Thursday, 28 April 2011

Open letter from Bromley Cuts Concern

An open letter composed by organising group Bromley Cuts Concern (Bromley Against the Cuts) submitted to local media this week.

Bromley Cuts Concern welcome the suggestion of the MP for Bromley and Chislehurst and Local Government Minister, Bob Neill, that councils should draw on their reserves to relieve the pressure on service cuts. This was also recommended by Liberal Democrat MP and local government minister, Andrew Stunell, in early March.

Bromley Council has £58 million in its reserves and in the last financial year made £4.8 million in rent from commercial property assets which include farms and several shopping parades.
It would make great sense to use some of these reserves and assets to save libraries, park warden jobs, school crossing patrols, connexions, youth and children and family centres, increase to day care centres charges, sheltered housing and children at risk reduction in funding, in-house home care provision, school clothing grants, and public toilets.
Much of this is still being reconfigured by the Council, and the public as council tax payers and voters need to be fully involved in the consultation process. The cuts which will affect vulnerable people in particular, and once these facilities go, will be hard to re-introduce. Investment in jobs is also vital for future growth. The £33 million cuts which Bromley Council have approved is completely negative, when there are other options.
Please come and express your views at a public meeting organised by Bromley Cuts Concern at 7.30 pm on May 25th at the HG Wells Centre , St Marks Rd, Bromley.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

...the pursuit of happiness..?

...The economists Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett suggested in The Spirit Level that countries with more equal incomes had fewer social problems, though others protested that such countries were just smaller or had fewer immigrants... 
Simon Jenkins (The Guardian, April 13, 2011)

Bromley Cuts Concern founder-supporter Bill Kerry, in his capacity as Co-Director of the Equality Trust - corrects and comments upon Jenkins' column in published letter to The Guardian, Saturday 16 April. 

Simon Jenkins ('My advice for the happiness lobby? Start with drugs', 13 April) describes the authors of The Spirit Level as economists when, in fact, they are epidemiologists. He then follows this up by apparently suggesting that immigration and country size are factors worthy of equal consideration alongside income inequality as explanations for social dysfunction. These red herrings and many others have been dealt with by Wilkinson and Pickett in the additional chapter added to the latest edition of The Spirit Level. People can also read more about this on our website at

Simon Jenkins' full article can be found here and other readers' letters can be found here.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Kill Lansley's Bill

Tuesday 17 May 5.30pm
UCH, Gower St, WC1
(Euston/Euston Sq/Warren St) to Whitehall

To Keep Our NHS Public supporters in London
Three week countdown….
Opposition is growing every day
80,000 post cards for the March to Kill Lansley's Bill have now been dispatched round London – let us know if you need some. Postcard 
Most London boroughs were represented at last week’s organising meeting which made a battle plan to build the demonstration far and wide amongst health workers, other trade unionists, students and community groups across the city.

Friday, 8 April 2011 this week's News Shopper letters column - bully mayor and council officers' pay cut..?

In a quiet week for Bromley Cuts Concern in the  local media, a couple of submissions to the letters column of Bromley News Shopper, April 6th, have come to the attention of Bromley Against the Cuts supporter Paul S - who writes in a personal capacity 

I read two letters in the News Shopper 6 criticising Mayor George Taylor for being too strict, having people chucked out of a meeting just for seeking information. Having watched his performance when the budget was voted through, I'd say he does have problems. Maybe we can add to them. Also Rod Reed quotes from the council's website that  28 officers are on £100,000 plus. He quotes Cameron "cut pay and allowances before services". I think we at Bromley Cuts Concern can agree with David. If we are all in it together could we not demand that no council officer earns more than £ 50,000?

An E-edition of the News Shopper, including the letters column, can be read online here free of charge simply by signing up and logging in.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Philosophy Football's Big Night Out filmed!

Mark of Philosophy Football sent link to this minimovie. Mark writes, '...this one we made on the evening of 26 March on what next for the campaign. Could you run it on the Bromley against the Cuts blog? Hope you can, do send us the link if you do. Ta.'

TUC's Frances O'Grady, Unison's Heather Wakefield, comic Josie Long, and more on what 26 March meant to them...

Video funded by Philosophy Football, shot by Consequential Films on the evening of 26 March at the Big Night Out Philosophy Football organised for the TUC. Spoken word electronica pioneers Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip, comic Josie Long, Unison's Heather Wakefield, TUC Deputy General-Secretary Frances O'Grady and others contribute their views of the protest and what it means for the anti-cuts movement.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Dates for Bromley Cuts Concern Diary

Bromley Cuts Concern organising meetings at HG Wells Centre
Thurs 5th May at 7:30pm
Thurs 12th May at 7:30pm

Bromley Against the Cuts public meeting
Wed 25th May H G Wells Centre (Hall) -  7:30pm - speakers to be confirmed.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Unite, and other trade unionists speak out on March 26

'Cut Trident not public services and jobs'

Bromley Cuts Concern supporter Ann Garrett writes as secretary of Bromley and Beckenham CND
Several members of Bromley and Beckenham CND were on the Trade Union Council anti -cuts London march on March 26th from Embankment to Hyde Park. Their specific message was ' cut Trident not public services and jobs'. They joined over half a million people from many different organisations who are outraged at the way the Goverment cuts will affect large sections of communities and particularly the vulnerable.
 Over £1.5 billion  a year is spent on maintaining the British Trident nuclear submarine missile system.  This would pay for countless public amenities which are being axed, for extra nurses and teachers and other vital public sector jobs.