despite a stagnating economy, the number of millionaires in the UK rose by 17% from 2008-11. Bankers continue to rake in massive bonuses. FTSE 100 directors have seen their total earning rise almost 75% since the 2009 recession. We are very definitely not all in this together. This is a government defending the interests of the haves and have yachts.”

Notes:

Notts SOS was launched in September 2010. They oppose cuts to services, job losses and cuts in benefits and aim to support workers organisations, service users, community groups in fighting cuts in Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire. They hope to inspire confidence to think, meet and act. And to be inspired.

Links:

Notts SOS website: http://nottssos.org.uk

Notts SOS Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/nottssos

Notts SOS Indy.im feed: https://indy.im/nottssos

Contact email: nottssos [at] gmail.com

Latest from Notts SOS: Pensions, Save the NHS, ATOS Two case dropped, DLA report


This is the latest update from Notts SOS about anti-cuts activity in
and around Notttingham.

This week updates on the campaign for public sector pensions, the
ongoing struggle to save the NHS, Nottingham’s “Atos Two” who have now
had the charges against them dropped and reforms to disability
benefits.

Thanks for your interest and support.

1) NOTTS SOS MEETING

We meet every two weeks which means that the next meetings is on
Monday 23rd January.

As ever, we meet at 7.30pm at the International Community Centre,
Mansfield Road. Meetings are usually finished before 9pm and there’s
often an opportunity to carry on any discussion informally in the pub
afterwards. Please do come along and get involved.

2) PROTECT PUBLIC SECTOR PENSIONS

Notts Trades Council are calling for the fight to protect public
sector pensions to be stepped-up. The “Heads of Agreement” agreed by
some unions, but rejected by others, do not change the fundamental
issues for public sector workers – working longer and paying more to
get less in retirement.

The trades council have convened a special public meeting on Tuesday
17th January from 7.30 pm at the Nottingham Mechanics Institute 3
North Sherwood Street, Nottingham, NG1 4EZ. All are invited to come
along and share your views and ideas on how this dispute can be won.

Details: http://www.nottstuc.org/2012/01/public-sector-pensions-we-must-fight-on.html

3) SAVE THE NHS

The more pressure that is put on personnel involved in changes in the
National Health Service the more likely it is that we can obstruct the
Government’s privatization plan.

Please find below a model letter for patients who are concerned about
the Government’s proposed changes to the NHS.

Nottingham and Notts Branch of Keep Our NHS Public (KONP) urge you
to post or email this letter to the doctors at the general practice at
which you are registered.  You may wish to alter the text to express
your particular concerns.

Also please forward this letter on to other people who may wish to use
it.  It would be useful if you would inform KONP of any responses you
receive.

Contact: info@Notts-KONP.org.uk

*  *  *

Dear Dr./Drs. … .

I am very concerned about the changes to Primary Health Care that the
Government is trying to bring about by means of its Health and Social
Care Bill.

The Government intends that the provision of much health care will be
brought about by means of Clinical Commissioning Groups purchasing
appropriate services.  We have been led to believe that it will be
general practitioners in CCG’s who will actively choose the suppliers
of services.  However, close scrutiny of the proposed legislation
reveals that most GP’s will not be deemed to be suitably qualified and
experienced to make such decisions.  In practice it will be
representatives of private health care companies who will effectively
decide how the money will be spent.  As you are probably aware, the
British Medical Association has expressed serious concerns about this
and other aspects of the proposed changes to the NHS.

In general it seems to me that the Government’s proposed changes to
the NHS do not have the aim of creating a more effective health care
service.  Rather the real aim is to provide opportunities for private
companies to make profits.  Such a change could well result in a
decline in standards of health care. There is some very useful
briefing information on the website of Allyson Pollock –
http://allysonpollock.co.uk and more campaign information on
http://www.keepournhspublic.com

As one of your patients I would like to know what are your views on
the Government’s plans for change in the NHS.  I suggest a discussion
of these matters at the next meeting of your patient participations
group.

Yours sincerely,

(Signature)

4) ATOS TWO

We are delighted to be able to report that the two Nottingham
residents arrested during a protest at Atos ‘Healthcare’ in September
last year have had their charges dropped.

You can find more details on Nottingham Indymedia:
http://nottingham.indymedia.org/articles/2340

Despite the case being dropped a demonstration against Atos Healthcare
and police repression is still going ahead on Friday 3rd February.
People will be meeting at 12.30pm at the junction Carlton Street and
Heathcote Street, Hockley (outside Ice Nine).

For event details, leaflets, posters etc.:
http://nottingham.indymedia.org/articles/2335

5) SPARTACUS REPORT

A new report has been released exposing the government’s spin over
it’s attempts to ‘reform’ (i.e. cut) Disability Living Allowance.

This report is a comprehensive presentation of the most relevant
evidence available on Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and the
proposals to replace it with a new benefit, Personal Independence
Payments (PIP). It gathers together existing information and analyses
over 500 group responses to the Government’s Response to Disability
Living Allowance reform.

Unsurprisingly, the report finds that the government’s consultation on
the issue was flawed and failed to meet the Government’s code of
practice for consultations. Also, the fact that 74% of respondents
were opposed to the plans (including Boris Johnson for pity’s sake)
seems to have been brushed aside.

Read the report online (opens in Google Docs): http://bit.ly/x7KaeW

If you are on Twitter, search #spartacusreport for more info and comment.


Notts Save Our Services
Twitter: @nottssos

Resisting political policing in Nottingham – meeting at the Sumac Centre on Saturday 14th January afternoon


RIGHT TO PROTEST MEETING

Following the arrests at the Notts Uncut “Christmas Special” and in light of the continuing prosecution of the “Atos Two” there is a need for people in Nottingham to get together to work out how we can effectively resist political policing.

To this end the Nottingham Defence Campaign are inviting people to an open meeting at the Sumac Centre, 245 Gladstone Street, Forest Fields, NG7 6HX, at 2pm on Saturday 14th January to discuss we want to respond. The meeting will be relatively informal and the agenda can be shaped by the specific concerns of attendees, but likely points of discussion include legal observing and support, court solidarity, further protests and wider publicity. Wheelchair access is on Beech Avenue entrance.

Event details: http://nottingham.indymedia.org/events/2298

Please come along or, if you can’t make it, spread the word.

Website: https://network23.org/
Indy.im: https://indy.im/nottsdefence
Twitter: https://twitter.com/nottsdefence