Notts anti-cuts diary dates for fortnight beginning Monday 14th March 2011

picture of a diary to add the following anti-cuts dates toHere are anti-cuts events coming up. Also take a look on the right for more details of Forthcoming Events, Comments and Twitter feed columns for more info, reports and comments. Join Notts SOS Facebook at

Anti-cuts diary dates in weeks beginning Monday 14th and Monday 21st March 2011

Monday 14th March Notts SOS planning meeting, at ICC/YMCA, 7.30-9.15pm. Meetings are currently fortnightly.

Monday 14th March Nottingham Students Against Fees and Cuts are running two ‘Education Strikes Back’ teach-ins to discuss how to continue the fight against the cuts to education. UCU have voted for strike action, so it’s an exciting time and we have lots to discuss. All are welcome. One will be on the 14th March, 6pm in D137 Portland Building (students union), main campus. Facebook link:

Wednesday 16th March The other NSAFC teach-in on the 16th, 6pm at Nottingham Trent (check the facebook
group for the location). Bring any ideas you have. Facebook link:

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.

Thursday 17th March – Nottingham Students Against Fees and Cuts are putting on a fundraiser to raise money and to publicise the campaign. Make Music, Not Cuts – Live Music and *Bring and Buy* Rummage Sale Fundraiser at The Maze, Mansfield Road, Nottingham. Doors and Open Mic at 7pm, Show at 8pm.

Friday 18th March Save Our NHS. 38 Degrees/Notts SOS health group. Informal planning meeting at Friends Meeting House, 25 Clarendon Street Nottingham NG1 5JD. Room 3 from 7:15 for 7:30pm start ’til 9:00pm. The idea of this meeting is to plan and organise a public meeting to take place in the near further. See also: If you want to know the ins and outs of what’s actually going to happen to our NHS, follow the link and watch this video:

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’. See also CND adds support to TUC march against the cuts. Stay on for the UK-Uncut event at 1pm…

Saturday 19th March Notts-Uncut Part-of UK-Uncut. Starts 12 noon. A protest against tax evasion and the cuts. Maybe a march through the streets to target the banks, Vodafone etc. Invite everyone you know 🙂
We will rendevous either at the lions or the Brian Clough statue, details tbc. Here is the event on UKUncut and on Facebook:!/event.php?eid=129737010431818

Sunday 20th March ‘Out of the Woods’ event. Save Sherwood Forest / Forest Campaign Network / Notts SOS are running a gathering & ramble at Sherwood Pines, Edwinstowe, Mansfield NG21 9JL. Meet 2pm at the large notice board between the car park and visitors centre for a 2.15pm start to follow the white route for a relaxed an buggy-friendly ramble of about 40 mins duration. Download poster for more details including directions to the car park and a RSVP: Out of the Woods 20th March 2011 and Leaflet with more info about why the campaign must continue.

Tuesday 22nd March Universities and Colleges Union (UCU) strike at University of Nottingham over proposed pension changes. See also March 24th for major strike day with other institutions. Pickets at all main entrances to campuses 8am-12 noon. More details here.

Wednesday 23rd March Nottingham & Notts Trades Union Council, Budget Day Lobby, 5pm. Old Market Square, Nottingham. All welcome.

Thursday 24th March Universities and Colleges Union (UCU) members (lecturers, researchers & admin staff) from all FE and HE institutions in Nottingham and across the country will be on strike together over pensions, pay and condition of employment. AS PART OF THIS A PUBLIC RALLY WILL BE HELD THURSDAY 24th MARCH at 11 am until 2pm OLD MARKET SQUARE NOTTINGHAM CITY CENTRE. Everyone is invited to support the rally. There will also be a strike day on the 22nd. Pickets at institutions will take place on the mornings of both 22nd and 24th, from 8am. More details here.

Thursday 24th March ESOL day of action against cuts to English for Speakers of Other Languages. Nottingham open air meeting will take place in the Old Market Square at 3.30pm. Download flyer: ESOL Day of Action flyer 24 March 2011. Help us show the importance of English classes.

Saturday 26th March – TUC ‘March for the alternative’: Put this in your diary now! London – initial details of route are here – Loads of coaches through local union branches:

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:

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:

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.

Anti-cuts events week beginning Monday 24th Jan 2011 [plus Video ‘The Rise of Street Extremism | 10.01.11’]

Anti-cuts events: January 24th-30th 2011. Follow links for details. Plenty to get involved with.
Update: find out about further meetings and events here:

Monday 24th Jan: Second National Day of Action Against Benefit Cuts. All day. Action in Nottingham – see

Monday 24th Jan: NCVS meeting impact of cuts on voluntary and community groups, 2-4pm at YMCA/ICC, Nottingham.

Monday 24th Jan: Notts SOS meeting 7.30pm at YMCA/ICC, Nottingham. Our regular meeting. All welcome.

Tuesday 25th Jan – Mansfield SOS meeting, 7.15pm, at the Gas Board Sports and Social Club, Lime Tree Place, Mansfield.

Wednesday 26th Jan: UCU Open Forum, Nottingham Uni, Portland Building C11, 1pm-3pm.

Wednesday 26th Jan: Stand Up For the NHS, 7:30pm at Mechanics Institute, 3 North Sherwood Street, Nottingham.

Wednesday 26th Jan: National walkout to save EMA (Facebook). Download College students flyer about EMA produced at Network X

Thursday 27th Jan: Save Sherwood Forest meeting 7.30pm at YMCA/ICC, Nottingham.

Saturday 29th Jan: Education no-fees/cuts demo in London. Called by Education Activist Network, National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts and University College Union (UCU). Coaches leave Nottingham Trent SU at 8:30am, Nottingham Uni (Portland Building) at 9am. Tickets are £7 concession, £15 waged and must be bought in advance. To book text/call 07849 392 842. Download flyer: There is also a demo in Manchester on the same day which UCU and PCS are also supporting – there are coaches – contact respective unions. Nottingham Students now have tickets to Manchester as well. So take your pick. Email nsafac [at] for tickets both events.

Sunday 30th Jan: Nottingham UK Uncut event 1pm Clumber Street.

Video extra: Think tank Policy Exchange worries about ‘domestic extremism’, including anti-cuts campaigns (and websites!). Apparently it’s unfairness that makes ‘the British people’ rise up and this must be addressed by the government before it’s hijacked by the Left and anarchists. It’s a long video with a range of experts, who are mostly ex-police – maybe they are getting a bit worried? They are certainly saying the state should be getting more prepared. See/listen around 3 mins in about those terrible UKUncut flash mobs that have been used to close stores (see also near end of the video a suggestion that it’s time their website be brought down – how democratic!). Then 7 mins in – an infiltrator of CND talks about the general problem of anti-parliamentary groups. Various stuff about kettling and other public order tactics and the terrible constraints of the Human Rights Act. And a suggestion that a royal wedding protest with anti-cuts flavour could be a problem. Enjoy.


PolicyExchangeUK | 11 January 2011 | 0 likes, 42 dislikes
There are increasing signs that significant sections of the extreme left have little intention of confining their opposition to Coalition policies to peaceful, democratic protest. In recent weeks we have seen riots over student tuition fees, the forcible closure of high street stores by flashmobs and also growing demands for industrial action to undermine the Coalition administration, including from the leader of Britain’s biggest trade union.
Do these actions portend a dangerous new trend towards the use of physical force? If so, what can and should be done to prevent this phenomenon becoming a regular feature of the national landscape?

Peter Clarke CVO OBE QPM | former Head of the Counter Terrorism Command and former Borough Commander in Brixton during the 1995 riots
Rt Hon David Maclean | former Minister of State at the Home Office and Parliamentary Adviser to the Police Superintendents Association
Paul Mercer | UK’s pre-eminent expert on extremist groups and author, Longman’s Directory of British Political Organisations [who also likes to spy for arms dealers it would appear.]
Henry Robinson | Anti Terrorist community and street activist and former Irish republican prisoner

SAVE SHERWOOD FOREST – public meeting at ICC/YMCA Thursday 27th Jan 2011


What can we do to ensure that Sherwood Forest is not privatised, in a mad rush
to shore up the Government’s coffers, and then denied to us forever? …we need to act fast.

Update: Private Eye in ‘Forest Chumps’ article explain how a piece of land sold at £60,000 to a private concern attracted an initial government grant of £55,000, and can take even more after:

PUBLIC MEETING: 7:30 – 9:00pm, THURSDAY 27 January
International Community Centre61b Mansfield Road, Nottingham NG1 3FN

Update: we are delighted to add Paddy Tipping to the original list of speakers.

Speakers include:

  • Andrea Oates – Notts Save Our Services
  • Kaye Brennan – Woodland Trust
  • Peter Robinson – Climate Alliance
  • Paddy Tipping — Ramblers, Vice President

Let us know if you are coming please by sending a message to info [at]

Download poster for the meeting:

More Council spending cuts oin ITV (from last Dec 2010) :

Background info:

Forests and allotments – selling ’em off or raising prices in Nottingham and Notts

National Forests, including Sherwood Forest in Notts and allotments across Nottingham City are one very vunerable focus of national government and local authority plans to ‘reduce the deficit’ by either privatising assets or making us pay vastly more to use them.

Last week it was highlighted in the press that Sherwood Forest in Notts is to be included in the sell off of Forestry Commission land as part of the forthcoming Public Bodies Bill – there have been previous reports but the Bill is due in parliament within the next few weeks. National campaigning exists and especially in Gloucestershire about the Forest of Dean seel off, but a vibrant local campaign will be needed here to stop Sherwood Forest being sold off. A national protest rally was held earlier in the month with more than 3,000 people and a petition of over 110,000 pledging to defend “the people’s” trees from what is likely to be a corporate land grab: What more can be done here in Nottingham and Notts?

Furthermore Nottingham City Council is holding a consultation of changes to allotment tenancies, rent levels and plot allocation. They claim that the review “aims to encourage more people to get involved with growing food in Nottingham.” In fact, the changes would involve the trebling of rents for allotments in Nottingham. More details on Nottingham Indymedia:

Save Our Forests Campaign – want to get involved?

The government is planning a massive sell off of our national forests. They could be auctioned and fenced off, run down, logged or turned into golf courses and holiday villages.

We can’t let that happen. We need to stop these plans now. National treasures like The Forest of Dean, Sherwood Forest and The New Forest could be sold off. Once they are gone, they will be lost forever.

There has been significant media coverage of the risks to the public forests and a huge “Save Our Forests” petition at has attracted nearly 130,000 signatures and is growing all the time – please sign it.

Local campaigns have also been set up to fight the sell off in Cannock Chase and the Forest of Dean; but there isn’t much time. The Public Bodies Bill, the legislation that will enable this to happen, is due in parliament in the coming weeks.

Please contact us if you want to get involved in a Save Sherwood Forest Campaign and let us have your ideas about what we can do. You can also visit the Facebook group site: Save Sherwood Forest !!! ( FoSF ). Also on Facebook: What is the issue about the forest sell off — what is happening and why does it matter? And who cares?

More background info from Climate Alliance…

Public Bodies Bill
The Public Bodies bill, of which the ‘modernisation of forestry legislation’ is a part of, is going through the House of Lords at the moment and will then move to the Commons. So anyone who is in contact with their MP or wants to be on this issue, has time to call or write to your MP and raise your concerns/opposition/request for amendments to the bill. The link below takes you to the status of the bill & a short explanation of it, plus you can sign up to email updates which alert you whenever there’s progress/activity on the bill.

Natural Environment White paper
This white paper is still open to to grassroots consultation, responses can be submitted until the end of January.

Parliament briefing updated 23rd Nov 2010: The Forestry Commission and the sale of public forests in England document provides historical & current background info on the sale of the public forest estate, plus a number of other links to info sources.

Forestry in England: A new strategic approach (apparently!)
Letter to MPs from DEFRA to clarify position on public forest sale.

Forestry commission: Modernising forestry legislation
The Forestry Commission’s position on the government proposals

More general comment & analysis

London School of Economics – Detrimental consequences of sell-off:

Jonathon Porritt blog:

Tax Breaks on forestry investment:

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