”My aim is not necessarily to make you think as I do but I shall have failed in my purpose if I do not succeed in making you think.”

Beautiful use of language, excellent statement of intent.

Lifelong Learning Matters

Thanks to Peter Threadkell, Chair of the WEA’s Eastern Region, for inviting me to the Regional Council meeting in Cambridge on Saturday 10th March.

The meeting attracted a lively crowd of people who seemed to be chatting enthusiastically or listening intently throughout the day. At a rough estimate more than 100 people were there, with most of them being active volunteers. Various people described long journeys with early morning starts when they talked to me during breaks. Their commitment to the WEA is impressive.

The day was a good mix of formal business and workshop sessions on a range of themes that included:

  • Publicity and marketing – How do we attract more learners to WEA courses? (Andrew Westwood-Bate)
  • The role of the Community Programme within WEA (Gorete Downey and Sarah Moore)
  • Branch Committees – How do we attract new volunteers and what can be done if we can’t? (Ron…

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Birmingham Against The Cuts

Saturday saw many places around Birmingham hold stalls and petition sessions against the planed privatisation of Birmingham’s Leisure Services.

Moseley Road Baths


Stall held by Friends of Moseley Road Baths

Sparkhill

Sparkhill and Springfield Against the Cuts was Joined by Campaign to Save Sparkhill Baths. Some Local people took away petition sheets. Thanks to Friends of Moseley Road Baths for supplying the leaflets. We left Slogan posters on the baths & on an Olympics Poster for passersby to see.

Northfield

There was overwhelming support for the protest and petitioning session outside Northfield Baths on Saturday morning, organised by Stirchley and Cotteridge against the Cuts. Passers-by and pool users were queueing up to sign and take our leaflet. They were made aware of the no-consultation plans to privatise all of Birmingham’s leisure services and how this could lead to higher prices, cuts in its personnel and a reduction of access…

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Well I’d better reblog this!

Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Ipswich Unemployed Action can reveal A4e’s performance on the Work Programme.

Despite clear instructions not to reveal ANY information on the scheme, A4e decided to publish the statistics on its website. I assume they don’t understand the clear instruction of not to defraud the taxpayer either!

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Birmingham Against The Cuts

Activists from Handsworth Against The Cuts (HATC) lobbied MP Khalid Mahmood’s constituency surgery about the the council’s attempt to privatise the leisure centres. Concern was expressed by the MP’s
representatives and also a willingness to have attend/ hold a public meeting. We were also told that the councillors in the ward were against the privatisation. Other HATC activists had attended a Handsworth community conference and had raised the issue there that morning as well, so the pressure is being applied.

On the same day a stall was done at the Leisure Centre, we now have 489 signatures opposing privatisation, not including the petitions that people have taken away to get friends, neighbours and family to sign. There is a great depth of feeling on the subject…

Saturday 10th March is a day of action on Leisure Centre privatisation with stalls being held around Birmingham – see here for details

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The usual mealy-mouthed excuses and evasions from the increasingly tattered ConDem flagship. Guess they plan to flog Millmead off in the next lot of redundant council buildings?
If they carry on cutting jobs and services the largest local authority in Europe will take on the appearance of the ‘Marie Celeste.’

Birmingham Against The Cuts

Millmead children’s home was opened in 2004 to help young people to prepare for life after care. In the home, young people aged 15½ – 17 can learn the skills they need to live on their own.

Young people leaving care are some of the most disadvantaged in the city. They are over-represented in the prison population and among the homeless and more likely to be unemployed.

Yet despite this, the council are determined to push on with their program of cuts. They want to shut the doors by March 31st.

We know that with the support of local people, staff and residents we can win a campaign to save the home, just like staff and parents at Charles House respite centre who won their recent campaign to stay open.

The council have given two reasons they want to close the home:

Under capacity?

The council says the home is…

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Birmingham Against The Cuts

Stirchley and Cotteridge Against the Cuts work on local issues around the south and south west of Birmingham. They have been involved in the campaigns that stopped the closure of Charles House, and saw Bournville School reject academy status. Never content to rest on their laurels, the group have a busy March planned:

1) Protest outside Kings Norton Library. (against cutting opening hours from 5 days to 4) Meet at 5pm, Thursday March 8th. Pershore Road South (near the Green).
We will go on to the ward committee at 7pm.

2) Protest at Ward Committee of Bartley Green about closure of Millmeads Childrens home. (details later)

3) Protest outside Northfield Sports and Leisure Centre over its proposed privatisation. Saturday 10th March. 11am outside the baths.

4) Protest outside Stirchley Library 15th March.

5) Weoley Castle Circle protest over Millmeads. Sat 17th March

We will update…

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