Tag Archive: spelthorne


Surrey University Student’s Meeting:
Save Our Services – Cuts In Surrey

26th October,
Student’s at the university invited Chris Leary from Save Our Services in Surrey to address its weekly meeting at the University.  

Around fifteen students and supporters attended the meeting. Markus, Society President, opened with a short speech about some of the concerns he and his fellow students have about the cuts.

“Universities are about to receive a 40% cut in funding across the board”, he told the meeting. “The funding for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Technology) subjects is to be ring fenced, so that the Arts and Social Sciences will no longer be publically funded, but will be paid for through fees alone. This represents a decisive break from the liberal education ethos of the Post War University system”.

“As a consequence Universities like surrey are already concentrating on recruiting non-EU students, who are charged higher fees, in order to make up the shortfall”.“The Lib Dems are beginning to distance themselves from the recommendations of the Browne Report, fearful of the backlash that is gaining momentum. Ministers are talking about raising the cap on fees to £12,000 instead of a total abolishment of the cap. Meanwhile, the Scottish government voted to keep education free earlier in the year”.

“The University’s Vice Chancellor is keeping quiet about the cuts that are about to take place in the University. However, two Sociology lecturers have already been threatened with redundancy, with minimum redundancy payments, unless they take early retirement”.

“The head of the Law Dept. has been forced to take a sabbatical and her vacant post integrated into the Hotel and Catering Management Dept. Another lecturer was sacked on the flimsy pretext that a letter of complaint she wrote was insulting. Meanwhile, the School of Law has been integrated with the school of Management and is now called The School of Law and Management”. These moves represent “cuts by the back door” Markus told the meeting.

After a screening of some short films, showing how students around the country are resisting the cuts, Chris Leary from Save Our Services in Surrey addressed the meeting. He said “Social Services in Surrey are going to be hit hard by the Comprehensive Spending Review”(CSR).

“A report published by credit analysts, Experian says that Guildford is the eighth best placed borough to cope with public service cuts. However there are many pockets of poverty in Surrey”, Chris said. “Spelthorne, a borough in North Surrey was estimated by the report to be seventieth on the table”.

“For example Esher, a small town in the centre of Surrey, is divided by the railway that runs through the town. There is a ten year differential in life expectancy between the two halves of the town. Surrey is not all stockbrokers” said Paul.

“Surrey needs its public services to survive”, continued Paul. “And Council workers spend their money in the local economy, unlike Surrey’s stockbrokers, who stash their money in off shore accounts. Once the public sector redundancies start, the whole economy will suffer”.

“500 Local civil service jobs are due to go as town centre offices are closed. The job Centre is also due to be cut, just when unemployment is rising in the area. Funding for the National Tax Office in Woking is to be slashed, whilst corporations get away with massive tax evasion”.

“Vodafone for example, has recently had a six billion tax bill written off because the government claims it doesn’t have the resources to pursue the company through the courts”.

“The axe has already fallen in Surrey before the CSR was published. Surrey’s primary schools have been urged to become academies thus removing the council’s responsibility for primary education. Thirty Connexions careers and guidance centres are to be closed in Surrey, leaving only two centres for the whole of Surrey. The Council’s policy is cease providing all services that it is not required to provide by law. This includes bus subsidies and youth centres”.

“Road building projects have been scrapped. The Guildford town centre Council offices, employing 2000 staff is set to close. Community Support offices in Frimley, Farnham, and Staines are going to close. Family support and social workers’ funding is going to be scrapped”.

“A third of the Local Government and Communities budget is going to be slashed. Meanwhile Surrey Council has received the lowest Ofsted rating for its services- and the council’s response?..To discuss suing Ofsted for lying!..You couldn’t make it up! But the real reason for the lack of proper services is of course a lack of funding”.

“These cuts are ideological and politically motivated. The national debt is not historically high as the government would have us believe. It now stands at 48% of GDP. However, for most of the 20th century the debt has been over 100% of GDP. Five years ago the debt stood at 38% of GDP, so when the government claims that New Labour has massively increased the debt and led us into this impasse, they are lying”.

“The debt is not a problem. The government could easily restructure the debt in order to pay it over a longer time if it chose. A 0.05% tax on speculative financial transactions, the so-called Robin Hood Tax, could net the country 30 billion a year, halving the deficit”.

“David Cameron, speaking on Radio 4 two weeks ago was asked if he was going to reverse the spending cuts once the deficit had been repaid- and of course, he said no”.

However Chris told us, “These cuts can be defeated. We have already had successes. Brooklands College when threatened by closure drew a huge reaction from the local community. A campaign spearheaded by Save Our Services in Surrey brought together staff, parents and students and forced the council to save the college”. “Shortwood School in Staines was saved through a mobilisation of the entire community”.

 “We need to link up all local struggles to save services. These cuts are a unified attack and they require a single unified response”. In the ‘90s we saw the defeat of the Poll Tax by the whole community coming together and refusing to comply. This is the response we need now”. Already we see ministers starting to backtrack on Child Benefit and University fees.

Redhill Coalition Against Cuts Meeting:
7pm on Tuesday 2nd November @ The Garlands, Brighton Road, Redhill.

North Sussex And East Surrey Anti Cuts Coalition Meeting:
8pm on Tuesday 2nd November @ St John Church Hall, in the Broadway, Crawley

(Sponsored by North Sussex and East Surrey Trades Union Council)

Join Save Our Services in Surrey on Facebook
Join Guildford Against Fees And Cuts on Facebook
Botom-Of-Post - Protest

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Rumours of Anne Milton’s Tory Sleaze Continue! 

Yesterday we put out the call for some local Tory sleaze. “If you have some dirt on Anne Milton share it with us” we said. – “We will always post it and we never give away our sources”.   

Since then The Voice of Anti-Capitalism HQ, has been receiving a trickle of tit bits about the conduct of our local Tory adminstration. We’ve had reports of a Tory slander campaign against Anne Milton’s opposition, unethical electioneering practices, and accusations of the bullying of Anne Milton’s rivals. Follow the link for the full story:
https://suacs.wordpress.com/2010/04/19/tories-in-surrey-tory-sleaze-theyre-the-same-everywhere/

We’ve learnt that Anne Milton’s Tory team have even made repeated nuisance phone calls to the work places of Anne Milton’s opponents. 

Today We’ve received the vid, embedded below from an anonymous ‘fighter for truth and justice’. Or more likely – a local malcontent, just as right-wing and dodgy as Anne Milton herself

However all donations are gratefully received. We liked the Vid and hope you do too.

If you have any dirt on Anne Milton – Give it up, don’t be Shy
And remember Only the Lib Dems can keep the Tories out.

For More updates join our Guildford Against Fees And Cuts Facebook page.

Or for more stories of miss deeds:

Visit Surrey Tories:
http://surreytories.wordpress.com/2006/01/04/guildford-mp-awol/
Visit Bloggerheads:
http://www.bloggerheads.com/anne_milton/labels/royal%20surrey.html

Message of peace (lol)

 Tory Cuts Will Lead To Recession  And Spiralling Unemployment!!

Yahoo News reported today that more than 50 leading economists have issued a warning that Tory plans for cuts will push the economy back into recession. 

Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph said 58 economists from around the world had signed a letter warning the recovery remained “fragile” and “rash action” could lead to spiralling job losses.

The Tory paper, which claimed it had obtained a leaked copy of the letter, said the signatories included such Tory academic economists as Lord Layard, Lord Skidelsky, Lord Peston and Sir David Hendry. The disclosure comes after the first week of the General Election campaign was dominated by declarations of support for the Tory plan by business leaders.

In their letter, the economists said that while the Tories described their proposed £6 billion cut as “efficiency savings”, in economic terms it was “just a cut by another name”. They said: “It will lead directly to job losses and indirectly to further falls in spending.  With the recovery still delicate we will tip back into recession – with much larger job consequences.”

Here in Guildford there is only one choice, as the bar chart below indicates. It is between the Liberal Party and the Tories. Many may say that there is no difference between them. Both parties will make cuts, both parties will attack living standards and neither party represents normal working people.

Whilst this may be true – a Conservative government is the very worst case scenario for the normal working majority of the country. A hung parliament  is better than a Tory government, A Labour majority is better than a Tory government. The three main parties may all be the same, but for those of us that remember the Tory years – We know we have to keep them out at all costs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Million Unemployed, Riots in all Major Cities, Poll Tax, Destruction of Industries, Break-up of Communities, Minors Strike, Steel Workers Strike, Argentine War, High Crime Levels, Unsafe Cities.

Here in Guildford, it may only be one seat in the parliament – But why give that seat to the Tories by not voting, or by voting for the Greens or by making a “protest” and giving your vote to some kind of quasi religious sentiment.

We all want Peace – But we won’t get it by voting for the Peace Party and letting the Tories win here.

 Surrey’s Tory Council Prepares To Cut The Fire and Rescue Service

“Councillors say they are ‘trimming the fat’. However, the fat went years ago and they have been gnawing on the bones ever since”. Richard Jones.

When Richard Jones addressed a “Save Our Services in Surrey” lobby of Surrey County Council, Kingston Town Hall on March 23rd, the Surrey Fire Brigade Union (FBU) branch secretary painted a picture of crisis in Surrey’s rescue services. He said: “We’ve reached a point where fire crews are turning up at emergencies and having to tell the public that they cannot make a rescue because they have to wait for more staff to turn up. These cuts put lives at risk. We turn up to incidents without enough crew and have to wait for back up before we can safely enter the building. Fire fighters are going in understaffed and risking their lives. The public is in danger, fire-fighters are in danger, enough is enough!”

He continued: “If the Council’s cuts go through, Surrey will be spending less per head of the population on fire services than any county in Britain. It will mean the loss of fire engines and station closures. It’s life or death in the fire services and if these cuts continue the Grim Reaper will be taking up residence in Surrey.”

Richared Jones was quoted in the Woking News & Mail yesterday as saying: “The council have said it is making cuts to Surrey Fire and Rescue because there had been a reducution in funds from the government”. However Richard continued, he could see no cuts that had been made by the government, and accused the council of “making reductions to enable lower council tax bills, in order to gain votes in elections in the coming years”.

The Tory Council is considering several cuts packages, including stopping day-time retained day cover and reducing the number of night time fire engines in service. Many of the smaller towns in surrey have a retained fire service, where fire crews are called in to the station from home when there is a fire. Any further reducions in these services will greatly lengthen response times and cost lives. These cuts are being made from council set budgets and are going to cause great damage to the fire service.

In his Woking News & Mail interview, Richard Jones said: “The cuts would only amount to an average of two pence per week for an average council tax paying household”. These cuts have already begun, with the fire service already loosing half a million pounds from its budget.  

The interview took place following the Woking News & Mail’s freedom of information request, which revealed Woking area fire crews have been called to 384 night time incidents in the past twelve months. 

The Tory Council is using the recession as a smoke screen for its own political agenda. Up and down the country the recession is being as an excuse to attack working conditions, pay and services.

The government blamed the recession when it announced their plans (now scrapped) to privatise the post office. Many universities have used the real cuts in education funding to hide large scale cuts of their own, desisgned to re-orientate the focus of the entire education system. The same tactic is being used by bosses in the rail industry and across the public sector.

 However, time and again, local people have shown that when they stand together in anti-cuts groups, local coalitions or ‘committees of action’ they are able to defeat plans to cut services. The government has baulked at privatising  the posal service; the campaigns against cuts in education have met with etraordinary successes everywhere.- And here in Surrey, Brooklands College was recently saved after a huge campaign by staff, students, and the whole community.

Remember public services when you vote May 6th.

Civilian Death Toll In Iraq:
Video Footage Of A Civilian Massacre

Last month we had a think about the Iraqi and Afghani wars. According to the Stop The War Coalition newsletter, 8.5 billion as been spent so far on the Iraq war, whilst 12.5 billion has been poured into the Afghanistan occupation. We calculated this was the equivalent of £342. per UK citizen, A cheap holiday for each of us. https://suacs.wordpress.com/2010/03/05/stop-the-war-coalition-march-newsletter/ 

We asked our F/b group http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=148659678647&ref=ts "What would you do with your £342?" We then investigated the human cost of the conflicts. After extensive research, we came to the conclusion that there were no reliable casualty figures for the Afghanistan war. There simply hasn't been the research.

With Iraq however, there has been several reliable studies with peer-reviewed results and transparent, published methodologies. One study was conducted by Harvard University and was published in the Lancet, the British Medical Association journal. Another was conducted by the University of Austin, Texas. We discovered two other studies with equally impeccable standards and lack of bias. All the studies came to the same shocking conclusion. The Iraq war had claimed the lives of 1:18 of the population, with, according to the UN, 1:5 of the survivors now 'displaced persons'. That's more than Pol Pot's death toll in Cambodia. It's more than Ide Armin's in 1970's Uganda. Its greater than the Ruwandan massacres of 1994.- And remember all these studies are at least a year old.  https://suacs.wordpress.com/2010/03/06/civilian-death-toll-in-iraq-and-afghanistan/  

WikiLeaks is an organisation that obtains secret information from governments around the world in order to publish it in the peoples' interest. Today it has released a classified US military video depicting the indiscriminate slaying of over a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad- including two Reuters news staff. Reuters has been trying to obtain the video through the Freedom of Information Act, without success since the time of the attack. The video, shot from an Apache helicopter gun-site, clearly shows the unprovoked slaying of a wounded Reuters employee and his rescuers. Two young children involved in the rescue were also seriously wounded. The video is embedded below.

For related videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rXPrfnU3G0&feature=player_embedded#

“Councillors say they are ‘trimming the fat’. However, the fat went years ago and they have been gnawing on the bones ever since”.

 Cuts and closures are already being felt in Surrey, which people usually see as a place of leafy suburbs and stockbrokers. However the county’s less well-known trade union struggles and local, grassroots campaigns are beginning to fight back.

Across Surrey, people are mobilising against the cuts. Brooklands College was saved after a huge local campaign by staff, students, parents and local people. Parents, governors and staff at Shortwood School turned out in their hundreds at public meetings. They organised street stalls and collected a petition of over 1,000 signatures in a campaign to save their school. Working peoples’ creativity and organising ability has shocked the local council.

March 15th saw the launch of  the Save Our Services in Surrey (SOSiS) campaign, sponsored by Surrey Unison. The campaign will coordinate anti-cuts activity, support local campaigns, and bring local trade unionists together to defend jobs and services.

Paul Couchman, Tusc Parliamentary Candidate for Spelthorne, West Surrey and founder of Save Our Services in Surrey said at the launch rally: ”We face threats to close Shortwood infant school in Staines, threats to hundreds of essential bus services, a ‘review’ of fire services with a clear intent to reduce the number of fire stations -and swingeing cuts to community hospital services. -And this is before the county council’s £180 million cuts package over the next few years.”

Paul Couchman is also the secretary of the Surrey County Council Trade Unions (SCCTU), representing all trade unions within the council. They have formally affiliated to the campaign. Speaking at a joint SOSiS and SCCTU lobby of Surrey Council, at Kingston Town Hall on 23rd March, Paul said: “Public sector workers and local communities who need public services, will be asking who to vote for in this year’s general election. Most trades unionists already see that New Labour no longer represents working class people and that whoever wins, the next government will take the axe to public services.”

Richard Jones, Surrey FBU branch secretary spoke at the lobby. He said: “We’ve reached a point where fire crews are turning up at emergencies and having to tell the public that they cannot make a rescue because they have to wait for more staff to turn up. These cuts put lives at risk. We turn up to incidents without enough crew and have to wait for back-up before we can safely enter the building. Fire-fighters are going in understaffed and risking their lives. The public is in danger, fire-fighters are in danger, enough is enough!”

Richard Jones continued: “If these cuts go through, Surrey will be spending less per head of the population on fire services than any county in Britain. It will mean the loss of fire engines and station closures. It’s life or death in the fire services and if these cuts continue the Grim Reaper will be taking up residence in Surrey.”

After the lobby, Paul Couchman told the rally: “We’ve sent a message to the councillors that our public services are vital and we won’t tolerate cuts to them. The politicians spent billions bailing out the bankers, and they want us to pay the price. The local hospital has lost most of its wards including the A&E Dpt, local fire stations face the axe and bus routes are being slashed.”

Paul is Chairman of the Elmbridge Care Homes Campaign. Reffering to the Campaign he said: “We have decided to draw a ‘line in the sand’ and say no more sell-offs. We are fighting to preserve the excellent services provided by the care homes”.
Paul explained the importance of working class people having a political voice, now that New Labour has joined the Tories in cutting and privatising public services. “Its necessary to fight together, trade unions and the community, to maximise the pressure on politicians and councils to fully fund public services.”

Alan Greenspan, head of the US federal reserve during the boom years – once treated as a god by capitalists and now reviled as being responsible for the crisis – recently excused his role by saying: “Unless there is a societal choice to abandon dynamic markets and leverage for some sort of central planning, I fear that preventing bubbles will in the end turn out to be unfeasible. Assuaging their aftermath seems to be the best we can hope for.”

Greenspan is right, capitalism, an unplanned blind system driven by profit and not by social need, will always have periods of crisis like at present. Anxious to restore their profits, the capitalists’ way out of the crisis will always be to try to trample working class people a bit further into the dirt.  All of the things won through struggle – are under attack. The NHS, education – the list is considerable,  The crisis is being used to unravel and dismantle all of those social gains. We’re told that poverty must now increase and that we should meekly accept the growing gap between the richest and the poorest in society. However the public are not fooled.

A Mori survey in the FT showed the public was utterly unconvinced of the need for cuts. Only a quarter believed there’s a need to cut services to reduce the national debt. 50% don’t think cuts are necessary at all -and 48% think more, rather than less, should be spent on public expenditure. The recession is the result of massive market failure. It’s entirely technically and financially feasible to create at least a million new jobs, by investing in insulating homes and public buildings, investing in renewables, through a sustainable publicly run transport system, and utilising the skills and know-how in society for socially useful production. None of this will happen if we leave it to the market.

     http://paulcouchman.com/
     www.ourhomesoursay.org.uk
     http://www.saveourservic.es/
     http://www.surreycountyunison.org.uk/

 
Join Save Our Services in Surrey F/b Group:
http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=194817448458&ref=ts  
Join Guildford Against Fees And Cuts F/b Page:
http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Guildford-Against-Fees-Cuts/167151436659040

A vote for Tusc is a  message to the Labour party that it doesn’t represent our interests.
A vote for Tusc is a demand for a new independent party to represent ordinary working people.

A short video of the Tusc launch rally last month.


Join Guildford Against Fees And Cuts on Facebook

 Well its unbelievable – But we’ve had this blog for six months!

Check out our Blog Stats for the first six months.

Hot topics of the month:
Sussex University Student Occupation 2010

https://suacs.wordpress.com/2010/03/15/sussex-university-student-occupation-2010-the-full-story/

Bolton Town Hall Lobbys Home Secretary
https://suacs.wordpress.com/2010/03/10/bolton-town-hall-lobbys-home-secretary-to-ban-edl-rally-later-this-month/

Time For An Anti-fascist Defence League
https://suacs.wordpress.com/2010/03/20/time-for-an-anti-fascist-defence-league/


Hot Weeks:
Week 47
Spotlight On Committees Of Action

https://suacs.wordpress.com/2009/11/19/103/

Week 12
Bolton Town Hall Lobbys Home Secretary To Ban EDL

https://suacs.wordpress.com/2010/03/10/bolton-town-hall-lobbys-home-secretary-to-ban-edl-rally-later-this-month/

Week 13
Spotlight On The Budget

https://suacs.wordpress.com/2010/03/25/spotlight-on-the-budget/