‘Say No to the Council Cuts’
Protest Demonstration in Birmingham
Date: Saturday, 26h February 2011
Time: 12.00 noon
Assembly Point: St. Philip’s Cathedral grounds (off Colmore Row) B2 5NY
Event: A protest demonstration against Council cuts. There will be a
march around the city centre followed by a rally back at the
Speakers: Bishop Urquhart (Bishop of Birmingham);
Lee Barron (CWU);
Trudy Allen (PCS);
Roger Jenkins (GMB);
Joyce Canaan (UCU);
Roger McKenzie (Unison);
Caroline Johnson (Birmingham Against the Cuts) and
Bob Williams – Findlay (Disabled People Against Cuts).
More speakers to be confirmed
Hundreds of people in Birmingham this Saturday will be demonstrating
with a call for councillors to vote against cuts at the council
meeting on 1st March. The planned cuts will see £212m slashed from
the council budgets this year, at the cost of 2,450 jobs and many
services, such as adult care services and youth centres:
· Job Losses – 2,450 council posts will be cut this year
(7,000 over 3 years) and 5,000 posts privatised (making it easier to
cut funding in the future). Birmingham already has an unemployment
rate twice the national average and cannot afford to lose thousands
· Adult Care Services – 11,000 people who currently receive
care having been assessed as having “substantial” care needs will no
longer be eligible for home care, day care or residential care and
will lose their care services. Overall, more than £33million will be
cut from Adult Care Services, affecting older people, those with
learning and physical disabilities and people with mental health
· Youth Services – £3m will be cut from Birmingham Youth
Services budgets. Such a cut would close over 40 youth projects
(more than 2/3rds) across the city and deprive young people and
communities’ easy access to trained and qualified youth workers.
· Heart of England PCT – 1,600 jobs to go, affecting NHS
services in this city, and this is only 1 of 5 PCT’s to serve
Birmingham so there will probably be more job losses to come.
· Neighbourhood Office and CAB closures – CAB has been
temporarily saved but neighbourhood offices are still under threat.
Both of these provide vital and free advice on financial, legal &
housing problems and council services. As unemployment rises, these
services will become more important.
· £10 million cuts in Children’s Social Care, affecting
“looked after” children, some of the most vulnerable children in the
· £1.3 million cuts in library services, £1 million cuts in
grants to arts and £1.25 million cuts in funding for Museums with
entry charges “almost decided”. Ikon Eastside will be closing and
this will probably just be the first of many cultural venues in
Birmingham to shut down.
· Pay Cuts and terms and conditions reviews for 26,000 council
staff including refuse workers who have already been on strike.
· Community Safety Partnership – £1.6m less spending on, and
reduction in funding for West Midlands Police Force (2,200 jobs to be
lost, including 600 officers) will see rising crime.
These cuts will affect every person in this city, and every person has
their own reason to be there. Godfrey Webster, Secretary of Birmingham
Against the Cuts, says: “There is an increasing mood of anger amongst
the ordinary people of Birmingham who are furious about the proposed
cuts to jobs, services and pensions. There is a growing awareness that
these cuts, being carried out by the Conservative-Lib Dem Council, are
political in nature. The poor, women and the vulnerable should not be
made to pay for the bankers’ greed. ”
Notes for editor:
1. Whilst David Cameron was in Egypt calling on the need for
democracy, representatives of the Conservative-Lib Dem Birmingham City
Council were blocking the proposed route of the march allowing only a
very short, restricted route. This march will defy the Council, and
the people of Birmingham will take the intended route.
2. On Tuesday, 1st March, the Council meets to vote on the
budget. There will be a demonstration outside the Council House
called for by Birmingham Against the Cuts.
3. Birmingham Against the Cuts has been collecting hundreds of
signatures against the cuts and these will be presented to the Council
on Tuesday by Cllr Salma Yaqoob.
4. Birmingham Against the Cuts is an umbrella organisation made
up of many concerned about the cuts and include representatives of
Birmingham Trade Union Council, Birmingham People’s Charter,
Birmingham Right to Work, Save Our Services, NSSN West Midlands, many
trade unions, including: Unison; PCS; GMB; NUT; UCU; Unison; Unite;
RMT and CWU, as well as individuals and community groups.
Contact: TONY FOLEY (07845 969 959) or GODFREY WEBSTER
(0121 429 4166)
A piece of PR we couldn’t be bothered to re-write.