UK Newswire Archive
09-01-2011 22:52Regional competitions are soon taking place throughout England for the final Miss England 2011. The website has details of all the regional heats, so find out if there is one near you!
It would be great if there was resistance to Miss England throughout the country.
HOST NOTTINGHAM- serving destitute asylum seekers
Could you provide a safe place for a homeless asylum to stay tonight? seeker
If you could offer a spare room to a destitute asylum seeker for a few days, weeks, or even months, please consider becoming a Host.
For anyone interested in getting involved as either a host or a volunteer, please come along to our open evening on Wednesday 16th February, at 6pm at The Square Centre, Alfred Street North, Nottingham NG3 1AA
For more information please initially emails your interest to email@example.com
Short video about actions that happened as part of the Hapendon Wood Action Camp Autumn Gathering.
Visit the camp and take action against Scottish Coal!
New year, new cuts. After an unplanned two week break, Notts Cuts Watch is back with a rundown of the cuts and resistance in Nottinghamshire since Christmas. As ever this is probably an incomplete list and draws heavily on reporting in the local media.
Pay particular attention to the upcoming events, of which there are many, not the least of which is the Combating the Cuts event next Saturday.
Vulnerable will suffer, bureau warns as cuts loom, Nottingham Post
NOTTINGHAM and District Citizens Advice Bureau says is trying to establish how it will maintain services when council cuts come in.
Ollerton CAB facing cuts to outreach service, Mansfield Chad
BOSSES at the Ollerton Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB) say that vulnerable people living in the surrounding villages will be hit hardest if it loses vital funding from the local authorities.
Fire chief’s concern over cuts, Nottingham Post
THE chairman of Notts Fire Authority is to meet with the Fire Minister to discuss Government cuts to the service.
Safety fears over plan to close down fire station, Nottingham Post
A RUSHCLIFFE councillor has raised concerns about public safety following plans to close West Bridgford fire station.
Support grows for fresh hospital review, Newark Advertiser
Support is growing for an independent review into changes at Newark Hospital.
Open letter from lecturers to university vice-chancellors on student fees, Nottingham Post
AS university lecturers we are calling on our vice-chancellors to support the campaign against cuts to higher education.
Calls for Meden Baths to stay open, Mansfield Chad
CAMPAIGNERS have welcomed a new report which calls for Warsop’s Meden Sports Centre to stay open at least another year.
Nottingham City Council
Nottingham City Council take out £156,000 contract for new signs at leisure centres, Nottingham Post
NEW signs are to be installed at Nottingham City Council leisure centres – at a cost of up to £156,000.
City council rent bombshell for allotment holders, Nottingham Indymedia
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.
Grant for vulnerable people in city to be cut by half, Nottingham Post
GROUPS which help vulnerable people in the city have been warned their funding could end this year.
Plan to cut open times at Abbey, Mansfield Chad
NEWSTEAD Abbey, the ancestral home of Lord Byron, faces reduced opening times as part of cost-cutting drive.
No cuts to CPOs despite £60m cut in government city council funding, Nottingham Post
THE number of Community Protection Officers in Nottingham will not be reduced, despite huge cuts in government funding.
Nottinghamshire County Council
Council needs to make another £15m savings, Eastwood Advertiser
NOTTINGHAMSHIRE County Council has got to make another £15m worth of savings, it has been revealed this week.
Are library opening cuts fair?, Eastwood Advertiser
Nottinghamshire County Council has denied accusations that it is favouring more affluent areas ahead of Eastwood and Kimberley over proposed cuts in library hours following a letter from one of our readers.
Cuts threaten future of country park, Hucknall Dispatch
THE future of Bestwood Country Park could be under threat after shock, cost-cutting plans to axe the jobs of all the rangers who work there.
Families left in limbo over proposal to close Gedling School, Nottingham Post
NOTTS County Council has defended its decision to offer parents of prospective Gedling School pupils the chance to change their minds in the light of talks that could lead to its closure.
Council spending revealed, Nottingham Post
TAXPAYERS can now use the internet to keep track of how Notts County Council is spending their money.
Notts police criticised for spending more than £20K a month on consultants, Nottingham Post
NOTTS Police has been criticised for the amount it spends on consultants.
Jobs fear as pottery firm quits Huthwaite, Mansfield Chad
CONCERNS for the local economy have been raised after a firm announced it was moving 45 jobs from Huthwaite to Derby.work there.
"It takes the biscuit" – local action against VAT increase on 3rd Jan 2011, Notts SOS
On Monday 3rd January 2011 a group of activists gave out biscuits and leaflets in Nottingham and launched a website Takes the biscuit
Mixed feelings in Nottingham as VAT goes up 2.5%, Nottingham Post
BUSINESS leaders in Nottingham declared yesterday’s VAT increase as a necessary step to tackle the national deficit, but there were mixed feelings among the city’s shoppers
How the rise in fuel prices is affecting Notts motorists, Nottingham Post
Motorists have faced a double-whammy this week with an increase in fuel duty and the VAT hike sending petrol prices soaring. Sarah Firth spoke to Notts motorists and businesses about how it is affecting them…
Cuts will lead to more women and children ’in hospital’, Nottingham Post
MORE women and children will end up in hospital because of combined funding cuts, fears the chief executive of Women’s Aid.
Redundancy risk for 200 Framework homeless support workers, Nottingham Post
ABOUT 200 staff at homelessness charity Framework have been told they are at risk of redundancy.
’Scrooge’ movie highlights cuts, Nottingham Post
HOMELESS charity Framework hopes a short film by a Nottingham graduate based on the Dickens classic A Christmas Carol will highlight the potential effects of funding cuts.
Domestic violence service for Broxtowe women is in jeopardy, Nottingham Post
VICTIMS of domestic abuse face losing a support network because of council cash cuts.
Voluntary groups must adapt to cuts, Newark Advertiser
Voluntary organisations have been warned they need to change the way they run as the public sector braces itself for funding cuts.
A list of the anti-cuts events happening over the next week.
- Monday 10th January, 7.30 – Notts SOS meeting. Open planning meeting at the International Community Centre, Mansfield Road.
- Tuesday 11th January – National day of action against the scrapping of EMA. Protests and walkouts are planned in Nottingham
- Tuesday 11th January, 7.30 – Anarchists Against the Cuts. Discussion about how local anarchists can engage with the wider anti-cuts movements. Fade, Mansfield Road.
- Wednesday 12th January, 7.30 – Meeting of the Nottingham 38 Degrees group at the Mechanic’s Institute, to discuss the campaign against the government’s health white paper.
- Saturday 15th January, 10.30am-4pm – Combating the Cuts: Planning for Action. An opportunity for ant-cuts activists, trade unionists, service users and others to come together to plan a strategy for defeating the cuts. If you only come to one event this week, make sure it’s this one. The Old School, Montpelier Road, Dunkirk, Nottingham, NG7 2JW.
- Saturday 15th January - Actions against scrapping of EMA. Details TBC. Keep an eye on the Nottingham Student’s Against Fees and Cuts site.
- Saturday 15th January, 10.30am–12 noon - Stall and leafletting to promote campaign to defend library services in Beeston and Chilwell. Beeston High Rd (outside Boots the Chemist)
- Sunday 16th January, 10.30am - Leafleting of Beeston West, Beeston North and Beeston Central to promote campaign to defend library services in Beeston and Chilwell.
H&K illegal sales to Mexico exposed
The German government placed an arms embargo on four of Mexico’s 31 states, including Chiapas, home of the Zapatistas, due to serious human rights abuses there. However, between 2006 and 2009, H&K sold assault rifles to those states, shipping the weapons to a different state in order to disguise their final destination. Furthermore, Heckler & Koch bribed a Mexican general to get the deal.
Details of the deal were passed by an anonymous H&K whistleblower to Jürgen Grässlin, Germany’s most prominent anti-arms-trade campaigner. Grässlin informed German state prosecutors of the illegal deal back in April 2010 but they did nothing until the deal was exposed in the German media in December.
German MPs demanded action, so on December 21st, 20 police raided H&K’s headquarters searching for evidence of the deals. H&K is claiming that it only sold the weapons to central government, not to particular states. This disingenuous claim is undermined by evidence that H&K employees flew out to the banned states and trained the police in how to use the weapons.
Heckler & Koch has a long history of evading arms export restrictions and campaigners against the company believe that it has conducted many other illegal arms deals. However, this is the first time that a whistleblower from inside the company has provided hard evidence.
H&K has an international sales office and warehouse stocked with automatic weapons in Lenton, Nottingham. Campaigners continue to call for it to be shut down.
Picket Heckler & Koch
There is a regular monthly picket against H&K in Nottingham. The next one will take place on Monday January 10th from 16:00 to 17:30 at the gates of Easter Park on Lenton Lane, NG7 2PX - the industrial estate that is home to the H&K warehouse/sales office. Bring banners, placards and lights, and wrap up warm!!
09-01-2011 18:08Thursday 13th of January is the last chance to voice your opposition to the construction of unnecessary yuppie flats in Moseley which threaten the future of it's last true local pub, The Prince Of Wales.
09-01-2011 16:57The Zapatistas and their supporters in “The Other Campaign” are being accused of kidnapping a prominent right-wing Mexican politician. An articulate denial of the kidnapping charges published in Spanish by the Zapatista movement argues that this accusation is another pretext for aggression in Chiapas. Please add your signature to the letter in support of the EZLN (below).
09-01-2011 14:22to all that feel the struggle and want to organizing an action based period of days in bristol.
did you get involved in 2009 co-mutiny?
or maybe have gone to other gatherings simular.
the pressence of resitance is as vissible as ever,
the pressence of autonomy is rising.
society is becoming more aware they are getting fuked,
to converge and create affinity will strengthen the resistance.
there is no email set up yet, but if you are interested, the smiling chair, 40 stokes croft, has confirmed a meeting space.
sunday 23rd of january, 4pm-6pm is a suggested first meeting.
09-01-2011 14:05The scale of the cuts for the city has finally been announced with job loses to reach the 400 mark.
09-01-2011 13:12Campaign against animal torture company HLS- Fortress make their money; they are an investment company, and therefore rely on their subsidiaries and acquisitions to keep them profitable. This therefore widens the field considerably, and means that there are strategic protest targets across the world, from ski resorts to newspapers, which can all play a vital part in chipping away at Fortress' resolve.
09-01-2011 11:23North Somerset Council plans to approve 15,000 new houses over the coming years it was revealed yesterday to shocked residents. The council's North Somerset Life magazine reported that 'Planning policy is now being looked at again and estimated housing growth is expected to be lowered to about 15,000 new homes in the next 15 years'.
North Somerset Council plans to approve 15,000 new houses over the coming years it was revealed yesterday to shocked residents. The council's North Somerset Life magazine reported that 'Planning policy is now being looked at again and estimated housing growth is expected to be lowered to about 15,000 new homes in the next 15 years'.
"When the Coalition Government told us that the Regional Spatial Strategy was dead, we breathed a sigh of relief that the plans for building houses on the Green Belt were over. Now we have learned that the Council plans to do it anyway" stated Anthony Butcher, who is campaigning against the housing developments.
"Long Ashton is a primary target for these new houses" continued Mr Butcher, 35, an independent council candidate for Wraxall and Long Ashton. "North Somerset Council has already agreed to build the stadium development on Green Belt land and there are planning applications for 10,700 houses in the pipe-line as part of the South West Bristol Urban Extension right next to the new Stadium".
The news comes just days after it was revealed by the Home Builder's Federation that the Government's new Localism Bill will include a payment of around £4,600 for every new house that cash-strapped councils authorise.
09-01-2011 08:56STOP THE WAR ON THE PEOPLE OF IRAQ
FREE BRADLEY MANNING
09-01-2011 05:43In the December of 2010 and January of 2011 the mass killings of many
living beings from penguins to birds and fishes has exploded.
09-01-2011 03:25Ratcliffe Defendants on the court steps after the crown court trial - Final Statements
From 8 January and for the next two weeks, there's an exhibition called 'Nonviolence Works' at St Mary's Cathedral on Regent Street, Wrexham, open every day between 8.30am and 5pm until 22 January.
Members of Wrexham Peace & Justice Forum called in on the opening day to have a look.
08-01-2011 23:22This week's Tory shit
8 January 2011
"New Year: same old news"
[Most links removed]
E V E N T S
BRISTOL AND DISTRICT ANTI-CUTS ALLIANCE (BADACA)
Badaca have a number of meetings coming up this month. If you work in any of these areas or you are in any way interested or involved, please make every effort to attend whoever you are. These are not exclusively trade union or left wing political meetings.
SOCIAL SERVICES GROUP MEETING
TUESDAY 18 JANUARY, 7.30pm
BRISTOL COUNTY SPORTS CLUB
COLSTON STREET, BRISTOL
(up the road from the Colston Hall, opposite the Griffin pub)
HEALTH GROUP MEETING
TUESDAY 18 JANUARY, 5.30pm
THE ROBIN HOOD
ST. MICHAEL'S HILL, BRISTOL
FILTON AREA GROUP MEETING
WEDNESDAY 19 JANUARY, 7.00pm
FILTON HILL PRIMARY SCHOOL
BLENHEIM RD, FILTON, BS34 7AX
Meeting sponsored by South Gloucestershire Division National Union of Teachers
BRISTOL CITY COUNCIL GROUP MEETING
MONDAY 24 JANUARY, 7.30pm
BRISTOL COUNTY SPORTS CLUB
COLSTON STREET, BRISTOL
PUBLIC TRANSPORT GROUP MEETING
WEDNESDAY 26 JANUARY, 7.00pm
BRISTOL COUNTY SPORTS CLUB
COLSTON STREET, BRISTOL
BLACK ACTIVISTS AGAINST THE CUTS MEETING
THURSDAY 27 JANUARY, 7.00pm
MALCOLM X CENTRE
ASHLEY ROAD, ST PAULS, BRISTOL
This meeting is called by the Black Development Agency to set up a Bristol branch of Black Activists Against the Cuts. Speakers include:
* Lee Jasper (London black activist)
* Nigel Costley (Secretary, South West TUC)
* spokesperson from Bristol & District Anti-Cuts Alliance
EDUCATION WORKERS GROUP MEETING
MONDAY 31 JANUARY, 7.00pm
BRISTOL COUNTY SPORTS CLUB
COLSTON STREET, BRISTOL
A FAREWELL TO PUBLIC WELFARE?
Bristol's Festival of Ideas is running a four-part series of talks in association with the University of the West of England looking at the Coalition Government's Public Spending Review and cuts. It will feature academics and senior trade unionists. The events are taking place between January and April at Watershed Media Centre. For full details, including author/speaker biographies, titles of individual sessions and links to online booking, go to:
BRISTOL ANARCHIST BOOKFAIR 2011
Here’s the basic bookfair details:
Bristol Anarchist Bookfair
7 May 2011, 10.30am to 6.30pm
Hamilton House, 80 Stokes Croft, Bristol BS1 3QY
'In The Tradition Of May Day…Resistance and Alternatives To Cuts'
Details on stalls and holding workshops here: www.bristolanarchistbookfair.org
BRISTOL & DISTRICT ANTI-CUTS ALLIANCE SOCIAL
Saturday 5 March, 8.00pm, Granary Barge, Mardyke Warf, Hotwells, Bristol. To raise money for the Anti-Cuts Alliance and to get people to go on the TUC demonstration in London on 26 March. Theme is Pirates. Tickets £5 from Anne Lemon, 4 Maycliffe Park, Ashley Hill, Bristol, BS6 5JH or firstname.lastname@example.org .Cheques to Bristol NUT Campaign Fund please.
P R O T E S T
SAVE EMA WALKOUT AND PROTEST
The Condems continue their assualt on workers, the vulnerable and on education. Currently they plan to scrap Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA). We plan to not let it happen! Fight all cuts! Assemble 11am on Tuesday 11 January at the fountains in the Centre, Bristol. Details tbc. Please post any suggestions to Facebook!
The government is still intent on abolishing legal aid for welfare benefits, immigration and employment and cutting funding to debt and housing advice. There is a Facebook campaign page coordinating campaigns against these cuts: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Say-NO-to-legal-aid-cuts-...6109#!/pages/Say-NO-to-legal-aid-cuts-in-the-South-West/164305760276109?v=wall.
A demonstration is being organised in Bristol on Monday 7 February 2011 12pm - 2pm outside the Legal Services Commission offices at Queen Square, Bristol.
TARGET ATOS ORIGIN
Take Action Against Atos Origin and all other poverty pimps on the 24 January 2011. Atos Origin have just been awarded a £300 million contract by the ConDems to continue carrying out ‘work capability assessments’ on ill and disabled benefit claimants. It is claimed these assessments are to test what people can do rather than what they can’t. The real purpose is to strip benefits from as many people as possible.
More than 3,000 people attended a rally on Monday at Speech House Meadow in the Forest of Dean to stop the sell-off of the forest (see pic). If the Public Bodies Bill, to be debated in the House of Lords soon, becomes law, all the 650,000-acre forestry commission estate in England will be sold to developers, charities and power companies to raise cash.
Vodaphone, BHS, Barclays Bank and Topshop were all closed on the busiest shopping day of the year - Saturday 18 December - as anti-cuts protestors drew attention to the retailers' tax dodging.
At 5am on Saturday 18 December the home of University of the West of England (UWE) student and anti-cuts and fees campaigner Paul Saville was raided by cops. He was arrested on suspicion of affray and conspiracy to commit affray. Paul, who was involved in the recent UWE occupation was held for 12 hours. His computer, mobile phone and note books have all been seized.
Bristol Anarchist Federation (Afed) report that the two people arrested after the anti-cuts demo in Bristol on October 23 were questioned by a Detective Constable from the Avon & Somerset Police. They say the detective asked both men questions about active political groups in Bristol and showed them photographs of individuals the cops believe are involved in the socialist/anarchist politics that they want information on. Is this what we pay taxes for?
U N I O N S
Great Western Ambulance Service staff in Bristol, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Somerset have voted to take industrial action. Unison balloted staff after bosses tried to impose new pay and conditions, which the union say will result in pay cuts and "slimmed down" non-peak cover.
Unison members are preparing to stage a series of protests over North Somerset Council's £42 million cuts. Council workers will stage the protests at council meetings in January and February as decisions are made on where the axe will fall.
North Somerset Unison branch secretary Helen Thornton says, "The council's made it clear that they will be operating with a significantly reduced workforce. This could amount to losing 25 per cent of its workforce over the four years of cuts, and that's excluding those council-employed staff who work in schools"
B R I S T O L
Bristol City Council has appointed property consultants DTZ to look at ways of raising cash from its buildings and assets across the city. A report is expected by the end of January.
DETAILS ON CUTS PUBLISHED LATE
Bristol City Council's first Resources Scrutiny Commission to look at the authority's budget cuts in-depth took place on Wednesday. Papers for the meeting, which was due to discuss cuts to Business Transformation, Resources and Health and Social Care were only made available on the day to the public.
MORE CUTS MEETINGS
Further meetings of the Resources Scrutiny Commission take place on Monday 10 January and Wednesday 12 January at 6.00pm at the Council House.
Bristol City Council have told the BBC they are cutting 340 jobs next year rather than the 300 announced in October. They say 160 of the job losses will be from voluntary or compulsory redundancies. The other 180 will come from "managing vacancies, redeployment and natural wastage". The authority currently claim they need to save £28m next year although nobody seems to understand how they intend to do this or the accounts they've produced to explain how they're doing this.
400 REDUNDANCIES ALREADY MADE AT BRISTOL CITY COUNCIL!
Bristol's Chief Exec Ormonroyd, meanwhile, says, ”We expect to make up to 160 redundancies during the next financial year". And then admits "400 council posts have already gone". Presumably while the unions' and the politicians' backs were turned?
TOTAL REDUNDANCIES AT BRISTOL CITY COUNCIL
Would appear to be 740 for 2011 - 2012. That's 400 'vacancy managed' away already; a further 180 to be 'vacancy managed' and 160 'traditional' redundancies. It's not currently known how many posts they are 'vacancy managing' at present, however.
Latest figures released by Bristol City Council suggest they spent £689,000 on their failed World Cup bid, not the £250k they told the BBC. Even this latest figure fails to take account of staffing and administration costs. The accounts they've released also reveal that no budget limit was set for the bid. Instead Chief Exec Ormondroyd wrote herself a blank cheque using the council's financial reserves.
KEEPING WARM THIS WINTER
Despite one of the coldest winters in living memory, grants to help insulate homes in Bristol have been stopped because all the money has been allocated for this financial year. The scheme is now on hold until April. The Warm Front scheme pays up to £3,500 towards insulation and gas heating measures or £6,000 for oil heating to low income families, the elderly, or people with disabilities. Next year's fund has already been halved too.
Bristol City Council is trying to save £3m a year by cutting housing benefit payments to vulnerable people receiving extra ‘care support or supervision’ from charities and not for profit organisations as part of their housing.
DEVELOPERS DEMAND FAVOURS AT PUBLIC EXPENSE
Developers Redrow want to drop community project funding and affordable homes from their plans to build 325 homes on land at Wallscourt Farm in Lockleaze, Bristol. The original agreement was for £1,794,000 of community benefits and 30 per cent affordable housing for the site. Redrow has now asked to drop the financial contribution by over ten per cent and cut the affordable homes to 20 per cent claiming the costs make the development financially unviable in the economic climate
Bristol's 'business leaders' are predicting a hung council after the local elections in May. Bristol's yellow Tories, however, have indicated they're happy to run a minority administration if necessary.
There are 8,500 empty private homes in Bristol. 1,700 of them have been empty for over six months and 350 have been empty for more than three years.
An appeal, launched this year, to plug a £1.8 million funding gap for Bristol's new MShed museum has raised just £20,000 so far. If the money is not raised council tax payers will foot the bill instead.
New admissions to the 81-bed Kingsmead Lodge care home in Shirehampton, Bristol have been stopped again. The Care Quality Commission has given owners, Mimosa Healthcare, seven days to take action to improve standards of care in the home or face further action. Mimosa had to make a similar undertaking two years ago when five staff provided statements detailing abuse of residents to the authorities. Another Mimosa home, Sunnymead Manor at Southmead, Bristol, received a similar notice in early December.
S O U T H G L O U C E S T E R S H I R E
Despite cast-iron promises over the last five years, the 20 in-patient beds at Thornbury Community Hospital are to be scapped. NHS South Gloucestershire says it is not clinically, operationally or financially viable to keep the in-patient ward open
Developers Taylor Wimpey have told South Gloucestershire Council that the former Royal Navy storage site at Kennedy Way, Yate will be financially ‘unviable’ if the company is forced to pay £1.1million in community contributions. Taylor Wimpey had agreed to contribute £150,000 towards a community building as part of its planning permission to build 228 homes in the development.
N O R T H S O M E R S E T
The Weston and North Somerset Trades Union Council are holding a public meeting in Weston-super-Mare on January 12 at 7pm at the Salvation Army Hall, Carlton Street to discuss North Somerset Council's proposed spending cuts of £42.4 million.
Portishead's police station is closing to the public from June. Residents will have to book an appointment to see a copper in future.
Plans to expand Backwell School to cope with an increase in student numbers will be drastically scaled back because funding for the project has been cut. The school was to get £2.7 million of government cash for a new building but now it will only receive £2.2 million.
Weston Town Council will have to find nearly £140,000 in its budget over the coming year to fund its takeover of North Somerset Museum from North Somerset Council.
S O M E R S E T
Somerset County Council is planning to save 25 per on its current £5.4 million library budget by handing 20 of its 34 libraries over to community groups to manage.
A meeting was held in Cheddar on Monday January 3 to save Cheddar Library. The village library is one of the 20 earmarked for closure by Somerset County Council. The Friends of Cheddar Library has been set up to fight the closure.
Sandra Slade, an Independent West Somerset district councillor, says all members of the council should resign in protest at government cuts. West Somerset, an Independent and Conservative coalition, is the smallest district council in the country.
Despite making £43million of savings in November, Somerset County Council's political boss, Ken Maddock says they need to make a further £20million in savings in the next financial year.
G L O U C E S T E R S H I R E
Tewkesbury's 48-bed hospital will be slashed down to 20 beds in its new £8 million building. When questioned, NHS Gloucestershire said the new facility could be extended at a later date. Gordon Shurmer, the county council's chairman and a Tewkesbury borough councillor has described the NHS response as "crazy nonsense"
The Cheltenham Literary Festival's grant was cut by £49,000 in Cheltenham Borough Council's budget last month. The council say the festival's long-term success will not be harmed by the cut.
11,000 residents have now signed a petition to keep Gloucestershire libraries open. A petition with over 5,000 signatures means the county council has to reconsider their proposals.
One in three senior managers at Gloucestershire County Council will lose their jobs in order to cut the authority's wage bill. The council's cabinet agreed last week to scrap the current management structure and reduce the workforce by 1,000 people over the next four years. That's one in six posts going.
Gloucester City Council wants to slash £250,000 from the voluntary sector in the next year and then a further £50,000 each year for the following two years.
F O R E S T O F D E A N
Forest of Dean towns Coleford, Cinderford, Lydney and Newent will be left without CCTV cameras when the district council cuts the funding for the service in April. The CCTV cost around £8,000 a year per town at present.
R E G I O N A L / N A T I O N A L
The Labour government's guidance encouraging councils to impose higher car parking charges was very publicly scrapped this week as the ConDems crank-up their PR campaign to end the "war on the motorist". This means local councils rather than the ConDems can be blamed for high parking charges in the future.
The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) says fire services are facing having to cut hundreds of jobs in 2011. They predict that engines could be taken out of service and fire stations closed. John Drake, the FBU's regional secretary for the South West, says the service has been down to "the bare bones" for years and has warned any cuts will affect public safety.
A regional fire service control centre that has cost taxpayers £25 million has been scrapped having never been used. Since plans for the centre were launched five years ago, it has been hugely delayed and costs have spiralled. The new centre near Taunton currently stands empty at a cost to the taxpayer of £5,000 a day.
The control centre is 39 miles from Bristol and was set up to handle emergency calls from Gloucestershire to the Isles of Scilly. Earlier this year the project was slammed by MPs, who said it was “a catalogue of poor judgment and mismanagement”.
The Plain English Campaign (PEC) has told Avon & Somerset Police to save money by ditching its "pointless marketing slogan”. The PEC says no-one needs to be told that our local force are "Working Together to Make the Communities of Avon & Somerset Feel Safe and Be Safe" and that the term "police" tells people all they need to know.
CHILD CARE COSTS
ConDem plans to slash the child care element of working tax credits by 10% will cost 35,870 families in the South West £370 a year and force working mothers to quit their jobs says a report from the The Resolution Foundation.
“2011 will probably be another year of relative austerity,” says Nigel Jump, chief economist at the South West Regional Development Agency. “It will be a year of dampened domestic demand: directly arising from public spending cuts and indirectly from the lower household real incomes in turn resulting from higher taxes, higher non-discretionary costs and job losses which will affect more female workers,” is the verdict from one of the region's leading neo-liberal soothsayers.
The ConDems will be cutting funding for council tax benefit by ten per cent in 2013. That's £8 million worth of benefits in the former Avon area.
"There are more UK libraries closing than there are days in the year."
Thousands of elderly people are being forced to stay in hospital despite being fit enough to leave because of ConDem cuts to council adult care budgets. In a survey of 502 doctors, 251 (50%) said "bed blocking" was worse now than a year ago, while 200 (40%) said it had not improved. They also said that recent cuts to local council social services budgets was exacerbating the problem.
B U S I N E S S
The man who oversaw Cadbury's sale to Kraft and the subsequent closure of the firm's Somerdale plant in Keynsham has been given a knighthood for services to British industry. Our congratulations to Sir Roger Carr who also personally pocketed £4million from the Kraft sale.
Production of chocolate bars at Cadbury's Somerdale factory will end in the next few days. Job losses from the shutdown will be 400. (that means Sir Roger was paid £10,000 per job loss)
The Bristol-based Illegal Money Lending Team, which tackles loan sharks, says referrals are up 700% since it started three years ago. The team, which covers the region from Gloucester to Cornwall will be scrapped in March in favour of a Birmingham-based team to cover all of England.
Over thirty Post office branches are currently up for sale in the region.
FARMERS FOR ACTION
Farmers campaigning over wholesale milk prices are facing big bills for costs after becoming involved in a legal battle with supermarket multinational Walmart/Asda. The supermarket has obtained injunctions against Farmers For Action (FFA) chairman David Handley and his regional co-ordinators to stop the group picketing its distribution depots. This followed disruption before Christmas at Asda's Chepstow, Skelmersdale and Grangemouth depots.
Asda is expected to seek a ruling to put a permanent ban on any farming organisation or farmer trying to disrupt its commercial activities through 'unlawful action'. Asda claims FFA's campaign has already cost it hundreds of thousands of pounds in lost output.
E C O N O M Y
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) warns unemployment will hit at least 9% this year, a total of 2.7million people.
The economy will come to a virtual standstill in the next three months as higher tax deters consumer spending, while inflation is driven higher by energy prices, the CBI employers' body says..
The AA says petrol prices are “facing severe upward pressures”. Petrol reached 123p per litre before Christmas – up 14% on the year – while a rise in fuel duty and the 2.5% increase in VAT will add around 3.5p per litre to the price of fuel.
Cotton prices are at a 15-year high and the price of flour, cereals and poultry are also up. The UN believes food prices are now in "danger territory" surpassing the levels of 2008 when the cost of food sparked riots around the world,
House prices fell by 1.6% over 2010 and are set to fall further this year say Hometrack.
Confidence among construction firms is "historically subdued", says the Chartered Institute for Purchasing and Supply as residential property construction last year registered its sharpest fall since the depths of the recession.
Pensioners are the fastest growing group of bankrupts in Britain, according to the latest insolvency figures.
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