Lobby against Playworkers redundancies and privatisation of Learning Disability Services – Notts Unison report 4-5-2011

Notts Unison found out at very short notice that the County Council were proposing to rush through legislation relating to the privatisation of local Elderly persons Homes and learning Centres for people with Disabliites and mounted a lobby of council on 4th May 2011. Full story: http://www.nottsunison.org.uk/lobby4may11.html

Bassettlaw SOS flyer, Letter and Worksop meeting on 12th May 2011

Bassetlaw Save Our Services have a Protect Our People flyer and also announce a meeting in Worksop on 12th May 2011 (details in letter below).

The Editor
Worksop Guardian

Dear Sir

I should be grateful if you would print my letter which is advertising a public meeting on the 12th May.

“Robin Hood, if he were alive today might find a lot about the world that he would recognise. Firstly, that the poor of our land are being robbed to pay the rich, in the form of bigger bonuses and fatter profits for the banks and big business. Secondly, that the poor (that’s you and me – because Bassetlaw is a low paid area) are being expected to get us out of this crisis by borrowing more than we can afford. We will need to do this to make ends meet because our wages, pensions and benefits are failing to keep up with inflation. This is made clear by the Office for Budget Responsibility which in its recent report said it expected households to go further in debt each year between now and 2015.

Now, my recollection of the ConDem Government’s justification for the current “age of austerity” is that we (as a country) can’t afford to borrow “beyond our means”. As a result we are having a huge squeeze on our public finances, with huge job losses, savage cuts to our essential public services and a cull of local businesses faced with customers who cannot afford to shop.

So, it seems the Government’s plan to get us out of this crisis is to transfer the debt from the state to households up and down the land. I don’t think that this part of the ConDem Government’s plan to get us out of this crisis has received the publicity it deserves – naturally it’s something you would want to hide, not advertise.

If you feel, like Robin Hood, that the poor should not be expected to solve the present crisis by going into more and more debt then join our group ‘Bassetlaw Protecting our People and Services’ which is being set up to campaign against the savage cuts to our services and standards of living.

We will be meeting at 7.00 pm on Thursday 12th May, at The Christchurch, 15 Thievesdale Close, Worksop, S81 OXS. You will be very welcome.

Yours faithfully

Ann Donlan
Bassetlaw Protecting our People and Services”

March, demo & strike at Notts County Hall – reports from 24th Feb 2011 [photos & videos]

Here are links to reports about Thursday demo at County Hall against Notts County Council cuts and job losses with photos and video:

More coming soon at City Council on 5ht and 7th of February. For inspiration see reports of occupations of town halls and council buildings in London this week:Haringey and Lambeth, and protest at Southwark

Watch video on Notts Unison/Youtube


And some links made here in another Notts video about the hypocrisy of the government over egypt, libya and bahrain, selling arms to dictators, and business deals. Why the cuts here are not necessary. And let’s all learn to ‘fight like an egyptian’!


Notts County Council workers to strike – and County Hall march/demo on 24th February 2011

Workers at Nottinghamshire County Council are to strike on Thursday 24th February, following the announcement of a yes vote in the ballot for industrial action. Full story:

Thursday 24th Feb – Nottinghamshire County Council Lobby. Major lobby of County Hall, West Bridgford on the day the full council meets to set its Council Tax budget. Download Lobby flyer: Alternative to Notts County cuts lobby 24 Feb 2011. Assemble Embankment, 10am for an 11am start of a march to County Hall. It will set off from the war memorial which is about half a mile down the embankment from Trent Bridge. The lobby will finish at 1pm. There are free coaches laid on from round the county. Details are on the notts unison website: http://www.nottsunison.org.uk/coachtickets.pdf

A few news items about the cuts – Nottingham, Notts, national

Here are a few of the recent cuts stories linked on https://nottssos.org.uk/in-the-news/. Notts SOS is preparing for action against the budget decisions pending in both the City and County. For details of events, see: https://nottssos.org.uk/2011/02/06/anti-cuts-diary-dates-from-monday-7th-february-2011-nottingham-notts/

Anti-cuts diary dates – UPDATED for Feb 16th onwards – Nottingham & Notts


picture of a diary to add the following anti-cuts dates toHere are anti-cuts events coming up. Also take a look at our Recent Events, Comments and Twitter feed columns for more info and comments. Join Notts SOS Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=129772307075242

Anti-cuts diary dates from Monday 7th February 2011

Running at least until 10th Feb Budget consultation events: Nottingham City Council from 31st Jan until 10th Feb.

Monday 7th Feb Regular Notts SOS planning meeting, at ICC/YMCA, 7.30-9.15pm.

Saturday 12th Feb – Pre-Valentines day ‘We love Nottingham Services – Cards against the cuts’. Nottingham City Centre. Nottingham, Old Market Square in front of the Council House, 1pm until 3pm. Giant cards. Here are a couple of designs: We love our teachers - Notts Save Our Services valentines day card

Saturday 12th Feb – Anti-academy schools stall in Rushcliffe. Details to be announced. Previous meeting in Broxtowe: https://nottssos.org.uk/2011/01/05/fighting-academies-in-nottingham-and-nottinghamshire-broxtowe-meeting-thursday-6-january-2011/

Saturday 12th Feb – Mansfield SOS demo. March/Protest/Rally. Starts ‘Feather’ 11am. Short march finishes Mansfield Market Place for rally, 11.10am. Download leaflet [Word] [PDF] & poster [Word] [PDF]

Monday 14th Feb Extra Notts SOS planning meeting, at ICC/YMCA, 7.30-9.15pm.

Tuesday 15th February 2011 Budget Consultation Meeting for St. Anns & Dales will take place on Tuesday 15th February 2011, 5.30pm – 8pm at Carlton Road Library. Organised through Neighbourhood Action Officer for the St. Anns Ward; working as part of the Neighbourhood Management Team for Area 6 – St. Anns & the Dales. Download: Your City Your Services, R3 consultation meeting agenda – 15.02.11

Saturday 19th Feb – Keep The Post Public. CWU demo. Date: Saturday 19th February 2011. Assemble from 1pm (march will commence at 2pm). Place: Mail Centre, Padge Road, Beeston, Nottingham, NG9 2RR. Details: http://www.cwu.org/keep-the-post-public-march-and-rally-in-beeston-nottingham.html. See also: http://www.eclectech.co.uk/savethepostoffice.php in case anyone forgets privatisation started under Labour. Notts TUC event listing: http://www.nottstuc.org/p/keep-post-public-demo-19-feb.html

Tuesday 22th February Nottingham City Unison is organising a public protest at 12.30-1.30pm in the Market Square, in front of the Council House. This is the day that the City Council Executive Board discusses and recommends the 2011/12 budget to the full council. All welcome. Public demonstration with speakers. Download leaflet: Budget cuts protest 22 Feb 2011 Nottingham City Unison

Wednesday 23rd Feb – Mencap Big Cuts Event, Nottingham Racecourse. One of a series of roadshow events across the country to tell people about the cuts happening in their area, and to look at ways we can work together to fight them. Details: http://www.mencap.org.uk/page.asp?id=20547. However – their aim to engage as a workfare provider as ‘Disability Works UK’ consortium seems problematic: http://wheresthebenefit.blogspot.com/2010/12/disability-works-does-it.html. If you are going to this event maybe this issue could be raised?

Thursday 24th Feb – Nottinghamshire County Council Lobby. Major lobby of County Hall, West Bridgford on the day the full council meets to set its Council Tax budget. Download Lobby flyer: Alternative to Notts County cuts lobby 24 Feb 2011. Assemble Embankment, 10am for an 11am start of a march to County Hall. It will set off from the war memorial which is about half a mile down the embankment from Trent Bridge. The lobby will finish at 1pm. There are free coaches laid on from round the county. Details are on the notts unison website: http://www.nottsunison.org.uk/coachtickets.pdf

Friday 25th March – mass woodland walk on Fri 25th to highlight the potential privatisation of the forests. Facebook event link: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=181968331845270. Mind you, the same MP who is organising this voted for foundation hospitals.

Monday 28th Feb Regular Notts SOS planning meeting, at ICC/YMCA, 7.30-9.15pm.

Saturday 5th March Notts SOS rally in Market Square against the City Council budget. 12 noon. All welcome. Bring banners, placards & things to make noise including yourself!

Monday 7th March – Demonstrate at Nottingham City Council meeting, starting at 1.00 pm (meeting starts 2.00pm). The City Council’s budget for 2011/12 will be considered at a meeting of the full City Council to be held at the Council House, Old Market Square, Nottingham. The agenda for the meeting will be published a week in advance and agendas for Council meetings can be viewed by following this link http://open.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/comm/goto.asp?Type=1|32. Previously, from Unison: previous article on Notts SOS. See also: http://www.nottinghamcityunison.org.uk/.

Tuesday 8th March Anarchists Against the Cuts meeting, 7.00-9.30pm. Venue to be confirmed.

Tuesday 8th March Anti-Academies Alliance public meeting, 7.00pm. Friends Meeting House, 25 Clarendon Street Nottingham NG1 5JD. Download flyer [Word] [PDF].

Wednesday 16th March – Bassetlaw SOS Public Meeting at the Crossing Church & Centre, Newcastle Street, Worksop. Starts 7pm. Download public meeting flyer. Download Bassetlaw anti-cuts flyer.

Saturday 19th March Nottingham CND & Notts SOS are holding a joint stall in the Market Square, at 11.30am. The theme is ‘Cut Trident not Public Sevices/Jobs’.

Saturday 26th March – TUC ‘March for the alternative’: http://marchforthealternative.org.uk/. Put this in your diary now! London – initial details of route are here – http://marchforthealternative.org.uk/march-logistics/getting-there/.

A weekend of anti-cuts activity in Nottingham & Notts (5th/6th February 2011) – Libraries, Shelters & Housing, Vodafone

Yesterday, Saturday 5th February, as part of a countrywide protest against library closures ‘Voices for the Library’, library read-ins and other protests were taking place in Beeston, Carlton, Chilwell, Stapleford, Sneinton and Toton. In London at New Cross one library was occupied last night. Read more in Evening Post prior to Nottingham and Notts library events.

Carlton Library, Station Road, Carlton - 5th Feb 2011

Say No To Cuts stall, Market Square, Nottingham, 5/2/2011
Also on the same day in the Market Square, Nottingham, a ‘Say No To Cuts’ stall was run by some of those involved with local homeless shelters and women’s refuges that are facing huge cuts or closure, also highlighting cuts to Refugee Action and housing support for vulnerable young people and adults. Leaflets and petitions were used to encourage more people to get involved. A set of letters written by local homeless teenagers was on display, explaining the vital importance to them of the housing and shelter facilities in Notts that are threatened by funding cuts. Campaign organisers described the cuts as ‘disgusting’ and vowed to prevent a return to large numbers of people sleeping in city centre doorways.

Update post-event. See some photos on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/photos.php?id=100001814289529

On Sunday 7th February 2011 at 1pm a UKUncut protest is due to take place at the Vodafone store on Clumber Street. Vodafone was let off billions off its tax bill by HM Revenue and Customs, money which could have been used to avoid public sector cuts. This is also the next local demonstration since one week ago it became clear that police had used CS spray and hospitalised UKUncut activists at the Oxford Road, London branch of Boots (who are another subject of this ongoing campaign against corporate tax avoidance).

Today’s UKUncut protest in Nottingham makes a further link with the situation in Egypt where revolutionaries are being subjected to CS gas and worse. According to the Financial Times, both France Telecom and Vodafone transmitted pro-government text messages and “Some texts on Vodafone’s network appeared to urge Mr Mubarak’s supporters to confront the anti-government protesters.” According to Mark Steel, writing on Egypt in the Independent newspaper last week, “The Big Society taking place in Egypt means for a moment that the place has become the most democratic country on the planet.” UK UNCUT will therefore be highlighting demands that Vodafone pay their taxes and that they do not support dictators.

See also: Report from a previous UKUncut protest in Nottingham, 30th Jan 2011.

ukuncut demo photo nottingham
Previous demonstration outside Vodafone in Nottingham

Lots more photos on Notts SOS Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=129772307075242&v=photos

What’s coming up next week? Take a look at https://nottssos.org.uk/2011/02/06/anti-cuts-diary-dates-from-monday-7th-february-2011-nottingham-notts/

UNISON slams decision to ban march by Tory controlled Rushcliffe Borough Council – Press Release 3rd Feb 2011

Press Release 03/02/2011: UNISON slams decision to ban march by Tory controlled Rushcliffe Borough Council

UNISON has commenced an appeal against Rushcliffe Borough Council, which has refused the union permission to use empty fields as a safe assembly area for a public march on 24 February against Nottinghamshire County Council budget cuts. The union has approval from the Police for the event, but is required to have a safe “point of assembly”.

Despite the land being vacant, and only used for overspill car parking for Trent Bridge cricket matches, the council claims that to allow permission might be seen as “supporting a political initiative”. The union believes the refusal to allow permission will be seen by local voters as politically motivated in itself.

Andy Belfield, UNISON East Midlands Regional Head of Local Government deplored the council decision:

“This should all be so straightforward. Conservatives in Nottinghamshire should be saying they will do whatever they can to avoid compulsory redundancies and they will make sure people have every chance to protest and have their say. Instead they are saying they intend to sack 1000 people they don’t have to, and they will try and ban people from peacefully protesting about it. It’s a sad day for the Tories in Notts.”

“Pensioners, services users, community groups and concerned local voters intend to take part in this march, and we need a safe point where people can assemble to reduce inconvenience to local residents and road users. The council must review its decision.”

The union has vowed that the planned march through West Bridgford will go ahead on 24 February 2011. The union will liaise with the police to identify an alternative point of assembly if the council will not budge. The union expects around 1,000 people to take part in the march, which will run from 11am to 12noon and end at County Hall.


Read-in and read-out protests at Beeston, Sneinton & Stapleford libraries on Saturday 5th February 2011

Saturday February 5th 2011 is marked as a national day of action against cuts and closures of libraries. ‘Read-in’ events on the day in Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County so far include Beeston, Sneinton and Stapleford. Do let Notts SOS know if there are others.

In Nottingham, the Council is introducing charges for using library computers starting on Monday January 31 (today). They are reducing the book fund by one quarter – this means many new books won’t be bought. They are changing opening hours. Central Library opening hours have already been reduced- there will be more reductions. They are closing Carlton Road Library.

Update – a great support message sent to Notts SOS: Friends of Somerset’s Libraries video “with best wishes from all of us on the WeLoveLibraries production team”.

Beeston and Chilwell Defend Library Services

Under the proposals, Beeston Library’s opening hours would be cut from 57 hours a week to 52, while at Inham Nook Library in Chilwell the opening hours would be cut from 20 hours to eight. See Beeston and Chilwell Defend Library Services group: https://nottssos.org.uk/2011/01/23/protest-grows-against-library-cuts-beeston-chilwell-campaign-report-and-future-events/. Read-in starts 11am on Saturday 5th February at Beeston Library.

Sneinton Against The Cuts ‘Read-in’

Sneinton Against The Cuts are organising a Read-In at Sneinton Library, Sneinton Boulevard. This is part of a national Read-In to defend library services and coincides with the Nottingham City Council’s decision to begin charging for using Library computers.

The Great Sneinton Library Read-In starts Sat 5 Feb, 11am

We have also made a petition against the introduction of Library Computer Charges and a template complaints letter because there has been no consultation or notice given for the introduction of charges – Let us know if you want these. We are going to do an article about the impact of computer charges.

We have also started a new blog. The address is – http://sneintonagainstthecuts.blogspot.com

Stapleford Libary ‘Read-out’

At Stapleford library they will be having a ‘read-out’ – Day of action against the library cuts – February 5th. Kick off 11am.

About four of us will be reading from books with possibly some storytelling too. One of the readers says he “will be personally reading ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’ minus 50%”.

City Libraries – Blast from the past: Library Staff Speak Out Against Uniforms and Management Bullying 12/03/2008.


SHERWOOD FOREST IS OUR FOREST! – report from a well attended meeting in Nottingham on 27th Jan 2011. Plus PCS press release.Plea

Photo of save Sherwood Forest packed meeting on 27th January 2011Contact the campaign: Contact email: info@hiye.org.uk

Update: 3/1/2011Save Sherwood Forest website launched. Please link to the site if you are running a blog or website yourself. Thanks.

Here is a comprehesive report from a very well attended meeting held in Nottingham about the planned sell-off/privatisation of forestry land in England including Sherwood … come back to this page as we should have more specific contact information and hopefully an email group you can join. In the meantime you can contact Notts SOS in the usual way.

On 27th Jan 2011 over 70 people from all over the county packed into a meeting in Nottingham to express their concerns about the future of Sherwood Forest.

They were clear that the ownership of Sherwood Forest matters. It is something that is too vital and deeply rooted in the people of Nottinghamshire to be simply sold off by the Government. The meeting was convened by Notts Save Our Services and the Climate Alliance.

Sherwood Forest is now a complex web of woodland and forest which has a global identity as part of the legends of Robin Hood. A large part of the forest is held and operated by the Forestry Commission on behalf of the people.

Large tracts of forest land have been developed and managed by the Forestry Commission since 1919 following the ravages of the U-boat attacks during the first world war when forests were decimated to sustain war production. These forests freely open to the public and in public ownership are what the Government wants to sell. They have recently been developed as important free public recreational spaces and to be seen as vital environmental resources all at minimal public cost – around 30p/year for tax payers!

It was agreed that we cannot allow the our forest to be sold in haste on global markets in response to the ravages of the banking crisis. Sherwood Forest is at the core of our heritage, a wonderful amenity for all and an essential part of who we are now and also of our common future.

Paddy Tipping speaking as Vice President of the Ramblers made clear the importance of the access to land, access that was hard won over many years of struggle and mass action. We need to be very wary of Government promises, he said, and to be aware of the prospect of future amendments. We should not let go of our hard fought rights to roam or the necessary supporting resources.

Kaye Brennan set out the position of the Woodland Trust who have been working with and lobbying Government intensively over the past three months. They are clear that there should be no disposal of any land until there is a
binding commitment to complete the work to restore ancient woodlands. Like other charities, the Woodland Trust is not in a position to take over responsibility for managing large areas of forest she said.

People expressed concern at the reluctance of the Government to make any clear commitments so far and the majority were strongly against any sale of public land. The talk of the Big Society may be a smokescreen for selling off forests to the private sector.

Andrea Oates of the Nottinghamshire Save Our Services campaign placed the sale of Sherwood Forest in the context of the other Government cutbacks which are facing increasing resistance and also of the large number of jobs that are at risk in and around the forest. Andrea encouraged people to add their names to the campaign by 38 degrees which now has nearly 300,000 signatures, lobby their MPs about their opposition to the sell off and to
demonstrate against these proposals (see below).

Peter Robinson of the Climate Alliance stressed the importance of maintaining the forest to respond to the threat of climate change and of the capacity of forests to absorb carbon dioxide without the need for expensive and elaborate technology.

The meeting was encouraged to hear that some job cuts threatened in Sherwood Forest as part of Government cutbacks have been postponed in response to the public reaction so far – a clear indication of the power of the
public voice.

There was astonishment when we learned that the government is not going to bother to assess the health and environmental impacts of any disposal. We were reminded of the decimation of the Amazon rain forests that followed the collapse of confidence in the new fangled ‘hedge funds’ of ‘Long Term Capital Management’ in the 1990s which were unable to provide the promised financial security.

After a well-informed and passionate discussion it was agreed to organise a protest and rally in Sherwood Forest calling on people from all over the the county and neighbouring towns and cities to demonstrate to Government that we mean to fight to retain our forest. Similar actions are expected to take place across the country.

Many people at the meeting signed up to a ‘Save Sherwood Forest’ organising group which is hoping to launch the campaign in the near future. In the mean time for further information see:


Ian Hewitt, Health in Your Environment, Friday 28 January 2011

Report on Notts Trades Council site: http://www.nottstuc.org/2011/01/packed-meeting-to-start-campaign.html

See the press release from the PCS below

Forestry body costs public less than a packet of crisps a year

27 January 2011

The public body responsible for managing the UK’s forests costs less than the price of a packet of crisps a year for each person in England, PCS says.

The value for money provided by the Forestry Commission, at less than 30p each every year, is highlighted as the government prepares to sell off forests with a ‘consultation’ being launched today.

The union, which represents 900 staff at the commission, says the government should keep the whole of the English public forests in public ownership and publicly run.

The Forestry Commission currently runs multipurpose forests – visited by 40 million people a year – providing economic, social and environmental benefits, as required by internationally recognised principles for good forest management.

Public ownership ensures the commission carries out a wide range of functions that the union does not believe can be provided by the private and voluntary sectors.

In 2009 the commission conducted a detailed study of the long-term role of public forests that concluded public ownership was essential in supporting the forestry estate.

Private sector owners would inevitably want to make a profit and would be likely to cut down swathes of forests, restrict public access and facilities, and would not provide the same level of support for environmental objectives.

With charities having to rely on fundraising, as well as support from taxpayer-funded grants, the union does not believe there are any savings to the exchequer from such a transfer.

In a recent YouGov poll for campaign group 38 Degrees, 84% of the public said they did not want their forests sold for private profit, and more than 200,000 people have signed a petition to oppose the sell-off.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “Our public forests are extremely important for the environment, for wildlife and to help solve problems such as climate change. The government is putting all this at risk with a dangerous ideological plan to sell them off to the highest bidder.

“While the voluntary sector does a lot of good work in our forests, we do not believe volunteers can replace experienced staff and forest managers.
“With the Forestry Commission providing such good value for money the alternative is clear, and the government should scrap its plans to allow big businesses to profit from our natural environment.

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