Local Councils

Home Office plans to trick the worst-off

Published on: Wed, 23/10/2019 - 11:13
Author

Misha Zubrowski

The Home Office is holding “immigration surgeries” at charities and places of worship.

They tell homeless migrants that attending will help them get financial support, and may help them regularise their immigration status. They are assured the sessions are not part of “an enforcement approach” to immigration status.

Lies – as was revealed on October 15.

The surgeries are run by the Home Office’s immigration enforcement unit. Officials may decide that attendees have no right to be in the UK, asking these individuals — who came seeking and promised support — to their agree to “voluntary removal”

Haringey: losing momentum?

Published on: Wed, 23/10/2019 - 10:56
Author

Simon Nelson

In 2017, a grassroots rebellion against a right-wing Labour Council led to the election of the first so-called “Momentum Council”.

The new councillors were often supporters of Jeremy Corbyn, but most of all opposed to Haringey Council’s proposals for a public-private partnership with Lendlease to deliver the Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV) — a gentrification scheme that was set to socially cleanse large areas of working-class Haringey, hand in hand with a known blacklisting developer.

A concerted campaign by the local Momentum group, the wider local Labour left, and the anti-HDV campaign

Free school meals for migrant children

Published on: Wed, 09/10/2019 - 10:03
Author

Gerry Bates

On 2 October, the Labour council in Lewisham, south London, agreed that no child in its schools would be denied a free school meal because of their parents’ immigration status.

“No Recourse to Public Funds” (NRPF) policies deny many migrants access to a social safety net, including means-tested school meals.

The Labour Party is now committed to abolishing NRPF outright, after last week’s Labour conference voted near-unanimously last week for a migrants’ rights motion proposed by LCFM [the Labour Campaign for Free Movement]. NELMA (North East London Migrant Action) and LCFM (Labour Campaign for

Calling Andy Burnham to account

Published on: Wed, 02/10/2019 - 12:01
Author

Nick Weightman

Thousands of young people gathered in Manchester’s St Peter’s Square on Friday 20 September. The protest was rather a warning to politicians who thought they could come along, mouth nice platitudes and pat young people on the head.

Lillia, a 10-year old climate activist (with her own blog), took Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham to task when he said he was “doing his best” and made a big deal of a new free 16-18 year old bus pass and his opposition to fracking.

Lillia skewered his “lies, when you don’t count the airport in emission figures” [Manchester Airport is owned by GM local

How Labour should end austerity

Published on: Wed, 11/09/2019 - 07:31
Author

Chris Reynolds

Since 2010 austerity has ground down working-class living standards for the benefit of the ultra-rich. Life has been made meaner and more insecure.

Boris Johnson now says he will end austerity. But that is all a matter of previously-budgeted money being “recycled” and called expansion, and random promises to try to win a general election after which he will be free to do his right-wing worst for five years.

The NHS and social care have been squeezed so that waiting lists expand and A&E wait times explode. Hospitals routinely run at the upper limit of capacity, so that an epidemic, or an

Against “special needs” cuts

Published on: Wed, 05/06/2019 - 12:34
Author

Janine Booth

On Thursday 30 May, campaigners protested at twenty-eight locations around the country, demanding the reversal of cuts to Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) funding. Organised mainly by parents and SEND kids, protests ranged from a handful of people with a banner to hundreds on town hall steps.

The centrepiece saw several thousand campaigners gather outside 10 Downing Street to hand in a petition. The National Education Union supported and promoted the protests, and its members turned out with banners in several locations. RMT also supported the protests. In some areas, Labour

Why the working class needs libraries

Published on: Wed, 15/05/2019 - 10:40
Author

Simon Nelson

Close to 650 libraries have closed in the UK since 2010. Some that remain “open” rely on volunteers, have no paid staff, and need grants and donations to run. In 2018 alone 130 libraries were shut down. More than 700 staff lost their jobs; the number of volunteers is now over 50,000.

The concept of the public library, free at the point of use, was pushed by The Free Library Movement, Victorian philanthropists aided by sections of the Chartist movement who worked for “improvement of the public”. The Libraries Act of 1850, put forward by Liberal MPs, and backed by a free libraries pioneer

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 15/05/2019 - 07:20
Author

Ollie Moore and Katy Dollar

Tube win against cuts

Cuts had been planned by London Underground to train maintenance schedules, to reduce the frequency of train safety checks, from 24-hourly to 96-hourly, or up to monthly or more on some lines. Fleet maintenance workers in the RMT union had set strikes for 17-20 May. RMT had also planned to demonstrate outside London’s City Hall on 16 May, highlighting Labour mayor Sadiq Khan’s failure to resist Tory cuts to Transport for London’s budget.

RMT reported on 14 May that the maintenance schedule cuts had been withdrawn, and has suspended action. Union general secretary Mick

Alarm bell for Labour

Published on: Wed, 08/05/2019 - 14:19
Author

Rhodri Evans

The local elections on 2 May gave an alarm bell to Labour.

The Tories lost 1,330 seats. They had expected to lose a lot. Those seats were last contested in 2015, on the same day that the Tories won the general election. They had not expected to lose so many. Since the reference point was 2015, Labour had expected to gain. In fact Labour lost 84 council seats. The Lib Dems had expected to gain. 2015 was a low point for them, when they were discredited by their 2010-15 coalition with the Tories. They gained more than they expected (704 seats). The Greens were up 194 seats. Almost as big a

Vote Labour in 2nd May local elections

Published on: Wed, 01/05/2019 - 13:04

Solidarity calls on readers to vote Labour in the local elections on 2 May, which cover one-third of the seats in almost all the metropolitan authorities in England (big cities outside London).

They cover almost all the “unitary authorities” (those which combine “county” and “district” powers): in some of those all seats are contested, in some only a third. Any they cover many district councils, and six mayoral elections.

The 8,804 seats involved were last contested in 2015, on the same day as the general election which the Tories won, and the Tories currently hold 5,521 of them.

Heavy losses

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