Monday, 29 September 2014

KUWG leaflet Harlesden JCP, Tuesday 30 September, 10am-11am — and further afield on 1 October

Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group continues its engagement in local benefits tourism on a low budget or geographical 'fieldwork' research with a leafleting session at Harlesden Jobcentre, 161-163 High Street, Harlesden, NW10 4TL on Tuesday 30 September, 10am till 11am.
Focusing on how to get to Harlesden Jobcentre
The following day we have an excurcion with Kate Belgrave and her blogger colleagues to the Jobcentre at 55 Station Road, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex CO15 1RS.
 
"Where is Clacton-on-Sea?" some might ask.
 
 

Station Road leads from rail station to Jobcentre

Yes, on Wednesday 1 October, we will be hearing at firsthand how people ejected from their local supports by London councils on account of overall benefit caps etc are coping with the further reduction of such statutory supports as phones in the jobcentre by which claimants/customers should be able to chase up the progress of their claims with remote JSA admin staff.

 
And the nervous travellers among us will get getting there-and-back support from our local self-help support network! 'Benefits tourism, not benefits exile!'



Local welfare assistance receives last minute reprieve — Z2K [Justice for vulnerable debtors]

From Z2K — Justice for vulnerable debtors

Hidden amidst the drama of the Scottish independence referendum, last week saw the welcome news that the Department for Communities & Local Government had agreed to look again at its outrageous decision to end funding for the Local Welfare Assistance schemes that replaced the Discretionary Social Fund Crisis Loans and Community Care Grants. The move followed an application for Judicial Review of ministers’ decision by Christian Jump, a disabled Cheshire resident, who was represented by Doughty Street Chambers and Public Law Solicitors, and backed by the Child Poverty Action Group.

The Discretionary Social Fund had many problems, but like many others, Z2K always feared that the devolution of responsibility to local authorities would make those problems even worse. The last Labour Government consulted on very similar proposals to those implemented by the Coalition last year, but backed off after intense lobbying by anti-poverty campaigners. It was little surprise to see them resurface when the Coalition took office. But even the most cynical observers were shocked by the Government sneaking out news of the £178 million cut in the fine print of the local government funding settlement over Christmas break....

 Continue reading on z2k's website....

Friday, 26 September 2014

KUWG artefacts at a meeting

Report by Swheatie of the KUWG. Photos by Herbie the Hairless of the KUWG

The photos below came to Swheatie's inbox today, following the KUWG meeting on 11 November after we had demonstrated outside Atos Neasden the previous Thursday. Herbie the Hairless was clearly enamoured with his new picture-taking toy at that meeting, as he snapped at the decorations surrounding the meeting.

Chancel House, Neasden houses 'Medical Extermination Centre'

KUWG is allied to Unite the Union Community Section

Placard for Day of Action Against Benefit Sanctions

The KUWG's bloomers banner

Not rabits' ears or Wolf Cub stuff, but KUWG logo salute


Unite Community canvass vs TTIP — Ealing Broadway, Sunday 28 September

From Ben of the KUWG

Unite the Union Community Section, Ealing branch are having a TTIP awareness stall in Ealing 11to 1.30 Sat and 12 to 2 on Sunday Ealing Broadway outside the centre opposite the Black Horse Public House.

You are welcome to come and do some canvassing.

Unite the Union solidarity with Canadian workers — and why it's relevant to the UK

From Pilgrim Tucker, Regional Organiser for Unite the Union Community Section

Hi, can you join us on Tuesday morning?
 
Tuesday 30th September 10am - 12 noon 
 
Solidarity action for workers at Crown packaging Canada 
 
at the Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, Islington, N1 0QH
 
Workers at Crown have been on strike  for almost twelve months over draconian pay cuts and the attempted elimination of the union’s physical presence from the workplace.
 
They have asked for our help and support so we plan to demonstrate outside a conference organised by their employers. More info on the dispute here: http://www.takebacksnomore.ca/
 
Hope to see you there, fares covered if you need them, but bring a receipt.
 
Pilgrim
07970 126249

Swheatie of the KUWG adds explanation of why this is relevant to people in the UK

 Abuses of bargaining power by global corporations have been more prevalent in the USA and Canada than in EU countries, becauase there have traditionally been better social protections for worker within the EU. But corporate lobbyists and EU commissioners seem keen to change that irrevocably, making the world the playing field of global corporations keen to shift production to where labour costs and workers' rights are less. That has been one of the major reasons that 'active labour market policies' such as Tory welfare reforms place far greater responsibility on workers and the 'reserve army of labour' than on employers. It is also leading to the negotiation of 'free trade' agreements between the EU and the USA (Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership — TTIP) and the EU and Canada (Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement — CETA).

By such agreements that the negotiators would love to have passed before the public wakes up to the contents that they have been left ignorant of by the BBC and other mainstream broadcasting channels and that the negotiators do not want our elected representatives in the European Parliament to know about, corporate lawyers would render democracy null and void. Mechanisms such as 'Investor to State Dispute Settlement' arrangements in TTIP and similar in CETA would be, as John Hilary of War on Want has said at a public meeting I attended some months ago now — "like a magic bullet." He said that it would be like the scene in one of the 'Indiana Jones' movies where the eponimous 'hero' is faced by a sword wielding tribesman wielding a sword in skilful display some distance away, takes out his pistol from its holster, and shoots the swordsman dead.

See previous posts on this blog about TTIP and CETA, and spread the word about Unite the Union's  

Tuesday 30th September 10am - 12 noon 
 
Solidarity action for workers at Crown packaging Canada 
 
at the Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, Islington, N1 0QH.

(KUWG activists will be largely elsewhere at that time by prior arrangement within the London Borough of Brent side of our Brent & Camden heartland, but it is still important to us to help get this word out, especially as viewing stats for this blog over the past week reveal that we have a truly global audience:

Pageviews by Countries

Graph of most popular countries among blog viewers
EntryPageviews
Ukraine
184
United Kingdom
155
United States
146
Germany
84
France
62
Russia
13
Indonesia
9
Brazil
6
China
6
Italy
5
)

Film Night: TTIP — Capitalism on Steroids

From 6 Billion Ways — a coalition of campaigners on local and global justice issues, aiming to build a broad movement for progress change

Tuesday 14 October
6.30pm-9pm
Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA

Join and share on Facebook >>

***free event – no need to register***

It will cost at least one million jobs. It will lock in fossil fuel dependency for the coming decades. It will irreversibly extend the privatisation of key public services such as the NHS. It will make it harder to regulate the banks.  And it will give US corporations the power to sue the UK and other states for loss of profits when these governments introduce public policies designed to protect their citizens.

It is the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). If it goes through, it will be the greatest transfer of power to big business that we have seen for a generation.

But now for the good news: there’s every chance we can stop it.
Join us for an evening of films and speakers on the growing fight back against TTIP. Find out how you can join the resistance, what local actions you can be involved in, and most importantly, discuss how we can win!
  • Join and share on Facebook >>
  • Suggested tweet: TTIP: Capitalism on Steroids, 6 Billion Ways film night at Rich Mix, Tuesday 14 October https://t.co/cJAPR3LkZ0 #noTTIP

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Democracy presupposes knowledge — Speak Up For Libraries Conference, Saturday, 22 Nov. 2014 in Central London

"Democracy presupposes knowledge"
— Thomas Jefferson

Announcement from Stand Up for Public Libraries. Inclusion of Thomas Jefferson quotation by Swheatie of the KUWG.

Booking opens for Speak Up for Libraries Conference 2014

cropped-suflbanner.gif

PUBLIC LIBRARIES –

THE GRASSROOTS MEET THE DECISION-MAKERS

On 22 November Speak Up for Libraries will be holding this year’s national conference on public libraries. It will bring together local campaigners, union members, library users and library workers – and give them a rare chance to talk directly to the people who make the decisions at national level. This is crunch year for public libraries, with a general election due and two major inquiries – on England and Wales – reporting soon.
Speak Up For Libraries Conference 2014 will have spokespeople from the three major political parties and the two report panels. It is vital that decision makers understand the real effects of their policies at local level. Already public libraries are suffering unprecedented damage. Government-imposed cuts to local authority funding have – too often – been unthinkingly applied to cut services, close essential local branches or pressure volunteers to take on services previously provided by expert staff.
The conference will be structured to enable people to network and discuss their ideas, before engaging directly with the speakers.

Speak up for Libraries Conference
10am to 4.30pm
22 November 2014
at CILIP
7 Ridgmount Street

LONDON
WC1E 7AE

THE LINE-UP

Helen Goodman MP (Labour shadow minister)
Justin Tomlinson MP (Conservative)
LibDem spokesperson TBA
Sue Charteris, panel member of the Sieghart Review in England
Claire Creaser, chair of the Welsh Review of the Public Library Service
Barbara Band, CILIP President, will open the Conference
Ian Anstice, editor of Public Libraries News, will chair the workshop feedback session
Alan Gibbons, author and library campaigner, will chair the panel debate

PROGRAMME

programme
Full details are contained in the brochure, which you can download here. Speak Up for Libraries Conference 2014
Please download and share copies for those not online, to help spread the word.

BOOKING

Book your place online on our Eventbrite page.
Places are limited so don’t delay booking.
All bookings include refreshments and lunch.
We are offering an Early Bird booking rate of only £20 per person  for those who book a place by 24 October.
If places remain after this date they will be at the full price of £25 per person.
For queries or need help to book a place, please call  020 8651 9552.

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JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Twitter: @SpeakUp4Libs
And the hashtag for this event is #SUFLconf14
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 Continue reading on Speak Up for Libraries website....

Swheatie adds

In response to an earlier attempt by Camden Council to close Highgate Library, it was pointed out by campaigners against closure of that library that Camden's 'consultation' printed document regarding spending priorities was almost exclusively accessed at the library, and the Principal of the adjoing primary school said that having the Library literally on the school's doorstep was a great boon for the children's early start in access to knowledge and research.

The Speak Up for Libraries Conference includes speakers from only three political parties. To find out what all the political parties say about policies and make your own decisions, you could try the online survey at Vote for Policies website and arrive at the 22 November SUfL conference with questions for the invited panel of speakers — or maybe even ask for the panel to include a wider array of political parties, based upon your own 'vote for policies' profile....

Monday, 22 September 2014

AMHP not condoning cuts — Approved Mental Health Professional no longer prepared to 'follow orders'

Above title by Swheatie of the KUWG

From Community Care magazine online

‘Why I’m retiring from social work to fight the cuts damaging our service’

After 42 years in social work, Terry Skyrme is stepping down to channel his energies into campaigning. Here, he explains why.



Picture: Design Pics Inc/Rex
Picture: Design Pics Inc/Rex

by Terry Skyrme, social worker and Approved Mental Health Professional

I have been a qualified social worker since 1972, right at the birth of the generic social services department. In a few weeks time I will complete my last shift. I’ve felt driven to retirement. This post aims to explain why.

For the last five years I’ve worked as a social worker for a mental health crisis team and as an Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) in Norfolk.

When I joined, the team had five social workers. We managed to carve out the space to do proper social work. We worked at times of crisis with patients and their families to help resolve social and family problems. We carried out our duties as AMHPs and had a degree of pride in our work. We truly felt we were making a difference, protecting patients’ rights, advocating for their entitlement to services and using our knowledge of local resources.
I realise now we were lucky. When our mental health trust became a foundation trust in 2009 things changed. The trust claimed this as a great achievement. In retrospect, it heralded the beginning of serious cutbacks....

Continue reading on Community Care website.... 

Related items on this blog

What would David Cameron's Civil Society Minister say?

Have your say at Social Work Action Network London's  Crisis in Mental Health Services public meeting, Saturday 8 November

Mental Health search on this blog


Not the Labour Party Conference — homeless Newham single parents send a message to Labour cllrs in Manchester

Above title by Swheatie of the KUWG

Report from Kate Belgrave, posted on Sunday

Video and report from today: #FocusE15 mothers reopen boarded-up Carpenters’ estate flats

Back to Newham today – where the women of the Focus E15 mothers’ social housing campaign took the admirable step of reopening some of the long-boarded-up flats on the Carpenters’ estate. I hope news of this move has reached those Labour councillors and MPs who are all tucked up nice and warm at conference in Manchester.
Video: entering the flats and being welcomed by the Focus E15 campaigners:

Continue reading and video viewing on Kate Belgrave's blog....



Friday, 19 September 2014

Universal Credit preparations and Lord Fraud — sorry, 'Lord Freud'

(Title above by Swheatie of the KUWG)

From Zacchaeus 2000 — Justice for vulnerable debtors

Preparing for universal credit or exploiting the poor?

dwpIt is no secret that Universal Credit is behind schedule and battling set-backs. However, with an election looming, it seems the government is determined to generate some positive press for its flagship benefits reform.

Lord Freud, the Minister for Welfare Reform, recently announced a series of pilot projects designed to help claimants prepare themselves for Universal Credit. In reality, the implementation of these schemes over the coming months will do little to support poorer residents. Why? 
Continue reading on Z2K website

Enduring sources of discipline vs sanctions

By Swheatie of the KUWG, with some help from American educator John Holt and from Lebanese artist, poet and writer Kahlil Gibran

"Work is love made visible."
— Kahlil Gibran, 'The Prophet'
"I want to combat the idea that any disciplined and demanding activity, above all music, can never grow out of love, joy, and free choice, but must be rooted in forced exposure, coercion, and threat [sanctions]. Most of what I have read about music education says this one way or another. The idea is not only mistaken, but dangerous; nothing is more certain to make most people ignore or even hate great music than trying to ram more and more of it down the throats of more and more children in compulsory classes and lessons. The idea is wrong in a larger sense; in the long run, love and joy are more enduring sources of discipline and commitment than any amount of bribe and threat, and it is only what C Wright Mills called the 'crackpot realism' of our times that keeps us from seeing, or even being willing to see, that this is so. [Swheatie's emphasis]"
— John Holt

As in music education, so in jobsearch and career building? Do those who are intent on issuing sanctions to benefit claimants really have any love for them?

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Boycott Workfare BBQ Fri Sept 19, @ London Action Resource Centre, 62 Fieldgate St, E1 1ES, from 7pm

From Izzy Koksal

Just to confirm that the BW BBQ will be happening next Friday 19th September from 7pm on the LARC rooftop. Do invite people in your groups who aren't on this email list.

Look forward to seeing you there! Izzy


Come to the Boycott Workfare 'summer' BBQ!

Friday 19th September from 7pm at London Action Resource Centre, 62 Fieldgate Street, Whitechapel, London, E1 1ES. (Nearest tubes Aldgate East and Whitechapel). 

Join us on the LARC roof for the annual BW BBQ! Everyone (who hates workfare) welcome, especially if you're interested in getting involved in the campaign.
There'll be good food, music, action planning for our next week of action (4th-12th October), and non-workfare related conversations!

Bring yourself, your friends and whatever you'd like to drink.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Disabled people's housing crisis — a case study

Last month this blog republished an article from the Open Democracy website about the housing crisis facing disabled people. Today in Swheatie's inbox an email from the Children's Society serves as a classic case study into how Right to Buy legislation and the privatisation of formerly common ownership housing — council housing and social housing — emphasises the fact that the economic, physical and social barriers that turn a person's impairment into a disability (Social Model of Disability) are made worse under capitalism. (Capitalism tends traditionally to only regard people as producers or consumers, though maybe these days it values investors more — however unfairly or illegally their capital is generated?) As stated in Wikipedia, the online encyclopaedia:
The social model of disability is a reaction to the dominant medical model of disability which in itself is a functional analysis of the body as machine to be fixed in order to conform with normative values.[1] The social model of disability identifies systemic barriers, negative attitudes and exclusion by society (purposely or inadvertently) that mean society is the main contributory factor in disabling people. While physical, sensory, intellectual, or psychological variations may cause individual functional limitation or impairments, these do not have to lead to disability unless society fails to take account of and include people regardless of their individual differences. The origins of the approach can be traced to the 1960s; the specific term emerged from the United Kingdom in the 1980s.
The message in my inbox was headed, 'My blind granddaughter needs a place to live', and heralded a Care2 petition.

Care2 Petitions Action Alert
action alert!
When my little granddaughter Amelia was 11 weeks old, we found out she was blind. She and her family need to find a new place to live very soon so she can develop to her full potential.
Please sign the petition today!
take action
please share
it helps!
share on facebook   share on twitter   share via email
Dear [Swheatie],
We found out my little granddaughter, Amelia, was blind when she was just a young baby and was not looking at things. She is a year old now and making progress every day. We want to do everything we can to help her develop to her full potential. That's why Amelia and her family urgently need to move into a new house as soon as possible.

Professionals in the vision impairment team as well as health care professionals have told us that Amelia's current home is unfit for a blind baby. Because the house is privately rented, Amelia's parents are not allowed to make the kinds of adaptations that would help her so much.

The house has massive steps made of Yorkshire stone that are impossible to adapt to meet the legal requirements so a blind child could go up and down them safely and learn about the outside. The upstairs banister has gaps that Amelia could fall through. The window sills have sharp edges, not curved ones that would be far safer as Amelia learns to explore her surroundings. The floors must be replaced with laminated ones so it would be far less dangerous for Amelia to move about in her walker.
There are so many little things that need to be done to create a home that is safe for Amelia!

But my daughter, Amelia's mother, cannot make a single one of these changes without permission, which takes weeks and weeks to get. Amelia can only benefit from a council house or housing association house as it would be possible to have adaptations done quickly.

Health professionals and a local councillor support our requests for a new house for Amelia. But North Yorkshire Homechoice says Amelia's family does not qualify for urgent rehousing because they already have a home. They do not understand how inappropriate, and unsafe, Amelia's present home is for her and why she so desperately needs to move into a new one. Once Amelia maps out the house where she currently lives, it will be tremendously difficult for her to adjust to live elsewhere.

If Amelia's parent were given a new home by one of the housing associations in our area, my little granddaughter's quality of life would vastly improve, with huge ramifications for her future. Tell North Yorkshire Homechoice and Craven District Council to provide Amelia and her family with a new home immediately!
Thank you for taking action,

Lianna T.
Care2 Member



At the root of this problem is a crisis in disabled people's housing exacerbated by Right to Buy legislation, government non-investment in social housing, and an out-of-democratic control global housing market. This has been referred to already on the Kilburn Unemployed blog and is often spoken of at public meetings by Revd Paul Nicolson, who is now Chairperson of Taxpayers Against Poverty. See his September 2012 blog piece, "It's the land economy stupid."

Councils and judges too often talk about 'proportionality' in terms of the needs of individuals when housing waiting lists are huge. Yet disability equality trainer Michèle Taylor points out that the word 'requirement' is more empowering than 'need': 'requirement' connotes rights and responsibilities.

Will you, like me, sign this Care2 Petition?

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Crisis in Mental Health Services — Social Work Action Network London public meeting, Saturday 8 November

From Social Work Action Network, London

Date, time, place, and speaker details

Our forthcoming meeting 'The Crisis in Mental Health Services' which we're hosting in London takes place on Saturday 8th November at John Barnes Library, 275 Camden Road, Islingon, N7 0JN from 10:30am-4:30pm. (Caledonian Road tube.)

The meeting features speakers including Peter Beresford (Chair of Shaping Our Lives and Professor of Social Policy), June Sadd (Mental Health Survivor and Trainer) plus front line social workers and Disabled People Against Cuts. We'd love you to come, but also to tell your colleagues, service users, friends, trade unions and others about it.

The plan of this meeting and the charter is build a coalition of user led organisations (ULOs), front line mental health practitioners and all others to build radical alternatives to austerity and fragmentation in Mental Health services.

Interest in this meeting and the SWAN Mental Health Charter gathers pace, so we must announce a change in venue - the meeting will now be held at the larger John Barnes Library (not Finsbury Library as previously advertised) 275 Camden Road Islington London N7 0JN - the nearest tube is Caledonian Road.

We hope to be able to offer free food from a local community group supporting adults at risk. There is free Saturday parking in a road adjacent to the venue and the venue is accessible to wheelchair users and people with mobility impairments.
Admission details and why this meeting is important
Any expressions of interest?
NB: If you are interested in attending the event, please email swanlondon AT googlemail.com - it will help us plan. Also, if you would like to be involved in helping out on the day, make contact using the same route.

The next general SWAN London evening meeting will be a few days beforehand on Tuesday 4th November at 18:30-20:30 at a venue TBC. This will focus on the effects of austerity on Social Work and the Frontline programme. We will also devote a section of the meeting to planning for the mental health meeting.

In solidarity

SWAN London

--
Social Work Action Network (SWAN) London

Visit the national SWAN website here.
Sign up for the Critical and Radical Social Work journal here.

If you would like to be removed from the Social Work Action Network (SWAN) London mailing list, please reply to this e-mail with your full name and e-mail address stating 'Unsubscribe' in the subject line.

Job Seeker Sanctions Advice

From Revd Paul Nicolson of Taxpayers Against Poverty

Job Seeker Sanction Advice is an excellent new voluntary organisation that is run by former DWP staff who were disgusted with the harassment of claimants. It gives claimants advice on their rights and how to successfully appeal unfair sanctions. If anyone you know is threatened by DWP harassment and unfair sanctions please let them know about JSSA and do give them your support too. Thank you!
This is the Facebook Fanpage of the Job Seeker Sanction Advice website.
Organisation: 1,514 like this.

Corrupt MIPIM

By Revd Paul Nicolson of Taxpayers Against Poverty


I have joined the Radical Housing Network who are highlighting the risks to the health and well being of low income renters of the mass exploitation of London property for private gain.
MIPIM (Le marché international des professionnels de l'immobilier - The international market  of professionals in real estate) is an international property event hosted in Cannes, France each March. It is hosted by Reed MIDEM and advertised as one of the largest real estate shows, including an exhibition area, networking events and expert-led conference sessions over a period of 4 days.
They are coming to London for a huge  global
 property event 
in London on
the 15th - 17th of October. 
MIPIM attracts people from a wide variety of real estate sectors. It aims to facilitate business between investors, corporate end-users, local authorities, hospitality professionals, industrial and logistics players and other real estate professionals.
In Tottenham w
e already have experience of the corrupt practices of MIPIM who were party to an invitation to a Haringey Councilor to a meeting on a Yacht in Cannes in the South of France
, some of whose expenses were paid by investors,
to discuss the redevelopment of council houses in Tottenham; that means the demolition of them. 
Turning the UK into an international free-market in property can only mean more cash flowing into private hands, out of the UK, and away from the common good of every UK citizen and the need for truly affordable housing to rent o
r
buy.

http://www.hamhighbroadway.co.uk/news/report_finds_haringey_council_s_luxury_yacht_trip_actually_cost_taxpayers_9k_1_3488245

KUWG outing to Barnsbury Jobcentre

Report by Pambles of the KUWG


KUWG was here!
Swheatie, CJ and I (Pambles) joined Mike, Lindsay and Howard of UNITE COMMUNITY's Camden & Islington Branch to speak with claimants as well as asking them to fill questionnaire. We met a woman whose work history involves music and woodworking, so naturally JCP [JobCentre Plus] want her to stack shelves or do bit of cleaning.
Showing hope, showing caring

       A lady on WRAG [Work-Related Activity Group of Employment & Support Allowance claimants] told CJ she is desperate to get onto the Support Group [where she cannot be hassled in 'work-related activity. Swheatie suspects that that was the lady who went to the Jobcentre with a helper and the support of a crutch. She looked very troubled on entering and leaving the Jobcentre, and was chased after by one of the staff who said, "You left your bag behind," which he then handed her.] 

C&I Unite Community survey and KUWG banner and budget box
      CJ also heard that a man with one remaining lung (the other having been removed) was taken from ESA [Employment & Support Allowance] and had to apply for JSA [JobSeekers Allowance] as he is not sick if he has one lung. Rumours that Kuwg has his other lung are untrue. A very sweet lady came up to me and said we did good work. She told me of how she was lucky enough to have good support from 3 organisations and after a year her benefits got sorted and with the backpay she went to Dorset. Very nice.
Pambles and Swheatie with their collective handiwork

Empty box, not empty rhetoric

      Here are the photos of Kuwg in the very civilised [area of] Islington. [Swheatie suspects that it is in either Caledonian Ward or Barnsbury Ward.]

Cracking apart? Call on KUWG and Unite Community for help!

PS. One claimant announced to us that English people are useless — to which Swheatie responded with, "Including you?" that Swheatie can be a bit on the tangy side.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Say, 'No!' to MIPIM — our communities are not for sale

From Izzy Koksal

Invitation to Public Meeting: ‘Our communities are not for sale!’
Tuesday 16th September, 20147pm
128 Theobalds Rd, Holborn, London WC1X 8TN


The world’s largest property fair, known as MIPIM, is coming to London next month for the first time in its 25 year history. Developers, financiers and politicians will be meeting to do deals that create unaffordable, insecure housing around the UK.
The undemocratic process of MIPIM also affects who controls land and how it is used, contributing to the corporate takeover of our community space and public services.
We plan to resist, and say ‘Our communities are not for sale!’
Invitation
The Radical Housing Network invites you to a public meeting to find ways groups can work together and organise to say 'No to MIPIM' - a world’s biggest property conference which is happening on the 15th - 17th of October in London.

We think this is an opportunity for different political movements to build relationships and stand together against a key process in the exploitative property market.

MIPIM enables investors and developers to meet and take control of our land -  land in use for community benefit such as public space, social housing and services like the NHS.

Currently being planned in response to MIPIM UK is:
15th October: Block Boris (#BlockBoris)
Call-out to protest the opening of MIPIM UK at Kensington Olympia
16th, 17th October: Alternative Conference
Two days of speakers on talks from different political movements about the effects of MIPIM and how we can respond collectively.
Come to the public meeting on the 16th of September to get involved and find out more about these plans.
More on MIPIM
MIPIM proudly describes itself as the world's largest property fair, attracting around 20,000 investors, developers, local authorities, and banks each year to "find new locations", "network with potential business partners" and "find new projects and assets to invest in."(MIPIM website)


Typically it takes place annually in Cannes, France. This year will see the first MIPIMUK, to be held at London’s Olympia 15-17 October. Billed as "
the 1st UK property trade show gathering all professionals looking to close deals in the UK property market" - a gathering of professionals and elites looking to profiteer from UK land and property.
Why?
Local authorities that attend are on the lookout for potential business partners and corporate interests who'll collaborate on yet more 'regeneration' plan. We don't want more boutique hotels, offices, luxury housing and shopping centres, we don't want our neighbourhoods to be gentrified and entire communities evicted.
MIPIM promotes an unsustainable, privatised and profit-driven approach to property ownership for the benefit of a small elite that destroys our communities and keeps millions in poverty. We've had enough, and we aren't taking it anymore. Join community struggles across Europe taking action in the run-up to MIPIM UK.
Messages of Solidarity
Send your message to londonnotforsale AT gmail.com which will be passed on to the MIPIM coalition and publicised via social media.
(Please alter and add to the text below in order to include your own views on property and land speculation).
We [name of individual and/or organisation] fully support the UK MIPIM protest "Say NO to MIPIM: YES to housing justice for all!"
Name:
Organisation (where applicable):
Address:
Email:
- - - - -
Contact londonnotforsale AT gmail.com with questions
www.radicalhousingnetwork.org

Monday, 15 September 2014

Carers and General Election 2015

 Prefacing note by Swheatie of the KUWG

When leafleting jobcentres, KUWG members have often spoken to unpaid family carers in their 50's who have a caring responsibility for a parent in their 90's. Merciless jobcentre staff frequently tell them that they must do 'volunteering' for a charity a 3 hour return journey away from home or be sanctioned, when the carer who is a Jobseekers Allowance claimant has been endeavouring to get a local placement with, say, WH Smiths so that — in case of emergency — the can be much closer to the parent in need of their care. The care/claimant is told that if they do not do the jobcentre's bidding, they will be sanctioned.

We also get similar reports from parents of small children, while the single parent is attempting to build a career for themselves via attending a pre-university course. The parent is told that if they do not take on a conflicting commitment at the jobcentre's bidding [and that holds no real career prospects for them] they will be sanctioned.

The jobcentre workers might say they are only following the legislation. Consider what questions might be asked of ministers from that. And, what merciless 'tough love' legislation dictated by investment banker turned welfare reform minister Lord Freud, wealthy, Common Agricultural Policy-subsidised land owner Iain Duncan Smith and their corporate lobbyist friends is really teaching children about life?

From Carer Watch — a self-help online network of unpaid family carers

Are you an unpaid family carer? 
Are you worried about cuts to benefits and social care?  Have you been affected by lack of respite? ...... and so the list goes on.
We are compiling a list of questions to be sent to Ministers from ALL main political parties. Any responses will be posted on this blog.
Please add your question in the comments below or send email to Rosemary at admin AT carerwatch.com

Please share with your networks

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What others are saying  -


from Richard Hawkes  Chair of Care and Support Alliance
In the last few months we've heard again from local authorities about the chronic underfunding in the social care system.  Figures from ADASS show that there has been a 26% reduction in social care budgets over the last four years.
As a result, we are seeing a rapidly rising number of older and disabled people who struggle to get the support they need to simply get up, get dressed and get out of the house.
This is placing unbearable pressure on family carers, who are simply unable to fill the gap left by care cuts. The number of people providing full-time care to loved ones is now over 1.4 million, many of who are being pushed to breaking point.
The new Care Act is bold and ambitious.  But delivering on it is dependent on putting the social care system on a sustainable financial footing.We need all political parties to be bold and commit to investing in social care, so that older people, disabled people and the families who care for them get the support they need to live well.
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 from Moira Fraser, Director of Policy and Research, Carers Trust
The General Election in 2015 is a crucial opportunity for carers’ voices to be heard. So many issues have impacted on carers in the last four year – changes to the NHS, in welfare benefits and cuts to the services available locally.
Carers votes count. Carers should be able to access adequate support to ensure they and the people they care for are well supported, healthy, and have a  life of their own.
All political parties should make it a priority to recognise the needs of carers. Making sure the rights won under the Care Act in England are properly implemented, including providing the funding to do this, would be a good place to start.
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from Heléna Herklots, Chief Executive of Carers UK
Just as more and more families take on caring responsibilities, carers are facing a combination of cuts to social care and benefits. As we approach a general election, all political parties must pledge to stop cutting carers support and urgently put in place measures to prevent carers’ financial hardship and ensure social care services can meet growing demand.
Without this we will see growing numbers of families pushed to breaking point, forced to give up their jobs to care and at risk of debt, isolation and exhaustion.