People’s March for the NHS – in Nottingham again on Saturday March 28th, 2015

People’s March for the NHS will visit Nottingham again on Saturday March 28th. The start time is 11am at The Forest Recreation Ground, Gregory Boulevard, NG7 6HB Nottingham. A march will then leave Forest Recreation Ground to Speaker’s Corner (next to Brian Clough statue, Market Square Nottingham) for a rally at 12.30pm. The march is organised by ‘People’s Vote for the NHS’ which is aiming to get Labour back in power to ‘save’ the NHS.
See also event page:

Analysis on the NHS policy of the main parties can be examined here:

A socialist left viewpoint on ‘are Labour and Tories the same’ with an eye on elections is here:

One personal viewpoint on Labour’s NHS record local to Nottingham can be found here in the Notts SOS blog from October 16, 2010:

Another view on the cuts and NHS with local relevance, this time from the Anarchist Federation, Nottingham local group, is the anti-cuts leaflet, published shortly after the last General Election, to be found here [PDF leaflet]

Nottingham City Council budget cuts protest rally on Monday 9th March 2015, 1pm

For Immediate release
Scrap the Bedroom Tax Defend Council Tax Benefit Nottingham: Cathy Meadows 07913476905

Local Group rallies against Nottingham City Council budget cuts in Nottingham Market Square on Monday 9 March 1pm

A campaign group is rallying outside Nottingham City Council’s budget meeting at the Council House at 1pm on Monday 9 March. The group want to protest against :

  • proposed increase to council tax
  • cuts to advice services
  • unspecified cuts to leisure services which could mean cuts to library services including shorter opening hours, fewer staff and increased for computer use at libraries
  • lack of detail in budget proposals during the consultation period (see above)
  • failure of the City Council to publicise Bedroom Tax refund available to all social housing tenants in the City who were overcharged under to the Consequential Provision Regulations (CPR) 2006.

The group which campaigns against the bedroom tax and cuts to council tax benefit say that people hit by the bedroom tax and those receiving council tax support are having to use money meant for food, fuel and bills to try and make up shortfalls in council tax benefit and housing benefit – This is causing extreme hardship, debt and stress made worse by the threat of pursuit by Nottingham City Council . On top of that services which support people with debt, and court cases are being cut.

See also:

Nottingham Council cuts consultations – what will it mean?

budget-moneyIf you’ve not already seen the dire projection for the Nottingham City 2015/16 budget see this Council page:
Similar stories are being told in Nottinghamshire County, and in Derby and Leicester.

The question is what can be done? One thing we can see clearly is we now have Labour Councils in the City and County in Notts both poised to make ordinary people pay for the so-called economic crisis and ‘deficit’ through imposed ‘austerity’. All we are being asked to do is help them choose what to cut, or to increase cost to users, so there will inevitably be ‘winners’ and ‘losers’, while the big bad central Libdem-Tory coalition government is blamed. Clearly the councils are lobbying hard for more money, even to the extent mounting an East Midlands-wide campaign to highlight existing serious problems of deprivation.

Since the broad-based group that launched Notts SOS and this website (and the regular newsletters) is no longer operating, we have a fragmented set of left-wing currents in Notts who believe, for the most part, that the best way to effect a change is through the ballot box, either the Labour Party (and Green Party) supporting ‘People’s Assembly’ or the TUSC and Left Unity coalitions who are standing candidates in the General Election. There is an overlap between TUSC and the Bedroom Tax campaign that has challenged the City Council over its implementation of this (hopefully soon to be doomed) very nasty public housing policy. PA have also opposed bedroom tax evictions, notably that of Tom Crawford. and were also delighted by Notts County Council’s vote to support a ‘Jarrow March’ last year for the NHS, going through the North of the county (berating the ‘no’ votes from coalition councillors). Others have been picking up the pieces of the cuts by running Food Banks, such as the NG7 one at the Sumac Centre (which recently stopped operating).

So what’s next if (and almost certainly when) most of these cuts or cost increases are enacted? Will getting tied up in the General Election publicity show be any use? It really seems a broad campaign without the baggage of party politics is needed more than ever in our region, to oppose austerity from the grassroots and to increase the use of direct action.

Here is a list of threatened services in Nottingham City, from the consultation website (most with a view to increase costs to individuals who use them, plus job 240 cuts and a council tax increase of 1.95%):
– Reviewing charges for Adult Social Care – Introducing an average contribution of £20 a week for around 250 citizens receiving Care, Support and Enablement services
– Increasing Fees and Charges Review of charges for Adult Social Care Proposals: Day Care from £5 to £12 per day, transport to Day Centres from £5 to £8 per return journey, Jack Dawe from £17.50 to £22.50 per hour
– Reducing case management capacity in the Youth Offending Team
– Removing vacant posts in Youth Provision
– Reviewing Sports and Culture fees and charges
– Increasing cost of school meals from £1.75 to £1.80 per meal
– Changing day centre and residential care provision
– Children’s Centres – Expanding opportunities for schools to use children centre buildings, while maintaining Children’s Centre services to the community

Trade Unions Unite For Militant And Sustained General Strike Len McClusky Announces

In a genuinely historic move, every trade union in the UK has signed up to a sustained general strike against austerity which could begin in the next few days Unite leader Len McCluskey has confirmed.

Read more:

Budget protest at Notts County Hall, from Nottingham Indymedia (which took place 13/11/2013)

Budget protest at Notts County Hall (13/11/2013), report from Nottingham Indymedia (posted 17/11/2013):

On Wednesday 13th November, Notts County Unison held a protest at County Hall against the cuts being proposed at Nottinghamshire County Council.

The council reverted to Labour control in May, but this has made little difference to the austerity programme in the county which continues apace.

Read more:

Nottingham Anonymous anti-cuts action on 23/2/2013

Brief report from a participant on the Nottingham Anonymous anti-cuts action yesterday:

Up to one hundred demonstrators assembled in Old Market Square and proceeded to blockade tax-dodging firms such as Starbucks, Vodafone, banks, etc. People passing by responded very positively. Some joined in the fun. The police followed the demo around but kept a low profile. The mainly young people participating were very lively and positive. Anonymous are to be congratulated for organising this direct action.

Update: longer report and more photos:

Nottingham Anonymous demo 23th February 2013

Another photo on Notts Indymedia, outside NatWest:

Defend Council Tax Benefit – Lobby and Rally in Nottingham – 18th December 2012, 12.30pm and 5.30pm



Lobby: Loxley House, Station Street 12.30pm.

Rally: Nottingham Market Square 5.30pm.

Organised by Notts Defend Council Tax Benefit Campaign or!/groups/450355785005204/ (tweet us @defendbenefits).

See also

* Nottingham City Council pay freeze battle:
* Elderly and families to feel the pinch as Nottingham City Council makes £25m savings:

Reply to Notts SOS from Nottingham City Council about 2012-3 budget petition – add your comments

In response to the Notts SOS petition with over 1700 signatures submitted in March 2012 prior to the Nottingham City Council 2012-3 budget setting meeting, against cuts to services, we have received a letter from Tony Kirkham, Director of Strategic Finance (please note any errors in the scanning of the printed letter to text are ours). Feel free to add your thoughts and comments.

Notts SOS has previously condemned the decision by NCC to set a cuts budget:

Download PDF: NCC Budget Petition Reply Letter 12 April 2012

12 April 2012

Dear Mrs Peterson,

Councillor Chapman’s office has forwarded on to me your petition regarding the Council’s budget for 2012/13. Please find below the
response to the issues raised within your petition.

Under the 1992 Local Government Act the Council is required to calculate its budget requirement for each financial year and budget to meet its expenditure after taking into account other sources of income. The 2003 Local Government Act also places an explicit obligation on the Chief Finance Officer (CFO) to report on the robustness of the budget.

Within the legal framework outlined above the City Council’s budget has been set in response to a challenging financial situation. Above average cuts in Government funding (7.4% in 2012/13) and other pressures means the City Council has had to take difficult decisions on the kind of services it can continue to provide. A further £20m of reductions will be made in the budget above and beyond those already implemented in the recent past.

Our priorities include supporting jobs and the local economy and protecting services for vulnerable people where it can – although growing numbers of people needing adult care and children in care add further pressure on the council’s finances. To meet these pressures the City Council has been looking at how it delivers services and either finding more efficient ways to do so or, in some cases, stopping services where demand has fallen.

The City Council has decided to increase its Council Tax for 2012/13 by 3.4% because it, like a number of other authorities across the country, does not believe that it would be financially responsible to “freeze” council tax at the current level as this would result in significant on- going pressures in future years budgets.

If we had accepted the Government’s Council Tax ‘freeze’ grant for 2012/13 there would have been a significant negative impact on the City Council’s budget position for 2013/14 onwards. The Government’s proposed Council Tax Freeze Grant for next year would involve a single one-off payment with no further funding locked into future financial settlements. This would have had an adverse future impact on our services and priorities; the City Council would either have had to increase its council tax by c6.0% in 2013/14 or find additional savings of £3.5m on top of the Medium Term Financial Plan assumptions of a 2.5% Council Tax increase.
For this important reason Nottingham, like a number of Councils across the country including locally Gedling Borough Council, has not accepted the Government’s offer to freeze our level of Council Tax in 2012/13.

As part of the budget setting process consultation is carried out with a range of interested parties. For 2012/13 consultation on the budget was conducted in two phases. Before the budget settlement was announced, pre-budget consultation was carried out with citizens and with the voluntary sector. An insert into the residents’ magazine, the Arrow, in Autumn 2011 included a survey, which was also available online. In addition, a series of local consultation events were held, attended by local councillors and, where possible, by an Executive Board councillor.

The draft budget was considered by Executive Board on 17 January 2012 and this was followed by further consultation. Due to the need to feedback to the 21 February Executive Board meeting, this consultation could not be run through the Arrow. Instead, citizens were invited to comment via the Council website. Additionally, further local events were arranged and Neighbourhood Management teams publicised these locally. Voluntary sector consultation has continued alongside this as well as consultation with Council colleagues and business.

Appropriate action has been taken in relation to any representations made and feedback from that consultation process has been taken into account in finalising the proposals approved by Full Council on 5th March 2012.

In January this year, the City Council wrote to the Secretary of State, Eric Pickles, explaining the future financial difficulties it would face if it accepted the Government’s grant on a one-off basis and asked it to consider funding the freeze on the same basis as 2011/12. The Government has however, responded by saying that they are not willing to change back to the previous system.
I hope that the information provided has been helpful in explaining why the background to the difficult decisions that the Council has had to take in setting the budget for 2012/13. If you require any further information please feel free to contact me again.

Yours sincerely,

Tony Kirkham
Director of Strategic Finance
Direct line .: 01158764157

Notts SOS update for week beginning 19th March 2012 and forthcoming events

This is the latest update from Nottinghamshire Save Our Services (Notts SOS).

While there isn’t as much happening in Notts over the next week as the last few, the struggle against the cuts continues. The government are
not relenting (indeed they’ve just announced plans to further attack public sector workers by abolishing national pay arrangements) and neither will we.

We meet every two weeks. The next meeting will be Monday 26th March.

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.


Occupy Nottingham was in court to challenge Nottingham City Council’s eviction order on Tuesday 13th. The case was adjourned to Friday 16th,
but on Thursday the occupiers were informed that the judge had granted them a 3 week adjournment until 5th April.

Press release:
On Saturday 24th March there will be a benefit night for Occupy Nottingham at the Sumac Centre.

This will include Dub Reggae, Ragga Bashment, D+B, Dubstep & Jungle Bizness! All in aid of Occupy Nottingham!

Headliner: YT (SATIVA RECORDS) + DJ’s: Shrug Knight; Buda; Vinyljunkie; Remington; Spread; Jake5nake. £4 on the Door!!!

Food will be available at ‘Peoples Kitchen’ from 6.30pm, a great vegan meal for a small donation to Occupy Nottingham, it is hoped that there will be an open forum discussion before hand from 5pm.



Wednesday 21st MarchBudget Day

Saturday 24th March, 6.30pmOccupy Nottingham benefit night at the Sumac Centre

Monday 26th March, 7.30pmNotts SOS planning meeting. International Community Centre, Mansfield Road

Tuesday 27th March, 7pmHands Off Notts Schools meeting. Beeston Library, Foster Avenue, Beeston:

Wednesday 28th MarchPossible national strike action over pensions by PCS and NUT (and maybe other unions).

Thursday 5th AprilOccupy Nottingham court date:

Saturday 12th April, 2pmLegal observer training organised by Nottingham Defence Campaign and run by Green and Black Cross. Held at the Sumac Centre:

Friday 27th April, 7.15pm-lateNotts Trades Council May Day social. The Polish Eagle Club. £5 on the door/concessions.

Saturday 5th May, 10amMay Day march from the Forest Recreation Ground for a rally in the Market Square. Speakers to include Mark Serwotka from PCS.

Nottinghamshire Save Our Services (Notts SOS)
Email list:

Campaigners condemn city council budget decision – Notts SOS press release – March 2012

Campaigners condemn city council budget decision

Download Press Release: Notts SOS Nottingham City Council budget decision press release March 2012

Campaigners from Nottinghamshire Save Our Services (Notts SOS) have condemned the budget, voted through by councillors on Monday 5th March.

Councillors overwhelmingly voted for the budget which included a 3.49% council tax increase; the sell-off of Portland Leisure Centre; the closure of two centres for older people, Marlstones Elderly Person’s Home in Bulwell and the Willows Centre in Beechdale; the closure of the Museum of Nottingham Life at Brewhouse Yard; the ending of food waste collections and closure of nine recycling centres; and a reduction in funding to Connexions, a support service for young people.

There were only four votes against – the city’s few remaining Tories voting who have no particular objection to cutting services, but opposed the council tax increase.

Notts SOS held a joint protest with Nottingham City Unison outside the Council House at lunchtime and another for people coming from work at 5pm.

The group also handed in a petition to the council calling on the council not to implement a cuts budget. This was presented by Councillor Alex Norris during the budget meeting.

Tom Unterrainer from Notts SOS said, “Labour councillors made a lot of speeches, all of the ‘with a heavy heart’ variety. Piffle. If they had any heart – or backbone – they’d have set a no cuts budget and taken their fight to the government with action not hot air.”

Richard Smith from Notts SOS said, “This is not the end of the campaign. This is the fourth year in a row the city council has cut its budget and they already expect to slash a further £24m by spring 2015. Sooner or later, something’s going to give. Hopefully it’s some of the local Labour councillors rather than any of Nottingham’s residents.”


Email list:

Notes for editors

1. Notts SOS was set up in the autumn of 2010 to campaign and oppose
all cuts to services in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. We have been
fighting council cuts on many levels since then, including organising
a 1,200 strong march to the city centre in November 2010.


Nottinghamshire Save Our Services (Notts SOS)
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