Category Archives: Campaign info

About the Notts SOS campaign

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

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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: https://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.

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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

Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Defend Council Tax Benefits Campaign – JOIN THE LOBBY ON MONDAY 28TH JANUARY AT 1.00PM OUTSIDE THE COUNCIL HOUSE


Heed your own warning on “chaos” of Council Tax Benefit changes: Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Defend Council Tax Benefit Campaign urges Nottingham City Council

The campaign group have written to the Council asking them to take seriously their own criticism of their latest proposals for a Council Tax Benefit Support Scheme for 2013/14. Instead of going ahead with an 8.5% cut to all Council Tax Benefit recipients of working age, they say the Council should delay passing on the cuts. The Council are permitted to pass a scheme with zero cuts to Council Tax Benefit for 2013/14 and still be entitled to transitional funding. If they did this, they would have a year to build a campaign with local residents and other groups across the country to demand a sustainable and fair alternative and prevent the introduction of a minimum 20% cuts in 2014/15.

JOIN THE LOBBY ON MONDAY 28TH JANUARY AT 1.00PM OUTSIDE THE COUNCIL HOUSE

Nottingham and Nottinghamshire
Defend Council Tax Benefits Campaign
http://defendcounciltaxbenefits.blogspot.co.uk/

Read the letter to Nottingham City Council. Council letter Jan 13

Nottinghamshire Defend Council Tax Benefit Campaign – Press Release


PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

Campaign Group urges Nottingham City Council to heed its own warning on Council Tax Benefit changes

Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Defend Council Tax Benefit Campaign [1] have written to Nottingham City Council asking them to take seriously their own criticism of their latest proposals for a Council Tax Benefit Support Scheme [2] for 2013/14 , and buy time and fight with local residents for a sustainable and fair alternative.

In their letter, the group say the new proposals are unsustainable, as they do not provide a long term solution to the funding crisis with Government free to keep cutting funds regardless of need. They quote Nottingham City Council Leader Jon Collins predicting “chaos”[3] in trying to collect the money from benefit recipients. They point out that, under transitional funding rules, Nottingham City Council had the option not to pass on the cut to Council Tax Benefit, but have chosen to ask for the maximum amount of 8.5%. They also say that removing empty property council tax discounts and exemptions to part fund the scheme would be unfair and could penalise carers and other groups.

“These new proposals represent a shift away from a Council Tax Benefit scheme based on people’s real needs. A cut of 8.5% in your Council Tax benefit may look better than a cut of 20%, but it will still cause hardship and debt for people who have no money left at the end of the month, and will do nothing to prevent much bigger cuts in future years. We call on Nottingham City Council not to pass on these cuts to the poorest and most vulnerable people in Nottingham” – Chris Jackson, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Defend Council Tax Benefits.

Contacts

Cathy Meadows: 07913476905

Email: defendcounciltaxbenefits[at]yahoo.co.uk

Ends

Notes: 1. Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Defend Council Tax Benefits Campaign is opposed to the proposed abolition of the Council Tax Benefit Scheme and its replacement by local Council Tax Schemes; campaigns for councils to refuse to pass on the cuts to its local community; supports those who are unable to pay their council tax due to the proposed changes; and calls on councils not to pursue those who are unable to pay their Council tax due to the council’s changes. Contact information below.

2. The current national Council Tax Benefit (CTB) scheme is being abolished under the Welfare Reform Act. All councils in England must bring in their own Council Tax Support scheme from April 2013, with less funding. In October, the government announced transitional funding for councils on condition that anyone previously entitled to full CTB will now receive at least 91.5%. On Dec 18, Nottingham City Council agreed to apply for Transitional Funding of £775,000, and changed its CTB Support Scheme accordingly:

· Putting a maximum limit on the amount of council tax support that could be paid to all working age people, so that working age households who got 100% help with their Council Tax bills now could receive a maximum of 91.5% help in 2013/14
· All working age households would pay at least 8.5% of their Council Tax bill in 2013/14
· No sharp reduction in support for those entering work. The following additional elements were recommended and included, following
· Consideration of the findings of our formal consultation exercise:
· Removal of Second Adult Rebate
· Retaining backdating
· Setting a minimum award level of 50p

3. http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/Council-leader-warns-council-tax-court-chaos-cuts/story-17627391-detail/story.html”>http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/Council-leader-warns-council-tax-court-chaos-cuts/story-17627391-detail/story.html

Students’ march in London #DEMO2012 on 21st November


The national demo is called ‘#demo2012: Educate, Employ, Empower’. It will take place on Wednesday 21 November, and will involve a march through central London.

The current government has put the future of an entire generation at risk. Jobs are hard to come by, students are saddled with unprecedented levels of debt, it’s a struggle to get onto the property ladder, and state pensions are being phased out – it’s easy to feel despondent.

But NUS members have decided to take action. At our National Conference in April, delegates voted to hold a national demonstration in the first term of 2012. We need your help to show the government how angry we are at their betrayals and broken promises.

Details: http://www.demo2012.org.uk/?page_id=18 See also: Nottingham Students Against Fees and Cuts! http://nsafc.wordpress.com/

Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Defend Council Tax Benefit Campaign


Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Defend Council Tax Benefit Campaign’s
have responded to Nottingham City Council’s and Bassetlaw District
Council’s local council tax scheme consultations.

They have condemned the proposals which include 20% cuts or more for
many council tax claimants, an end to backdating, and a lowering of
savings limits.

They also say the proposals are unworkable, too costly to run and
divisive because they are separating claimants, who are already
identified as in need under the current scheme, into the deserving and
non-deserving.

The campaign group, who have researched the proposed changes, explain
their objections in detail in a letter and say that if local councils
do not fight to retain the existing scheme, it is likely that the
government will cut the budget further. The group have offered to
fight alongside the Council if they are prepared to fight to retain
the existing Council Tax Benefit scheme.

To get involved or contact the campaign:

Email defendcounciltaxbenefits@yahoo.co.uk
Phone/text 07521 569 622

See consultation letters in Word and PDF:

Consultation letter Nottingham City Council [Word format]
Consultation letter Bassetlaw [Word]

Consultation letter Nottingham City Council [PDF]
Consultation letter Bassetlaw [PDF]

Secret filming by GP about ATOS disability benefits ‘health-checks’


Demonstration near ATOS examination centre on Stoney St. in 2011

Demonstration near ATOS Healthcare examination centre on Stoney St. in 2011

We have previously covered the antics of private company ATOS Healthcare who carry out ‘health-checks’ on behalf of the Dept. of Work & Pensions. Job Centres are making daily decisions on huge numbers of people currently on disability benefits (Employment Support Allowance) with the aim of tranferring them on to Job Seekers Allowance if they are deemed fit enough, using a very contraversial computerised testing procedure owned by ATOS. Secret filming of ATOS ‘training’ by a GP has revealed that there is an implicit quota to pass recipients of benefits as fit for work. ATOS is paid a vast sum to carry out the tests.
Dr Steve Bick, a GP with 20 years’ experience, applied for a job as an assessor with Atos to carry out the work capability assessment (WCA) and secretly filmed his training for Channel 4’s Dispatches programme. […] The trainer tells trainee assessors: “If it’s more than I think 12% or 13%, you will be fed back ‘your rate is too high.'” When Bick questioned how the company could know in advance the precise proportion of people who needed to be put in this category, the trainer replied: “How do we know? I don’t know who set the criteria but that’s what we are being told.”

Notts activists have taken action against ATOS locally. The story of one part of this can be found in the excellent pamphlet: ‘Too much of this sort of thing’.

More about opposition to attacks on benefits and some history of ATOS’s testing software: End of the Social Wage? Radical responses to the Welfare Reform Bill

More about benefits on Notts SOS: https://nottssos.org.uk/tag/benefits/

Events tomorrow and during the month of May – including May Day and forthcoming strikes


Diary dates for May

Reminder: Notts SOS Meeting tonight, 30th April, Nottinghamshire YMCA (International Community Centre), 61b Mansfield Road NG1 3FN, 7.30-9pm.

Tuesday 1st May – MAY DAY MAY DAY Organising Against Austerity – meeting hosted by the Anarchist Federation at the New Mechanics Institute, 3 North Sherwood St. Nottingham, NG1 4EZ. 7.00-9.00pm. Details: http://nottsblackarrow.wordpress.com

Wednesday 2nd May – Notts-KONP (Keep Our NHS Public) Branch Meeting Friends Meeting House, 25 Clarendon Street Nottingham NG1 5JD, 7:30pm.

Thursday 3rd May – Notts Uncut planning meeting – http://nottingham.indymedia.org/events/2545
The Stage, 7a Wollaton St, Nottingham, NG1 5FW, 7pm.

Saturday 5th May – Nottingham May Day march and rally organised by Nottingham and Mansfield Trades Council – 10am from Forest Recreation Ground to Nottingham Market Square for rally with speakers. Details: http://www.nottstuc.org/2012/04/notts-may-day-march-and-rally-with-mark.html

Monday 7th May – Chesterfield May Day march. Details: http://www.chesterfieldmayday.org.uk/

Thursday 10th May – PCS, UCU and Unite health are striking over pensions. PCS town committee are inviting speakers from associated groups to a strike rally. http://www.pcs.org.uk/en/campaigns/10-may–all-out/. For NHS Pensions Industrial Action Thursday May 10 assemble 10:30am QMC – Rally from 12:00pm Market Square, supporting members of UNITE Health, PCS and UCU who are striking in response to the attacks on the public sector pensions on Thursday. Look out for the NOTTS-KONP banner at the Queens Medical Centre Main Gate and join us – we will move to the Market Square for a rally from 12:00pm. See also, previous industrial action round=up from April: http://nottingham.indymedia.org/articles/2551.

Thursday 10th May – Nottingham Solidarity Network meeting, Sumac Centre, Nottingham, 7pm – Details: http://nottingham.indymedia.org/events/2514. Followed by Autonomous Nottingham meeting at 8pm.

Thursday 10th May – Mansfield Meeting on NHS Changes, hosted by Manfield SOS – A public meeting is to be held in Mansfield on the topic of the changes to the National Health Service and what can be done to protect it from new threats. Starts 7.30pm at the Quakers Friends Meeting House next to the Civic Centre car park entrance in Mansfield.

Saturday 12th May – Notts Uncut Skillshare Workshop, The Sumac Centre, 245 Gladstone Street, Forest Fields, Nottingham, NG7 6HX, 10am – Details: http://nottingham.indymedia.org/events/2515

Monday 14th May – Cancelled – Notts SOS regular forthnightly meeting will not take place today. The next meeting will be 28th May.

Thursday 24th May – Nottingham Solidarity Network meeting, Sumac Centre, 7pm – Details: http://nottingham.indymedia.org/events/2514.

Saturday 26th May – Notts Uncut Great British Street Party, Nottingham City Centre, venue to be confirmed. See Facebook event page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/events/340821982647541/

Monday 28th May – Notts SOS regular forthnightly meeting, Nottinghamshire YMCA (International Community Centre), 61b Mansfield Road NG1 3FN, 7.30-9pm.

More events and meetings: http://nottingham.indymedia.org/