Thursday, 5 December 2013

Latest Actions from Brent Fightback


ACTIONS ARISING FROM BRENT FIGHTBACK MEETING OF DECEMBER 4TH

Stop TfL Cuts After hearing from Leon of the RMT about fare rises, safety dangers arising from staff cuts and ticket office closures, it was agreed to support the campaign. Actions:
1. Carol will write to local papers about the issue.
2. Sarah will inform Mencap and Ann MIND about impact on people with disabilities
3. Martin and Sarah will contact NUT re impact on teachers taking classes ontube.
4. Sarah will try and contact the Harrow-on-the-Hill lift campaigners.
5.. Pete will contact Cllr Jim Moher (lead member for transport) and Navin Shah, Michael will contact Sadiq Khan, Martin Green AMs.
6. Consider sending questions for Mayor to Navin Shah and participate in Mayor Question Times.
7. Distribute own or RMT leaflets on Met Line and hold impromptu public meeting on the train as appropriate.
8. Think about more imaginative ideas to get the message over to build a broad-based campaign to stop the cuts.

Copland campaign against forced academy status Teachers had been on strike again on Tuesday against forced takeover by Ark Academy. Action:
  1. Support picket lines at Copland on December 17th if planned strike goes ahead.

NHS Campaign continues on several fronts with moves to set up a Brent and Harrow Keep Our NHS and pressure on SERTIC to organise a London-wide demonstration late-Spring/early-Summer 2014.  Actions:
  1. Meeting on Future of Central Middlesex Hospital organised by CCG. Thursday December 12th 6 - 8 pm at the Sattavis Patidar Centre in Forty Avenue Wembley. We need as many people as possible to attend to find out what is proposed and perhaps help shape what is being planned for our hospital.
  2. London Save Our NHS are organising a workshop based event in early February, date to be confirmed, including sessions on workplace organising an campaigns, what kind of NHS do we want etc.

Council Consultations Following the confusion about what exactly council reports were proposing on council rents and council tax support, Sujata will look at how such reports could be made more readily accessible and understandable.



Monday, 2 December 2013

Copland teachers on strike again on Tuesday


Staff at Copland Community School in Wembley will hold their third day of strike action  tomorrow Tuesday December 3rd against an attempt by Michael Gove and an imposed Interim Executive Board (IEB) to force the school to become an academy. Despite Cllr Michael Pavey, Lead member for Education in Brent, saying 'it is not a done deal' so far there had been no other option but ARK. Whatever happened to Gove's 'increasing choice' agenda?


Staff will hold a rally outside The Torch pub in Bridge Rd, Wembley against ARK forcibly taking over their school at 10am.

Hank Roberts, ATL Secretary and Immediate Past President said, “Stanley Fink, a leading ARK trustee, is the National Treasurer of the Conservative party and a friend of Michael Gove. He supports Gove's and the Conservatives policy, as revealed in the Independent, of handing over state schools to be run for profit. They're not in it for charitable giving. If they want to give Copland money we'd welcome it. Long term they're for taking money out of the system to add to the many millions they already have”.

Tom Stone, NASUWT Acting Secretary said, If Brent would only go and get the money the ex headteacher spirited away, the whole scenario of becoming an academy would disappear and Copland school would be a flourishing and effective school.”

Lesley Gouldbourne, Joint NUT Secretary said, A recent leadership review of Copland carried out in October 2013 showed many improvements in teaching and learning and more robust financial management. Give the school time to continue this good work.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Proposed Brent Budget cuts for 2014-15


The Brent Council Meeting on November 18th will be given a financial report for the 1st Reading of the 2014-15 Budget.

Below you will find the proposed savings/cuts for each Service Area:


Monday, 4 November 2013

Bonfire of Austerity - Nov 5th Actions


The People's Assembly is calling protests across the country to mark the 'Bonfire of Austerity' tomorrow, November 5th.

There will be a demonstration outside Willesden Magistrates Court at 9am tomorrow to protest at Labour controlled Brent Council's decisions to issue courts summonses to some 12,000 people who have not paid their Council Tax. These are often people already on low incomes who have had to pay a portion of their Council Tax for the first time this year due to changes in the Council Tax benefit system which is now administered by local councils.

Cllr Muhammed Butt was on the London section of Sunday Politics yesterday defending the Council's decision. He said that Council officers will be present at court to help those who have been summoned.

His appearance can be seen here at 53mins LINK

The Campaign for Renationalisation of the railways will be leafleting at Ealing Broadway station from 5.30pm until 7pm.

The London focus in the evening includes Anonymous in Trafalgar Square and Block the Bridge at Westminster Bridge:

Block Westminster Bridge – Assemble at Jubilee Gardens at 6pm, contact office@thepeoplesassemblyorg.uk/ Facebook

Bring your energy bills: we will be burning our energy bills on the bridge to highlight the massive rise in energy prices which have left people choosing between heating and eating.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

People'sInquiry into NHS even more important after Central Middlesex announcement


Brent Fightback on NHS March
Jeremy Hunt's announcement today that Central Middlesex Accident and Emergency ward is to be closed will come as a bitter disappointment to Brent health campaigners, particularly after the euphoria which greeted the Lewisham Hospital campaign's court victory yesterday.

Hunt's decision shows that that the Tories have absolutely no understanding of the needs of an area such as Harlesden/Stonebridge and the social and health inequalities that make an easily accessible local facility so important.

Campaigners will be considering next steps along with those fighting for Hammermith hospital but meanwhile after the announcement  it is even more  important that as many people as possible submit evidence to the People's Inquiry into the London Health Service. Details LINK and attend the local meeting of the Inquiry which will be held. Send your views using this LINK
  • Friday Nov 8: 2pm-7pm, Ealing Town Hall, New Broadway, Ealing, W5 2BY. View map:
This is the trenchant evidence to the Inquiry submitted by Harlesden resident Sarah Cox:
I am a 76 year-old retired early years teacher. I worked for more than 30 years in Brent schools and have lived for more than 40 years in Harlesden. I am also an outpatient at Central Middlesex Hospital.



As such, I was extremely concerned about the likely effect of the changes enshrined in the Shaping a Healthier Future consultation and also about the consultation itself.



I followed the consultation carefully, read the documents and attended meetings called by NHS NW London and public meetings organised by local health campaigns. Overall, the consultation was more like a public relations exercise. Its questionnaire was designed to reach a desired conclusion rather than to look at the real health needs of the vast area it covers.



I am very concerned about accountability. NHS NW London made the decision to go ahead with the changes, but went out of existence before the process of introducing them had even begun. Who will be accountable if they turn out, as many of us believe they will, to result in damaging cuts to our health services, rather than improvements?



Although I will concentrate on the likely effects of changes to the area in which I live, I believe that all the changes will have knock-on effects on neighbouring areas and I am strongly opposed to the whole package. My husband was referred from Central Middlesex Hospital where he was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer, to Charing X where he was expertly treated. The co operation between the two hospitals was exemplary. Cuts to any of the hospitals will increase the strain on the others and on the ambulance service.



I believe that the case for fewer specialist hospitals further apart has been made for stroke, heart attacks and some serious injuries and services have been developed in line with that. Ambulance crews know the best place to take such patients and expert paramedics are able to stabilise them before transporting them to the best hospital. However, I do not believe that the extrapolation to other conditions such as serious asthma attacks, is justified. The surgeons want a concentration of expensive high-tech facilities in fewer, larger hospitals. What they ignore is the vital importance to patients' recovery of being in a setting that is accessible to friends and relatives. There has been a great deal of publicity recently about poor standards of care on understaffed wards. The best insurance against inadequate care is the vigilance of patients' families.



In fact, although we are told that the plans are based on clinical evidence, they are really based on a desire to cut costs. It the plans go through, nearly 1,000 beds and 3,994 clinical jobs will go from hospitals in NW London, saving £1billion over three years. The remaining hospitals will not be able to cope, the ambulance service will not be able to cope, the 111 service is already inadequate and yet we are told that it is crucial to the success of providing alternative services in the community. 



One of the declared aims of the Shaping a Healthier Future strategy was to reduce health inequalities, but moving health provision away from the areas of greatest deprivation and lowest life expectancy, will in fact increase health inequalities.



As a resident of Harlesden Ward and having worked on the Stonebridge Estate, I am most concerned with the loss of services at Central Middlesex Hospital and the impact on the people of Harlesden, Stonebridge and the surrounding area. The Brent Joint Strategic Needs Assessment and in particular the Harlesden Locality Profile (accessible through the Brent Council website www.brent.gov.uk) shows that Harlesden and Stonebridge wards are among the 10% of most deprived wards in the country. They have high levels of unemployment and of long term disease and disability. They also have a higher than average birth rate, and a larger than average percentage of young children and large families and higher rates of teenage pregnancy. Yet the maternity and paediatric services have been taken away.



Areas of poverty and poor housing like these have, it is widely recognised, higher levels of respiratory disease and mental health problems among other health problems. The government welfare cuts will increase these problems.



If health inequalities are to be overcome, health services should be provided where the need is greatest. If access to health services is difficult, people living in poverty and facing many other problems are less likely to seek help and relatively minor problems can become more serious.



Some of the reasons why it is wrong to close A & E departments at CMH and Ealing (these arguments apply to other hospitals in areas of deprivation):



·        A & E services are the first port of call for patients with mental illnesses and they are likely to find it harder to travel further for help.



·        When patients attend A & E, other problems e.g. cancer are often detected and can be treated before they become more serious.



·       There is no simple public transport link from the Harlesden or Stonebridge areas nor from Central Middlesex Hospital to Northwick Park and cabs are far too expensive for people dependent on benefits, so people who are taken ill or have an accident themselves or whose children are taken ill or have an accident will be forced to call an ambulance adding to the pressure on the ambulance service.



·       Transport difficulties not only affect patients, they make it hard for family and friends to visit patients. Support and care from family and friends are important for helping patients to recover. Negotiations with TfL even on the simple extension of the 18 bus route to Northwick Park Hospital have been unsuccessful, so patients and their families and friends from the area around CMH will continue to find access to Northwick Park extremely difficult.
Northwick Park is already struggling to meet targets and ambulances are being diverted back to CMH from there and from St Mary's. If all the proposed closures go through, how will Northwick Park cope with the added burden on A & E maternity, paediatric services, surgery and intensive care?

How will the ambulance service cope with the extra demand? It’s struggling already.

Has there been consultation with the Fire Service about the effect of the proposed changes? 
Schools were not consulted by the Shaping a Healthier Future team, yet during the school day, thousands of children become their responsibility and if any are taken seriously ill or have accidents, school staff will have to go with them to an A & E department further away.  

Out of hospital care

Of course it is always best to keep people out of hospital if appropriate alternative care and treatment can be provided in the community and of course we need more preventive services. We are promised all sorts of out of hospital care to take the place of the lost hospital services, but will the resources really be there? There is already a shortage of trained, skilled community health workers, health visitors, midwives and specialist nurses as well as GPs. Will the CCGs really be able to train and pay for those we need when they are facing constant budget cuts? Successful treatment and care for patients out of hospital demands integration with decent social care services, but the swingeing cuts to Local Authority budgets mean that social care services are at best barely adequate and unlikely to aid recovery and recuperation for patients who have been treated out of hospital or discharged early from hospital.

Getting information about the CCG’s commissioning decisions before they are made is extremely difficult. There are massive documents with quantities of acronymic alphabet soup and a hierarchy of meetings, some useful, most completely opaque to the interested patient or campaigner and suddenly, before you know it, another service has been outsourced and privatised.



However often we are assured that the changes to the NHS are clinically driven, it seems clear that the real drivers are financial the transformation of the NHS into a cash cow for the private sector so that even if it remains free at the point of use for patients, it will be run for profit.


Sarah Cox

Friday, 13 September 2013

Brent Fightback is calling a protest at the Civic Centre on the coming Monday (16th September) from 6.30 to protest at the proposal that Brent Council hand over the delivery of the meals on wheels service to “a range of local charities, communities and businesses”.

Currently, the meals on wheels service is outsourced. However, rather than a proposal which would cut out the profit-makers, this proposal is purely about cutting cost (by 50%). This decision will lead to cuts in quality of the meals, and pay (are the charities/community groups using unpaid volunteers?), the council's own risk assessment evaluates "Lack of market capacity leads to service users going without meals" = High!

ie. most vulnerable, elderly and sick could be left without access to meals!

 

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Brent coach to the demonstration outside Tory Party Conference in Manchester Sunday 29th September


Book your place soon. Join us on this demonstration which was initiated by the Unison and Unite Trades Unions, is supported by the TUC, the People's Assembly and a multitude of anti-cuts groups, campaigns against the attacks on our NHS, on welfare, on people with disabilities.
HAD ENOUGH? JOIN US IN MANCHESTER AND TELL THE TORIES. 


Thursday, 5 September 2013

Actions from Brent Fightback Meeting of September 4th




EDUCATION – Struggle at Copland continues with one third of staff new to the school this term. Consultation over academy status at Gladstone Park Primary will continue as the new term begins. RALLY FOR EDUCATION for teachers, parents, governors and pupils Saturday September 14th , Queen Elizabeth Conference Centre, Westminster 11-12.30pm NATIONAL TEACHERS’ STRIKES The London strike will be held on October 17th

DEMONSTRATION AT CIVIC CENTRE MONDAY SEPTEMBER 9TH 11.30 am . Demonstration against Barry Gardiner’s invitation to Narendra Modi to address the House of Commons organised by South Asia Solidarity and supported by IHRC, Brent Trades Council and Brent LRC. Further information: http://www.wembleymatters.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/gardiner-faces-demonstration-over-modi.html

BRENT HOUSING ACTION – Critique of Council’s housing asset management plans is being prepared. Next meeting on Tuesday evening at MIND, Willesden High Road

KENSAL RISE LIBRARY – formal consultation deadline has gone but still time to submit before Planning Committee regarding the change of use of the building and the inadequate space offered for a community library. Information on http://www.savekensalriselibrary.org/news/  submit views to ben.martin@brent.gov.uk

WEST LONDON  PEOPLE’S ASSEMBLY  (SEE BELOW) We have agreed to support the meeting on Thursday September 19th 7.30pm at Polish Centre, King Street, W6 Hammersmith or Ravenscourt Park tubes.
DEMONSTRATION AT CONSERVATIVE PARTY CONFERENCE Sunday 29th September  Unite coach will leave Kilburn 7am, Willesen Green 7.15am and Wembley Park 7.30am £20 solidarity/£10 waged/£5 unwaged – returnable to Unite Community members and benefit claimants. Book your place by emailing Brent Fightback at brentunited@gmail.com or ring/text Sarah on 07951 084 101.
CIVIC CENTRE OFFICIAL OPENING ALTERNATIVE EVENT – Sunday October 6th 12 noon. Details to be discussed next time.




Thursday, 8 August 2013

ACTIONS FROM BRENT FIGHTBACK MEETING AUGUST 7TH


  1. Response to Home Office GoHome Campaign  ‘Bust’ cards are being printed available for distribution at short notice in the event of any raid in Brent. People will be alerted via Twitter and Fightback Facebook. Distribution next week see your email for details.  Several organisations taking legal action: Rafeh,  Liberty plus inquiry by Equalities and Human Rights Commission. Liberty  020 7403 3888 and Migrant Rights Network 020 7336 9412  would like anyone subject to the checks to contact them re legal challenge. Continue to lobby the PR company who provided the vans (Promogroup. Promobikes, Promovans are the various names used http://www.promobikes.co.uk  )  to urge them not to take part again. They have been been used  by Labour Party and some trade unions inc CWU. Pete to contact CWU.
  2. Housing – Counihan Campaign 1st Campaign Anniversary Rally Saturday August 31st 3pm Kilburn Square
  3. Bin Veolia in Brent Campaign – petition has now been presented to Brent Council. Lobby of  next Brent Executive 6.30pm Monday August 19th at Civic Centre. BViB will request to speak to Executive.
  4. Kensal Rise Library – developer’s plans have now been published.  Details on how to comment: http://www.savekensalriselibrary.org/2013/08/08/deadline-for-responding-to-planning-application-29-aug-2013/
  5. Privatisation of Education Imposed IEB and new management wreaking havoc at Copland Community School with victimisations. Many of the staff will have gone by start of new term.  Updates on www.wembleymatters.blogspot.co.uk Gladstone Park Governors are consulting on possible academy sponsor. Parents group still campaign for no forced academy whilst at the same time ensuring consultation results in as many assurances as possible about the future of the school.
  6. Zero Hours Contracts – any campaign will mainly come through Trades Council and we will see if any TUs are leading on it. FoI (Martin) for their use by Brent Council and any out-sourced contractors. Link with ethical procurement. (See today’s Kilburn Times for statement by Muhammed Butt)
  7. Save Welsh Harp Campaign – Boris Johnson despite cross party appeals decided yesterday to allow Barnet Council to make the decision, subject to any intervention by the Secretary of State, and not exercise his right to refuse the application or take over as planning authority. http://saveourwelshharp.blogspot.co.uk/

Martin Francis

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Community protest as Police lose CCTV evidence of unprovoked racist attack in Willesden - Report from Robin Sivapalan

At 5.20am on Sunday 9th June, 5 white men pulled up in a black luxury car near Willesden Bus Garage on the High Road and attacked two young men of African descent, who had just got off a bus from central London.

One managed to avoid being punched in the face and was separated from the other, who was punched to the ground and kicked repeatedly.

Three witnesses across the road shouted out and ran across to his defence; the men got into their car and drove off shouting. The victim was taken by the police to hospital with bruises under his eyes and later had a broken tooth removed.  One of the witnesses, Robin Sivapalan, a local trade unionist met him later at Northwick Park hospital and brought him to his house to recover.

On chasing up the incident later that day with police at Wembley, Robin was informed that the case had not yet been allocated to an investigating officer, nor had it been logged as a racist attack. He stressed to the police officer that the assault could well have been far more damaging had there not been an intervention from the public, that the attackers posed a threat to all Black people - not just the particular victim in this case - and that this was possible backlash to the Woolwich incident.

Robin and the victim went to a local business where they were shown the CCTV footage which caught the entire attack, with the car, from two cameras and they informed the police that the evidence was available.

It took till Thursday for the police to call the victim, and the investigating officer failed to reply to any of the messages left by Robin. By the following Thursday the CCTV footage had been lost. The police had been told that they were welcome to collect the recording equipment themselves while the footage was still retrievable.

The police attended the business on Wednesday 19th and discovered one set of footage had been deleted. They only collected the recording equipment and called in witnesses after DS Williams had been informed by Robin that the second set of footage had also been lost and that he would take the matter further. On Tuesday 25th June the police issued an appeal for witnesses via the Kilburn Times providing the wrong time and location of the assault, with no mention that it was a racist attack.

The case has been brought to the attention of Aslam Choudry, Brent Council’s Lead member for Crime Prevention and Public Safety, also a councillor for Dudden Hill where the incident took place. He has raised it with the police Borough Commander Matthew Gardner and the Council Leader, Muhammad Butt.


Local residents in Brent are holding a picket at Wembley Police Station, 7pm, Thursday 27th June, calling for meeting with the Borough Commander that will provide accountability for this failure to act. A spokesperson for the residents says: “We don’t believe this is an isolated incident of hate crime in the area. At Brent Council’s commemoration of Lee Rigby, the Borough Commander proudly informed us that there had been no recorded incidents following Woolwich, yet we can see here how the police fail to treat these attacks as hate crimes and are happy to lose the evidence when it handed to them on a plate. With a spike in Islamophobic and racist attacks around the country, it is shocking that in a Borough where the majority of us could face such an attack, the police can display such complacency and disregard for our concerns. This is exactly the form of institutional racism that is in the media again this week, with the discovery of the police’s attempts to smear Stephen Lawrence’s family”.   

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Tina Benson from North West London Hospitals will be coming to the Brent Fightback meeting on Wednesday July 3rd 7.30 pm at Brent Trades Hall (it says London Apollo Club above the door) 375 High Rd, Willesden NW10 2JR to discuss the future of emergency services at Central Middlesex Hospital

Everyone is welcome. Please come prepared to give your views.

Friday, 21 June 2013

The next Brent Fightback meeting will be on Wednesday July 3rd 7.30 pm at Brent Trades Hall (London Apollo Club) 375 High Rd, Willesden NW10 2JR

HEALTH We have invited Tina Benson from NW London Hospitals who wants people's views on the future of emergency services at Central Middlesex Hospital. No reply yet to our invitation. she had invited people to meet her, but was only able to offer times during the working day. 

Eighteen months ago, Brent Trades Council and Brent Fightback began campaigning to save our local health services and joined with other campaigning against the swingeing cuts to emergency and other hospital services planned in the document laughingly called Shaping a Healthier Future. Now, better late than never, Brent's Labour Party and the Labour Council appear to be waking up to the threat to local people. Attached are notices of a meeting called by Brent Health Unison on Friday July 5th. Brent Fightback has been invited to provide a speaker. The following week on July 11th, Brent Labour Party Health Group has a public meeting.

Many of us and a number of Labour councillors and would-be candidates were at the London wide demonstration to defend our Health Services on May 18th. One aim of that demonstration was to show the need for a national demonstration for our NHS. Now one has been called. This is from Keep Our NHS Public:
NATIONAL DEMONSTRATION CALLED FOR THE NHS!
SUNDAY 29 SEPTEMBER
Tory Party Conference, Manchester
A national demonstration in defence of the NHS has been called on 29 September at the Tory Party Conference. This was confirmed by Unite- see below for their newsflash.
And at Unison conference this week, general secretary Dave Prentis called on the TUC to organise a mass rally and lobby on 29 September in defence of the NHS. "And if they don't, then Unison with our sister union Unite will do it ourselves." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I73r-ED6lfM&feature=player_embedded (6m in)
We should feel proud that the May 18 demonstration organised by London campaigns and all of the lobbying has helped get us to this next step forward for a national campaign.

URGENT START PLANNING NOW
Planning needs to start now before the holiday period to make sure that we publicise the demonstration and make transport arrangements. 
Watch this space for more information and the next London coordination meeting in w/c 15 July

EDUCATION
Gladstone Park Primary School: Governors are recommending that the school becomes an academy with the CfBT School Trust. There is a meeting for all parents on Tuesday June 25th. The Parents' Action Group with the strong support  of Brent NUT continues to campaign against academisation and for the school to be allowed to continue its strong improvement as part of Brent's family of schools.

Copland School, after an adverse OFSTED report, is also under pressure to become and academy. Teachers have already taken one day of well supported strike action and parents have set up a Parents' Action Group to resist this. Copland's building is dilapidated and in urgent need of rebuilding, providing and inadequate and demoralising environment for teaching and learning. Funds promised for essential building work under the Building Schools for the Future scheme were withdrawn. A Copland student even spoke to David Cameron about the need for a decent learning environment. The school also suffered from the alleged financial irregularities of the previous head and his coterie who are accused of siphoning off millions that should have been spent on the students into bonuses for themselves. Academies are at greater risk of those kinds of financial irregularities than maintained schools, so many staff and parents remain unconvinced that becoming an academy is the answer to their problems.

DEMONSTRATION FOR EDUCATION IN SOLIDARITY WITH TEACHERS STRIKING IN NW ENGLAND - SEE POSTER ON THIS BLOG.

POSTAL SERVICES Postal workers have voted overwhelmingly for action against privatisation.

BRENT FIGHTBACK AND BRENT HOUSING ACTION HAVE RESERVED A STALL AT THE GLADSTONBURY FESTIVAL IN GLADSTONE PARK ON SUNDAY JUNE 30th. BHA WILL HAVE SLEEPING BAGS AND (maybe) COMRADES IN PYJAMAS TO SHOW THE HOMLESSNESS RESULTING FROM THIS GOVERNMENT'S HOUSING POLICIES AND BENEFIT CUTS.

FIGHTBACK WILL, WEATHER PERMITTING HAVE WET SPONGES TO THROW AT BRAVE/FOOLHARDY COMRADES IN MINISTERIAL MASKS.

We will of course also have information and campaigning leaflets. If any of you can spare an hour or two (or more) to help, come and find our stall. We plan to set up at about 12 noon and to stay until about 6.00 pm. 


Sunday, 9 June 2013

Actions for Fightback activists



EDUCATION

COPLAND FORCED ACADEMISATION - Unions are pushing for a meeting with parents. You can support by writing to Michael Pavey (new lead member for children and families) Cllr.Michael.Pavey@brent.gov.uk urging that parents are consulted before any imposition of an Interim Executive Board (IEBs replace the more democratically elected governing body). Also correct claims made by Pavey and Mohammed Butt that the strikes disrupted students taking national examinations. In fact children were well supported and able to take their exams as normal with staff invigilating exempted from the strike, some striking teachers went in to help settle the students in before th exams started, and the demonstration outside the school was ended before the exams started so there was no noise to disturb the students.

GLADSTONE PARK FORCED ACADEMISATION - Parents Action Group are asking Pavey to instruct officers to make clear statement on behalf of the Council that with LA support and the current management trajectory the school is capable fo becoming Ofsted 'Good' without a forced academy.

MICHAELA FREE SCHOOL - Residents complained about erection of giant pupil recruitment banner on Arena House without planning permission and it was removed on Wednesday. Considering leafleting prospective parents in Autumn 2013 when admissions process begins for the first year's intake in  September 2014.

SUPPORT NEEDED FOR DEMONSTRATION - Stand Up for Schools Tues 25th June Assemble Westminster Cathedral Piazza 5pm to march to DfE. Rally 6.30pm at Emmanuel Centre, Marsham Street, SW1 3DW

HOUSING

EARLY WARNING - Judicial Review hearing June 18th Mencap v Brent  Council on cuts to 'floating support' for vulnerable people. Details to be confirmed.

GLADSTONEBURY FESTIVAL  June 30th Noon-6/7pm Brent Fightback and Brent Housing Action will have joint stall. Organising participatory activiites involving political figures and wet sponges.

NHS

Defend London's Health Service Meeting June 12th 7pm Unite House, 128 Theobalds Road, WC1X 8TN

Hunt for Hunt 'happening' in Jeremy Hunt's Constituency Saturday 15th June. Coaches leave corner of Longford Avenue/Gordon Rd, Ealing W5 at 9am

We encourage people to attend Brent Healthwatch meetings http://healthwatchbrent.co.uk/

Fiona Harkham NW London Health Trust to be invited to our next meeting (July 5th) to hear our views on A&E reconfiguration etc

SAVE THE QUEENSBURY
Fairview Homes have withdrawn planning application and will reapply but only delay not victory. Still intend to demolish the pub.  Seehttp://savethequeensbury.info/

BRENT CIVIC CENTREGradual move of staff into the new building. Possible demonstration to greet any official opening ceremony. GD to investigate and circulate broad range of groups with information.

BIN VEOLIA IN BRENTBrent Council stonewalling with spurious legal arguments and lack of information. Street stalls and petitioning are planned. Public Meeting on  June 27th 7pm, Pakistan Community Centre, Station Road/Marley Walk, Willesden Green. Will combine Show Israel the Red Card and Veolia issues.

NEXT MEETING JULY 3rd 7PM , BRENT TRADES HALL, WILLESDEN HIGH ROAD, NW10

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Defend London's NHS this Saturday

Brent Fightback is supporting this demonstration

DEFEND LONDON’S NHS Defend Londons nhs image (788x699)    
●Save Our Hospitals
●No to Privatisation
DEMONSTRATION
SATURDAY 18 MAY
Assemble 12 noon
Concert Hall Approach /Belvedere Rd
MARCH TO DOWNING ST
Rally in Whitehall 2pm

This demonstration has been called by an unprecedented coalition of London residents, medical staff, trade unions and health campaigners who have come together to raise the alarm regarding the biggest threats to A & E’s, maternity units and in-hospital care for a generation.

Closures planned across the capital include nine accident and emergency departments, a number of maternity units and thousands of hospital beds that campaigners believe will put lives at risk..
Hospitals and community services are also threatened with take-over by multi-national private companies. Hundreds of thousands of London residents have pledged their opposition to these privatisation plans for the NHS.

Across the capital, tens of thousands have taken to the streets to protest and demonstrate to save their local hospitals. 80,000 signed a petition against the closures in North West London. 25,000 joined the demonstration to defend Lewisham hospital. 

The local campaigns have joined up to call on the government to stop these closures. We are working together to undermine the government’s divisive tactics of playing one hospital off against another. Instead we are demanding that the government provide the funding needed for safe levels of care across the capital. 

Help save London’s Health Service

The demonstration has been called by Save our Hospital campaigns across London and London Keep Our NHS Public. It has been backed by Unite the union, a number of MPs and councillors, trade unions and the London Labour Party. Please ask your organisation to pledge their support to publicise the demonstration by adding your name. Donations towards costs will also be gratefully received (Cheques to Keep Our NHS Public c/o 32 Savernake Rd, NW3 2JP).

SUPPORT FOR  18 MAY DEMONSTRATION
Support for the demo includes:      Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign, Defend Whittington Hospital Coalition, Save our Hospitals Ealing, Save Hammersmith and Charing Cross Hospitals, Andy Slaughter MP, Steve Pound MP, Virendra Sharma MP, John Cryer MP, David Lammy MP, Frank Dobson MP, Jeremy Corbyn MP, John McDonnell MP, Dianne Abbott MP, Greater London Labour Party, London Green Party, Dr Onkar Sahota, Jennette Arnold & Murad Qureshi, Joanne McCartney  London Assembly Members, Catherine West Leader Islington Council, Rachael Saunders Councillor Tower Hamlets, Unite the Union, National Union or Journalists, RMT, London Region GMB, London Regional Council of the BMA, London Region CWU, London &SE Region PCS, Whipps cross Hospital UNISON, Westminster UNISON, Save Chase Farm, Brent Fightback, Kensington and Chelsea Residents Save Our Hospital, Ealing Trades Union Council NHS Campaign, Medical Practitioners Union UniteRoger Lloyd Pack, Ealing Southall CLP, Kingston Trades Council, Kingston and Surbiton Green Party, Kingston Keep Our NHS Public , Kingston GMB, Islington Trades Council, We Are Waltham Forest Defending Our NHS, Camden Keep Our NHS Public , Tower Hamlets BMA,  Euston Tower PCS, Islington NUT, Tower Hamlets Keep Our NHS Public, Unite the Resistance, City & Hackney Coalition to Defend the NHS, Lambeth Keep Our NHS Public, Camden UNISON,  Save Our Local Hospitals Greenwich, Bexley & Bromley, Lambeth Pensioners Action Group, PCS DEFRA Southern, Coalition of Resistance,  Defend Haringey Health Services Coalition, Islington Pensioners Forum, Redbridge Save Our NHS, National Health Action Party,  Tower Hamlets College UCU, Islington North Labour Party, RMT EPS 0520, Bromley Trades Council, Westminster North Labour Party, Camden Trades Council, Lewisham People Before Profit, Greenwich NUT, London Young Greens, London Magazine NUJ,  City & Hackney Division BMA, East London Health Unite, Homerton Hospital Unison, Occupy London, Brent Trades Council, Haringey 38 Degrees, Croydon TUC, London Health Emergency, Socialist Health Association, National Pensioners Convention, London Young Labour Exec committee, Anonymous UK, Friends of the Earth, Islington division BMA, Hands Off Hinchingbrooke, Save Barnet NHS, University of London Union,  London Region UCU, London Region Unison, London Region RCN.

Monday, 29 April 2013

Brent Fightback Agenda for May 1st

  • NHS - Reports on Save Our Hospitals demo Saturday April 27th &Town Hall Pensioners' Forum meeting on the NHS changes Monday April 29th. Plans for building London wide NHS demo Saturday May 18th and Hunt for Hunt 15th June, called by Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign. Unite the Union is prepared to finance five coaches from across London and Ealing TUC want to know whether we will be participating if there is a coach from Ealing http://www.savelewishamhospital.com/the-hunt-for-hunt/
  • Education - Reports on Michaela Free School, Gladstone Park Primary School's anti-academisation campaign.
  • Housing/Bedroom Tax - Reports from Brent Housing Action and other campaigns.
  • Council cuts and proposed privatisation including Campaign against Veolia
  • People's Assembly 22nd June

Sunday, 28 April 2013

4,000 march for West London A&Es

Brent Fightback supporters
400 or so activists from Hammermsmith and Brent assembled at Acton Park on Saturday to march to Ealing Common where they were joined by thousands from the main march which had begun in Southall.

The marchers were campaigning for the retention of the Accident and Emergency facilities at Ealing, Hammersmith, Charing Cross and Central Middlesex hospitals.

Sarah Cox, speaking for Brent Fightback, declared that the campaigners should retain unity in the face of attempts to divide and rule and campaign for ALL the hospitals and resist any closures until they were convinced that any alternative arrangements were in place, secure and more effective than what they replace,

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Fightback on housing crisis begins to take shape





On Tuesday April 9th there will be a meeting in Brent to discuss next steps in a  local housing campaign. A report of the inaugural meeting follows:
Around 25 people attended the initial Housing Strategy meeting called by Brent Fightback, on Tuesday 19th March at the Brent Mencap offices in Willesden.

Attendees included the lead member for Housing for Brent Council, the Somali Advice Centre, the Counihan Family Housing campaign, Mencap campaigners, a tenants representative, a housing worker, and a high school teacher concerned about the cases arising at her school. Apologies were received from the Brent Law Centre and the Brent Private Tenants Rights Group and from some who attended the Health Scrutiny Committee.

It was a constructive and serious meeting, with information and experiences shared about the current situation and the general background to housing in Brent. Potential strategies and targets for campaigning were discussed, including:

GLA powers to set Rent Caps; advice and signposting training; "Bedroom Tax" strategies; the Right to Buy discounting; helping residents speak out and organise; mutual exchanges on properties; resisting evictions; linking up with other campaigners.

Cllr Janice Long, lead member for Housing has agreed to provide current local information of how changes are expected to affect people locally.

We agreed a next meeting time: 7pm, Tuesday 9th April, Brent Mencap offices, 379-381 High Road, Willesden. We will consider the actions that were suggested at the intial meeting and any further priorities, and estabish the name and aims of a local housing campaign.

Please forward widely.

Robin Sivapalan robsivapalan@hotmail.com 07974
331 053
Ken Montague kenmontague@msn.com

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Housing crisis strategy meeting Tuesday March 19th



 Everyone is now aware of the deepening crisis in housing in LondonWe are aiming to bring together people from across our community for a more united response: individuals (especially those with housing problems), Tenants and Residents Associations, housing and advice workers, community and council representatives, trade unions and political organisations.

We want to hold an initial strategy meeting so we can begin to: 

  • build connections and share ideas/ experiences about the challenges that are hitting residents in Brent,
  • discuss what we can do to raise awareness of what all these changes mean,
  • help people who find themselves struggling to cope; make their voice heard and develop strategies to meet these attacks
  • develop a campaign around policies which would begin to meet real housing needs in the borough

We hope you will be able to attend and publicise this meeting to others who may want to be involved:

6.30pm-8.00pm , Tuesday 19th March 2013,
Brent Mencap offices 379-381 High Road, Willesden, London, NW10 2JR

Contacts: Robin Sivapalan, robsivapalan@hotmail.com, 07974 331 053 and Ken Montague, kenmontague@msn.com


(some of) what’s happening now:
·         Inflated rents and house prices, huge shortage of social housing, overcrowding…
·         …reduction in the Local Housing Allowance (housing benefit for private accommodation), the Universal Credit benefit cap… Brent will be the worst affected area if the Universal Credit cap is introduced.
·         …’Bedroom Tax’, charging Council Tax on Benefits, “Affordable” rent being defined as 80% of the market rate….
·         ….Cuts to legal aid, advice, support and language services…
·         …Low pay, rogue landlords and mortgages companies, loan sharks…


Brent Fightback is an alliance of workers and service users campaigning against privatisation and cuts to jobs and services.