Black Country news and blogs Thursday 21 March 2013
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Birmingham Against the Cuts

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So Sneaky – Council Tax And Disability In Birmingham

20 Mar 13

We’ve recieved this letter regarding the cuts to council tax benefit which will see unemployed and some disabled people having to find 20% of their council tax bill out of their benefits.

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A Response To Mark Hoban’s Lies: Workfare Doesn’t Work

19 Mar 13

In the Telegraph today, ahead of the vote which will pass retroactive legislation so that the government doesn’t have to repay £130m of sanctions illegally robbed from unemployed people on workfare schemes, Mark Hoban – the minister for …

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Help End Workfare – Online Actions All Week And Picket On Saturday

18 Mar 13

This week is a national week of action to help end workfare, called by Boycott Workfare.

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Hundreds Turn Out For Bedroom Tax Demo In Birmingham

17 Mar 13

Hundreds of people came out to demonstrate against this coalition’s unpopular bedroom tax policy.

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PCS Budget Day Strike And Rally – 20th March

14 Mar 13

The civil service union, PCS, will be on strike on Wednesday 20th March, as the start of industrial action against cuts to pay, pensions and working conditions.

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Why Your Council Tax Bill Has Gone Up

13 Mar 13

People in Birmingham are receiving their new council tax bill for 2013/14 at the moment, and it has gone up, but with no explanation as to why.

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More Concessions Show We Can Defeat The Bedroom Tax

12 Mar 13

The coalition has made some concessions with the bedroom tax to take some of the non-spare rooms out of the new charge.

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Of Short Breaks And Eligibility Criteria!

11 Mar 13

They say the devil is in the detail but the Council Budget proposals are a muddle of details when it comes to services for children with disabilities.

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A Threat To Child Care In The Inner City

7 Mar 13

A decline in available and good quality child care for low income families living in the Inner city is a likely consequence of the cuts to early years services agreed at last week’s budget meeting.

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Is The Council About To Throw Away Hundreds Of Thousands Of Pounds Buying Expensive German Wheelie Bins?

6 Mar 13

We’ve been told by a whistleblower in the council that the procurement for the new wheelie bins is looking likely to decide to purchase expensive wheelie bins from a German company, rather than cheaper ones produced in the UK.

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Birmingham Bedroom Tax Demonstration – Sat 16th March

4 Mar 13

A demonstration against the Bedroom Tax will take place in Birmingham as part of a national day of demonstrations around the UK, organised by Labour Left.

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Birmingham Anti-Cuts Conference – Saturday 16th March

1 Mar 13

Calling all residents of Birmingham for a city wide anti-cuts conference.

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Birmingham Trades Council Meeting On Deficit Budgets – March 7th

28 Feb 13

Birmingham Trades Council March meeting will be on the subject of council cuts this month, with Clive Heemskerk from TUSC talking through the legal process of setting a deficit/needs budget, and Jolyon Jones from East Birmingham Against The Cuts talking … Continue reading…

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Birmingham Council Have Voted Through £102m Of Cuts – Today’s Blockade And Demonstration Is Not The End

26 Feb 13

Birmingham City Councillors on their way to approve £102m of cuts made by the national Tory/Lib Dem coalition found their way blocked this morning by scores of protesters at the entrances to the council house, demanding that they stand up and fight austerity rather than meekly voting these cuts …

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Alchemy And Children On The Edge Of Care

25 Feb 13

Buried deep in the Budget for Birmingham, at page 177 (PDF link, listed as page 200 on left sidebar), are some eye watering future savings under the heading of Remodelling and integration of preventative and targeted services.

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Another Black Hole In The Making

21 Feb 13

The budget proposal for Children’s Residential services could not be more opaque.

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‘A massive and hugely detrimental effect on the welfare and mental health of children’ – effects of cuts to the Voluntary sector projects

20 Feb 13

The proposed cut of £4.4m to the Community and Voluntary sector organisations providing preventative children’s services is the largest single cut within next year’s Children and Young People’s budget and will halve the available funding.

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A Choice Between Birmingham’s Millions and Birmingham’s Millionaires: Public Meeting, 25th Feb

17 Feb 13

Called by Communities Against the Cuts Birmingham Against the Cuts + friends and supporters.

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Cutbacks in healthcare – how they affect Birmingham and the whole of the UK

16 Feb 13

Since forming in the aftermath of the 2010 General Election, the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition government have presided over massive cuts in many departments.

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Leafleting Sessions For 26th Feb Day Of Action Against Council Cuts

12 Feb 13

At last nights meeting a number of leafleting sessions were agreed to help mobilise for the day of action against council cuts on the 26th February, please come and join us.

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Bedroom Tax Discretionary Housing Payment Fund Blow For Birmingham

11 Feb 13

Amongst the variety of welfare cuts and reforms that will come into effect in April is the bedroom tax (official name: under-occupancy penalty).

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Workfare Can Be Broken – Join the Week of Action and help make it happen

10 Feb 13

Take part in the week of action 18-24 March called by Boycott Workfare.

Leaflets Available For 26th Feb Day Of Action

7 Feb 13

Printed leaflets for the day of action against council cuts on the 26th February are now available – they can be collected at the Birmingham Trades Council meeting tonight or at the Birmingham Against the Cuts meeting on Monday.

It’s Time To Shut The City Down – Day Of Action Against Council Cuts, 26th February

6 Feb 13

On 26th February Birmingham City Council meet to vote on the 2013/4 budget, with £110m of cuts.

Occupation and Demonstration Greet Labour Councillors Meeting To Vote On Budget Cuts Proposal

5 Feb 13

The Labour group met yesterday to agree internally their budget proposal which accepts the £110m of cuts to the council budget as a result of the Tory coalition slashing central government grants.

Austerity Means The Rich Get Richer Whilst The Rest Of Us Suffer

4 Feb 13

Austerity for the rich: Rising wealth – 50 richest people from this region increased their wealth by £3.46 billion last year to a record £28.5 billion.

Young People And Youth Workers Rally To Save Birmingham Youth Service

3 Feb 13

Save Birmingham Youth Service held a rally in Chamberlain Square yesterday, calling on the Labour council to defy the Tory cuts and stop the slashing of their budget which is threatened with £1.5m of cuts – a third of their … Continue reading…

Moseley, Kings Heath and Balsall Heath Anti Cuts Group Meeting On Sunday 3rd Feb

30 Jan 13

Moseley, Kings Heath and Balsall Heath Anti Cuts group will be holding a meeting on Sunday to discuss anti cuts action in this area.

Labour Should Defy The Tory Cuts – Demonstrate 4th Feb

29 Jan 13

On Monday (4th Feb), the Labour group will be meeting to decide internally the budget proposal they will put forward to the full council meeting on the 26th Feb, detailing how they are going to make the £110m of cuts … Continue reading…

Smethwick Against Cuts Hold Bearwood Stall

26 Jan 13

Smethwick Against the Cuts today held a stall and leafleting session in Bearwood, focused on the attacks on our NHS by the coalition government.

In Our Shoes – Save Birmingham Youth Service Demonstration, Sat 2nd Feb

25 Jan 13

Rally to Save Birmingham Youth Service! Please come along and show Birmingham City Council and the Government what its like to walk in the shoes of Birmingham’s young people.

What Future For The NHS In Solihull – Public Meeting Jan 31st

24 Jan 13

Can you imagine an NHS run like a train company with preferred business users; 1st and 2nd Class services; ever-rising ‘fares’; delays; disruption and paid-for extras? lt is now possible.

More Benefit Cuts Voted Through Yesterday – Benefits Uprating Bill

22 Jan 13

Yesterday, parliament voted through the Benefits Uprating Bill which will mean a real terms cut in benefits, a move that Oxfam say will put 200,000 children into poverty.

Demonstration and Occupation Greets Labour Councillors Meeting To Discuss Cuts In Liverpool

20 Jan 13

On Friday, Labour council and faith leaders from cities around the UK gathered in Liverpool for a cuts summit, and a demonstration was called by Liverpool Against the Cuts to remind our politicians that there is no such thing as a fair cut.

Save Colmers Farm Leisure Centre

19 Jan 13

Birmingham City Council have stated that they plan to close the much loved Colmers Farm Leisure Centre as part of their budget cuts.

“It’s Time To Shut The City Down” – Packed Meeting Vows To Fight Council Cuts

17 Jan 13

A packed meeting of 150-200 people met last night to discuss the council cuts and taking action over them.

Combat The Council Cuts Summit In Liverpool On Friday

15 Jan 13

A summit attended by cities who claim they have been hit hard by government spending cuts is to take place in Liverpool on 18th January.

Protecting the most vulnerable? – Birmingham cuts its children’s services

11 Jan 13

As Birmingham City Council sets its budget for 2013-14, nearly a quarter of the proposed total cuts of £110m falls disproportionately on the Children and Young People’s (CYP) Budget.

Council Tax Support – Bore’s Poll Tax?

10 Jan 13

Birmingham’s Labour Councillors voted unanimously to pass on a £200+ charge to social security claimants living in the city at January’s Council meeting.

Birmingham Law Centre Faces Closure As Council Refuse Funding

9 Jan 13

Birmingham Law Centre is facing closure after Birmingham City Council (itself facing massive cuts) refused to offer money to the law centre to replace the lost income from legal aid, which will cease to exist for many areas of civil law in April 2013, denying access to justice for anyone unable to …

Save Birmingham Law Centre

5 Jan 13

This is from the Birmingham Law Centre: Birmingham Law Centre is facing a very bleak future and may soon have to close.

How Can You Tell If A Politician Is Lying About Benefits?

4 Jan 13

Research today released by the TUC has shown that people’s impressions of benefits are way out of line with the reality of the system and claimants who rely on it.

Birmingham’s children’s homes: the moral case for closure?

3 Jan 13

The proposed closure of further children’s homes was the one cut where the moral and economic case coincided.

Saturday: Anonymous West Mids Tax Dodger Flashmob

2 Jan 13

On Saturday, Anonymous West Midlands are holding a city centre flashmob in protest at the £25bn of tax that is avoided by multinational corporations and extremely wealthy individuals every year, which forms part of the £120bn tax gap that could … Continue reading…

2012: The Year Austerity Economics Started To Unravel

30 Dec 12

In 2012, austerity economics produced a double dip recession with zero growth across the whole year.

Sign the War On Welfare (WOW) Petition

28 Dec 12

Disabled activists have started a petition calling for cumulative impact assessment on welfare reform, and a New Deal for sick disabled people based on their needs, abilities and ambitions.

2012 Photo Review of the Year

27 Dec 12

In the third year of this Condem coalition, austerity began to fail, with the budget deficit rising as we entered a double dip recession.

Emergency Organising Meeting – Save Birmingham

20 Dec 12

Local community activists have called a meeting to discuss action over the cuts 7pm Wednesday, 16 January 2013 Accessible city centre venue TBC Facebook Event This is an emergency organising meeting.

Anger and Passion At Final Council Cuts Consultation Meeting

19 Dec 12

The final consultation on Birmingham City Council’s budget cuts took place last night as over 300 people packed out what is presumably the largest public meeting room in the building.

Cuts debate is stifled (Letter in Birmingham Mail)

18 Dec 12

An edited version of this letter was printed in the Birmingham Mail yesterday: Dear Editor Can I encourage your readers to go to the final City Council budget consultation meeting on Tuesday 18th.

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