Bedroom tax opposition ramps up in Nottingham – group now forming in the Meadows [plus benefits advice links & drop-in advice session this afternoon]

Report from Notts Bedroom Tax Campaign: The public meeting yesterday evening (10th April) in the Meadows to organise against the Bedroom Tax was well attended. There were about 7 people from the Meadows there, the rest being from the general Notts campaign, from advice centres and just people who are interested in getting involved (23 in all).

Someone from St. Ann’s Advice Centre began by outlining the nature of the Bedroom Tax and how it affects people; a member of the Defend Council Tax Benefit Campaign then followed with more information about that. The floor was then opened up to everyone to speak. Local residents told the meeting about how they were affected and why they were there, and the visitors offered their support and knowledge. It was emphasised that the role of the citywide Nottingham campaign would not be to ‘save’ Meadows people but to support them in setting up their own local group which would then liaise with the general Nottingham one – the idea being to repeat this in the rest of the city.

Read on for full report: http://nottsbedroomtax.wordpress.com/2013/04/10/meadows-public-meeting-report/

See also: http://www.facebook.com/NottsAgainstTheBedroomTax

A drop-in advice session will also be held today, Thursday 11th April at Queens Walk Community Centre, Meadows, Nottingham from 2pm-6pm which is a general benefits advice session by Meadows Advice Group, part of Advice Nottingham http://www.advicenottingham.org.uk/. Advisors will be on hand to discuss how the Bedroom Tax and other Benefit Cut Issues are affecting you and what help you can get.
Advice Nottingham was recently set up to link advice across the city: http://www.adviceuk.org.uk/projects-and-resources/resources/collaborativeresources/casestudies/advicenotts

Nottingham reacts to Thatcher’s death – photos on Indymedia & more street party events across the lands

The latest Nottingham Indymedia feature shows smiles all around,
http://nottingham.indymedia.org.uk/articles/5565
and the festivities carried on from 5pm on Monday 8th April until 6am the following day.

UK on the day (many photos and video): http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/margaret-thatcher-dead-video-cheering-1818888

Elsewhere this week …

Leicester (yesterday): http://leicestershiresg.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/jelly-and-ice-cream-post-thatcher-party.html

Everywhere else, and London again on Saturday:

Street parties welcomed by PM

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jF_718T1Nek]

Meanwhile, Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead from the Wizard of Oz has hit no. 10 in the mid-week official charts … it currently sits at number two in the iTunes download chart and is already number one on Amazon.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHQLQ1Rc_Js]

Bedroom Tax meeting in the Meadows (10th April) and Council Tax non-payment stall in Hyson Green (13th April)

BEDROOM TAX meeting in the Meadows – Wednesday 10th April, 7.00 pm.

Come to a public meeting in the Meadows to learn more about the Bedroom Tax and in particular how to fight back against it. Starts 7pm at Queen’s Walk Community Centre, NG2 2DF. Download flyer:
Bedroom Tax Flyer – 2 April

More info: http://nottsbedroomtax.wordpress.com/
See also comment about the Nottingham City Council policy by NCC Lols:
Bedroom Tax – When Is a Two-Bedroom Flat not a Two-Bedroom Flat?

See also – bedroom tax demo in Loughborough (photos): http://nottingham.indymedia.org.uk/articles/5547 and meeting tonight (9th April), details here: http://fridayroom.wordpress.com/2013/03/23/campaign-against-the-bedroom-tax/

DON’T PAY COUNCIL TAX STALL IN HYSON GREEN – Saturday 13th April, 11.00 am.

People responded positively to the ‘Oppose Cuts, Don’t Pay Council Tax’ campaigning stall held at Bulwell on Saturday, 6th. April. Around two hundred leaflets were handed out and there was little dissent.

Many people in Bulwell on low incomes already are not paying Council Tax because they can’t afford it. Some have been summonsed to court for non-payment. (These people should be supported by pickets at the Magistrates’ Courts.)

There is widespread awareness of the incoming bedroom tax and much opposition to it. Some passers-by recalled the successful Anti-Poll Tax Campaign and as a result are seriously considering withholding Council tax payments. (Leaflets were available which spelt out the consequences of not paying.)

This was an encouraging start to the campaign and there will be a follow-up stall at Hyson Green (near the market) at 11.00 on Saturday, 13th. April. Come along and help get some effective opposition to the cuts off the ground.

Contact email: antiausterity@talktalk.net

Grim Reaper Gotcha! ex-Thatcher celebration at 5pm today – Old Market Square, Nottingham [with updates]

It’s hard to believe but Margaret Thatcher is really gone for good. A long standing plan to celebrate this joyous occasion will be enacted in Nottingham today starting at 5pm in the Market Square and will go on for some time so come whenever you can. We won’t forget the rest of them but that can wait for one day (part 2 is supposed to be in Trafalgar Square on Saturday). Bring banners, placards, bells & whistles.

Update[1] 9/4/2013: Celebrations… [ http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/margaret-thatcher-dead-video-cheering-1818888 ] were had across the land. In Nottingham the Old Market Square festivities featured anti-poll tax banners from 1989-90, red and black flags and party poppers, plus a contemporary alert about Council Tax benefit changes. Partying continued at the Stage and impromptu event at the Chameleon Cafe Bar.

Update[2] 9/4/2013: Leicester Solidarity Group will be celebrating today:
http://www.leicestershiresg.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/jelly-and-ice-cream-post-thatcher-party.html

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcXi-VYy_Yw]

Council Tax and Bedroom Tax demos/meetings/leafletings

Don’t Pay Council Tax!

Bulwell Market Place, Saturday April 06, 2013. 11.00am

A campaiging stall at Bulwell Market Place to urge people not to pay Council Tax as a protest against cuts in local services, bedroom tax, council tax benefit cuts, etc. Already thousands of people on low incomes in Nottingham are not paying Council Tax.

Contact email: antiausterity@talktalk.net

Bedroom Tax: Leafleting the Meadows and Meadows Meeting

On Sunday 7th April the Notts Campaign Against the Bedroom Tax will be leafleting homes in the Meadows to which the Bedroom Tax may apply. The leaflets, maps and other details are all in hand and we already have 10 volunteers. If YOU would like to join us to do something about the evil Bedroom Tax meet in the parking lot of Queens Walk Community Centre (Queens Walk, The Meadows, Nottingham, NG2 2DF) at 2pm. It will probably last a couple of hours and will go ahead whatever the weather.

Meadows Public Meeting – Wednesday 10th April.
Come to a public meeting in the Meadows to learn more about the Bedroom Tax and in particular how to fight back against it. Starts 7pm at Queen’s Walk Community Centre, NG2 2DF. Download flyer:
Bedroom Tax Flyer – 2 April

More info: http://nottsbedroomtax.wordpress.com/

Photos of the anti-workfare demo in Nottingham City Centre on 23/3/2013

Here are photos of the anti-workfare demo in the snow, that took place in Nottingham City Centre yesterday to highlight the continuing scandal of forced unpaid work for people who receive welfare. Four shops were visited that are involved with workfare (Burton, British Heart Foundation, Debenhams, Poundland). Leaflets were handed out and shops were entered to speak with workers and customers. Workfare profits the rich by providing free labour, whilst threatening the poor by taking away welfare rights if people refuse to work without a living wage.

The Boycott Workfare campaign, which is acting as an umbrella for actions such as the Nottingham one organised by Notts Against Workfare, has compiled a list of workfare providers including the four visited on Saturday in Nottingham and is also asking for information about any other shops or companies who are using workfare (they may be local independent businesses as well as the more well known high street names). You can contact Nottingham Against Workfare by emailing nottsagainstworkfare [at] riseup.net and visit the Facebook page to find out more (details here: http://nottssos.org.uk/2013/03/01/burton-blockade-against-workfare-saturday-23rd-march-2013-2-00pm/ ).

Also read this shocking evidence of a ‘league table’ amongst Job Centres who are competing over targets for getting claimants ‘referred’ for supposedly not complying with precise rules for job searching etc., showing that the attack on welfare is concerted and ongoing with the complicity of Job Centre managers who are doing the government’s bidding and who are making hitting targets a performance measure for staff who work there:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/mar/21/jobcentre-set-targets-benefit-sanctions
Jobcentre was set targets for benefit sanctions, The Guardian, 21/3/2013.

workfare1_sm

workfare2_sm

workfare3_sm

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Boycott Workfare week of action 3rd day report – Nottingham event forthcoming on Saturday 23rd March, Market Square

Boycott Workfare have reported on the first three days of action against workfare (compulsory work for benefits) which started on Monday 18th March:

  1. A4E Communications Blockade – Day 3 of the Workfare Week of Action
  2. Contact workfare exploiter Salvation Army – Day 2 Workfare Week of Action
  3. 24 hours to stop IDS rewriting history and robbing £130 million – Day 1 in the Workfare Week of Action

Nottingham event on Saturday 23rd March 2013

The Nottingham campaign encourages everyone to show their opposition to workfare by coming on the Burton blockade against workfare – Saturday, 23rd March 2013, 2.00pm.
Meet at the left lion in Nottingham City Centre, Old Market Square.

Facebook event page for the Burton blockade:

http://www.facebook.com/events/341132549339550/

Council Tax Benefits information meetings in Nottingham – Every 2 weeks starting Thursday March 21, 7pm – International Community Centre

Unable to pay your Council Tax Bill?
Worried about getting into council tax debt?
Want to build solidarity with other claimants to fight these cuts?

CTB Information Meetings
information, support, campaign
Every 2 weeks starting Thursday March 21, 7pm

Download flyer, or read on.

Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Defend Council Tax Benefit Campaign is running regular sessions in the city centre from Thursday 21 March to monitor the impact of Council Tax Benefit cuts, provide information to people who may not be able to pay their bills and invite them to join the campaign.

The Government has scrapped the national Council Tax Benefit scheme and from 1st April this year local councils have to start their own scheme with less money. Under Nottingham City’s new Council Tax Support Scheme, council tax benefit is being cut by 8.5% for all working age claimants and from April 2014, Nottingham City Council proposes a cut of 20%.

Council tax bills are arriving on peoples’ doorsteps this month causing anger, anxiety and distress as many claimants already on the breadline are being asked to pay amounts they can’t afford. The cuts affect people on low incomes, in part time work, unemployed or unable to work because of sickness (pensioners are not affected at the present time)
This is not an individual problem for claimants, we need to build solidarity to support people who can’t pay and build a campaign to fight these cuts.

The sessions are:

7pm Thursday 21 March and every alternate Thursday
International Community Centre
Mansfield Road
Nottingham

For more information (and to check re holidays etc.) contact Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Defend Council Tax Benefits Campaign on 07505 135 807 or defendcounciltaxbenefits [at] yahoo.co.uk, http://defendcounciltaxbenefits.blogspot.co.uk/ , http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/450355785005204/, https://twitter.com/defendbenefits tweet us defendbenefits

Bedroom tax protext in Bootle, Merseyside shows the way + Nottingham protest on March 16th

Update 2 – Nottingham protest report and photos: http://nottingham.indymedia.org/articles/5463

Update1 – Nottingham protest announced:

Saturday, March 16, 2013.1:00pm. In Nottingham alone, 4746 families will be affected by the Bedroom Tax. We oppose the Bedroom Tax in principle & in detail. Not one person should be forced to pay it. This is a peaceful demonstration to protest against the injustice of the Bedroom Tax that penalises the disabled, single parents, families of those recently deceased, foster parents and the parents of children in the army or at university: This will be a static demonstration rather than a protest march.

Twitter: @BedTaxNotts
http://www.facebook.com/events/613425092006763/

Many hundreds of people raged through the streets of Bootle, Merseyside yesterday (28th February 2013), in protest against the ‘Bedroom Tax’, which is just one month away from implementation. The ‘tax’ is actually a housing benefit cut if you have any spare rooms in a council house or other social housing. The mass demonstration had been organised by grassroots resistance group Stand Up In Bootle, which only sprang up a few weeks ago. Full story:
http://infantile-disorder.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/explosion-of-class-anger-at-bootle.html

Meanwhile Nottingham City Council have mounted a petition to central government against the tax, a move that is being backed by the local voluntary sector: http://www.nottinghamcvs.co.uk/news/article/nottingham-cvs-backs-campaign-re-think-bedroom-tax

It will be interesting to see which approach is successful. Nottingham City Council have a long way to go to convince City residents it has their interests at heart, having cut many services that affect housing and homelessness over the last few years and is also poised to implement the government’s council tax benefit reform which will result in some council tax being due if you are on certain benefits.

See also: ‘Bedroom tax’ is ‘appalling’ says paediatrician:
http://www.channel4.com/news/bedroom-tax-is-appalling-says-paediatricianI

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