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Friday, 28 January 2011

Fight to save our public services

Join the fight to save our public services such as:

Caversham children's centre
Play centres
Housing benefit
District housing offices
Elderly services

This public meeting will be held at the Kentish Town Area
Tue 8th Feb 7PM
Peckwater Estate Tenants Hall, Islip St, NW5


Employment Advice Day

Free event and open to all

Friday 25th Feb, 10AM-5PM at Kingsgate Community Centre, 107 Kingsgate Road, NW6 2JH

Workshops will cover the following areas:

Online job hunting, How to get your desired job, How to become self employed, Advice on volunteering, Advice on using the services at the JCP and psychometric tests to identify each individual's career path.

Places for the workshops are limited so please hurry and register before they are all booked. To do so please call the centre on 02073289480 or email Magdalena on mdabrowska3@gmail.com

Good luck

Monday, 24 January 2011

Support grows for Tenants

Angry tenants are building a big national protest on 15th Feb at Government attacks on secure tenancies, rents and housing benefit.
Fifty tenants from Leeds, others from Manchester, Sheffield, Scarborough, Cambridge, Harlow, Welwyn Hatfield, and all parts of London are already signed up for a day of protest with a mass lobby and rally at Westminster.
Anger at Government's attacks on tenants intensified when the Localism Bill had its second reading last week, before consultation on its controversial proposals had closed. DCH response to proposals for fixed term tenancies and means testing for future council tenants, condemns the sham Consultation and exposes the false promise of protection for existing council tenants, which the Bill does not deliver.
See a round up of other responses and send us your organisation's response. What you can do
Pass a resolution to support 15th Feb lobby
Contact tenants, trade unions, and councillors for a joint delegation to Parliament on 15th Feb
Contact your MP and arrange to meet them at the rally or at Parliament
Organise a local meeting and call on local Councils to oppose fixed term tenancies and 80% market rents and any evictions due to housing benefit cuts.

A press release issued by our local MP

Please see below a press release issued by Hampstead & Kilburn MP Glenda Jackson.


Glenda Jackson, Labour Member of Parliament for Hampstead & Kilburn, today slammed local government cuts as an attempt to destroy the welfare state through the back door.

Glenda said:

“ Councils provide many of the frontline services we all rely on, and protect some of the most vulnerable in our community. The latest cuts to their budgets are of such a scale, they have no choice but to stop providing some services altogether.

Up and down the country, Councils of all political colours are having to make cuts and increase charges to balance the books, and as usual it will be the most vulnerable – children and the elderly; the disabled and mentally ill – who will suffer most. These cuts are an attack on our community.”

Claims by government ministers that local government cuts are designed to reduce waste have also been rejected as a smokescreen by Ms Jackson.

“Ministers are playing a blame game, trying to argue these cuts are about executive pay or backroom efficiency, but the sums don’t add up.

The Borough of Brent which forms part of my constituency faces cuts of £37million next year alone. They could fire every senior manager in the Council and only save a fraction of that amount. It’s obvious these cuts are about dismantling the welfare state.

Ministers should stop trying to mislead the public, and come clean about their right-wing agenda.”

Cuts 'make a mockery' of Cameron's sympathy for disabled

Cuts 'make a mockery' of Cameron's sympathy for disabled


Defend Council Housing

Mass lobby to Stop attacks on tenants

Join the mass lobby of Parliament 15 Feb 12-4pm Central Hall Westminster - circulate leaflet and organise a local delegation to tell MPs 'Hands off our homes and our rights'.
A new DCH briefing publicises the 15 Feb lobby and outlines latest Government financial reforms, and attacks on secure tenancies. Use the new Briefing to make sure your organisation responds to Government proposals by 17 January.
Councils should be consulting on a 6.8% rent rise - which is well above inflation, and will increase Government robbery from rents to around £2 billion a year. Argue for tenants and councillors to oppose attacks on secure tenancies and means testing: demand your Council supports a joint campaign and rejects fixed term tenancies and housing benefit evictions.

A phony revolution within the NHS

Lansley reforms are a 'phony revolution'


What is next?

This government is even selling our forests, what is next? The air that we breathe?


Monday, 10 January 2011

Press attention for our demo

Our pre christmas demonstartion against Jobseekers Allowance "Sanctions" made the Kilburn Times. Thanks to Glenn McMahon for an excellent and accurate write up:

Kilburn unemployed fightback
Glenn McMahon, Reporter
Sunday, 26 December, 2010
12:31 PM

English Karate champion kicked off JSA despite looking for work

A GROUP of unemployed workers braved freezing conditions to demonstrate outside a job centre they accuse of unfairly stopping their benefits.

Members of the Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group say the sanctions have left members unable to pay for food or bills and at risk of losing their home.

John Tymon, chair of KUWG, said claimants are being treated worse than criminals who are assured hot food and a roof over their head while in jail.

Mr Tymon said: “I have been shocked to here jobseekers saying they would be better off in jail, even in this weather. But in jail people get three hot meals a day, a warm room and bed, hot water to bathe, television and other activities.”

He also warned that people could be forced into crime just to eat, something magistrates look sympathetically upon, he said.

Hatem Aly, from Kilburn, a karate instructor who represented England in the world Karate championships, had his benefits stopped without reason by an advisor at Kilburn Jobcentreplus, in Cambridge Avenue, Kiburn, despite applying for dozens of jobs, taking courses and being a finalist in an entrepreneurs’ competition.

He said: “I was sanctioned for no reason. They never even contacted me, I found out when I saw I had no money in the bank.

“I am looking for jobs every day, go to interviews and do voluntary work so I was shocked and surprised when they sanctioned me.

“They are supposed to help people get work but they don’t. I’m looking for teaching jobs now. I’m just waiting for a CRB check to work at Brent Homeless Users Group.

“I just couldn’t believe the way they treated me; if they only knew.”

Mr Aly, who is a black belt fifth dan Karate expert, said he had to wait two weeks for a hardship loan.

Benefit advisors subsequently told him to apply for a crisis loan which he learned is not available to sanctioned claimants.

After appealing the decision, Mr Aly was told the reason for his sanction he had not been actively looking for work.

Mr Tymon said he suspects job centre advisors are being put under pressure to sanction claimants as the government looks to cut its welfare bill.

A Department and Pensions spokeswoman denied there were any targets however she refused to say what the government’s guidelines were on how people should survive if they are unexpectedly kicked off benefits.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

2011 Will be horrible say TUC

This recent TUC press release more or less sums up the dire situation:

“2011 is going to be a horrible year.

Unemployment will increase as thousands of public servants get made redundant. Just as many – if not more – private sector jobs will go, both as a direct result of the cuts and through the knock-on effects of reduced economic activity.

Benefit cuts will kick in, and thousands of some of the poorest and most vulnerable people will see real cuts in their living standards.

It's hard to pick out the unkindest cut of all, but a top contender must be the ten per cent cut in housing benefit that kicks in after someone has been unemployed for more than a year.

With long term unemployment already rising sharply, the government cannot get away with labelling the long-term unemployed as scroungers when there are more than five jobless chasing every vacancy"

Great Poster from UKUncut

Thanks to Kings Lynn Trades Council for forwarding this great poster from UKUncut.

Pics from recent demos

Here's some recent pics from demos outside Neasden and Kilburn Jobcentre to protest unfair Employment and Support Allowance decisions, which deny sick people the money they are entitled to and "sanctions" of Jobseekers Allowance, where claimants have their money stopped or reduced for allegedly not doing enough to look for work.

These issues make up the vast majority of our personal cases and cause no end of heart ache to our members.

Although both issues might look like personal problems: the number of times they occur points to systematic problems in the administartion of these benefits.

This is why we at Kilburn Unemployed Workers believe in fighting them as a collective problem, with public demonstrations and publicity!