#SavetheWhittington Update

May 29, 2013

The 18 May demo was a great success. We had a fabulous turnout at the Whittington, where about 30 of us – residents and staff met and traveled together on the tube. The total turnout was about 7,000. Great in one way, but I guess I am disappointed that not more people realise what is happening to their health services. So I think our challenge is an information one as well as an activist one!

Future Events

On Thursday 30 May at 7.00 , the North London People’s Assembly Against Austerity will be holding a meeting in the hall above 12 Pins pub in Finsbury Park.

Planning Meeting, 3 June

Next Monday 3 June, we will be holding our Planning Meeting as usual at ArchwayMethodist Church, 7-9pm (downstairs back room). All welcome. Do come along and share your ideas about the campaign and what we can do to save our services at the Whittington.

We had been planning to hold a joint meeting with the board of the Whittington Hospital to find out their latest plans and to remind them of our opposition to any sell-off. Unfortunately the Chair of the Board, Joe Liddane, is insisting that this meeting is run by  them, chaired by them, and with breakout groups. We feel this to be inappropriate. We are therefore hoping that they will change their minds about the meeting’s format so that we can have some sort of effective engagement. We do not want this to be an opportunity for the Board to tick their consultation box, while at the same time they coerce us into believing their plans will be good for the hospital. If cuts and privatisation are involved, that cannot be good for us and our Hospital.

We are really concerned about the role of the consultants, Ernst and Young, that they have employed to help with their application. This is a company where Joe Liddane used to work. It is a non-NHS company, so large sums of our money for health will be going into private hands. Why were they employed, who decided that they should be employed, what was was the selection process like?

HUNT for HUNT Saturday 15 June

Organised by SaveLewishamHospital Campaign
No to the closure of vital A&E services
No to NHS privatisation through the Health and Social Care Act 2012
Local hospitals for local people


Four coaches will be departing from across London:

  • 2 coaches from Lewisham for the Lewisham campaign
  • 1 coach from North London, including Unite members, WhittingtonHospital(?) and KingGeorgeHospital campaigns.
  • Assemble 8.15 at Unite Offices 218 Green Lanes N4 2HB
  • 1 coach from West London, including Hammersmith and Charing Cross, Ealing, Kingston, Central Middlesex campaign

Seats cost £5 which is refundable on the day to the unwaged, those of pension age and those with registered disabled use.  If you want tickets please email us at dwhc to let us know and email  huntforhunt2013@gmail.com .

Coaches will rendezvous at London at 11am at Fleet Services on the M3 and expert to arrive together in Farnham, South West Surrey by noon.

The day will consist of:

  • 12.30 – 2.30:  Door-to-door canvassing / handing out informational flyers, branded ‘Save our NHS’ balloons and ‘Save our NHS’ / ‘NHS not for sale’ car stickers. We will also get people to sign petitions against the destruction of the NHS (these petitions state: We, the undersigned, call on the Government to: 1) Stop of closure of local hospitals and local hospital services; 2) Stop the privatisation fo the NHS through the Health and Social Care Act 2012; 3) Ensure that all local people have convenient access to local hospital services). At the same time, there will be a street theatre performance by Goldsmith’s students in the high street.
  • Between 3pm-4pm, there will be a demonstration outside the local Conservative Party office, and we aim to depart for London at 4.30pm.

Saturday 29 June – Lewisham People’s Commission of Enquiry

Save LewishamHospital campaign are also organising a People’s Commission of Enquiry on 29th June. DWHC has had a strong message of support for our campaign from the human rights lawyer Michael Mansfield, who will be chairing the Enquiry and has asked that anyone involved in the fight for our NHS attends the People’s Commission to show support, you can find more details here:

A Judicial Review will be held in the High Court the following week. The Review is in urgent need of donations to their legal fund, there are details on the link of how you can donate.

Many thanks for your continued support

Shirley Franklin, Chair, Defend the WhittingtonHospital Coalition,


Facebook Pages: Defend Whittington Hospital Coalition, https://www.facebook.com/groups/243554475615/

Please sign the petition to stop the WhittingtonHospital Sell-off!


Save Clerkenwell in #Islington

May 26, 2013

Clerkenwell Fire Station is threatened with closure by Boris Johnson. Yet, Clerkenwell is one of London’s busiest stations and is NOT the ninth busiest as some misleading stats imply. Altogether, he wants to close 12 fire stations, remove 18 engines and slash 520 firefighter jobs.

Save #Islington’s #fire stations

May 25, 2013
  • London Fire Brigade meeting on 28 May, 7-9pm at Islington Assembly Hall, Upper Street
  • From 6.30pm, give out leaflets for the 8 June march

Boris Johnson the Tory mayor of London is about to close two of your local fire stations – Clerkenwell and Kingsland – making your lives in Islington a lot less safe. His cuts are based purely on cutting costs, not on risk or protecting the fire safety of local residents.

Response times of fire appliances to fires in Clerkenwell Ward will increase by over 2 minutes if Clerkenwell fire station closes. And with more high rise living these days – response times are to the fire location at street level – the actual time it takes to reach a fire above ground level will be even longer.

Johnson is not listening to Londoners or their elected London representatives, who would not agree to his cuts. But he is ploughing on regardless, potentially placing the lives of Islington residents in grave danger.

We therefore need to get out onto the streets and tell Johnson we are not having it. You can do this by speaking out against Johnson’s plans at the London Fire Brigade meeting on Tuesday, 28 May, 7-9pm at Islington Assembly Hall, Upper Street, Islington N1 2UD.

And also by joining our local campaign March and Rally against these Fire Service cuts on Saturday 8 June, assembling at 12 noon in the tennis courts at the northern section of Highbury Fields. At the end of the March there will be a Rally in Spa Fields, Clerkenwell, at around 2.30pm. Please join us to fight for your fire safety in Islington.

Gary Heather

#Londoners #protest to save their #NHS

May 20, 2013

Thousands of people marched from Waterloo to Downing Street on 18 May to protest closures and privisation of London’s health service.

Defend London NHS brought together local anti-closure campaigns that including IHOOPS and Defend Whittington Hospital Coalition. Other Islington groups included: the Trades Council, NUT, Islington North Labour Party and the BMA’s Islington division.

PIC IHOOPS, Defend London NHS, DWHC protest, 13-05-18

Defend Whittington on the march

Some other campaigns and organisations included hospital campaigns in Lewisham and Lambeth, Hammersmith Charing Cross, Keep our NHS Public, Unite the union, RMT, Coalition of Resistance, Unison’s University College Hospital, Green Party, Royal College of Nursing, GMB, Hackney North Labour Party, National Health Action, Socialist Party, and North East London Council of Action.

PIC IHOOPS, London NHS demo, start, 13-05-18

People gather near the South Bank

At a rally on Whitehall, keynote speaker, Unite’s regional secretary, Peter Kavanagh, called on people to use civil disobedience to defend the NHS.

He said: “It took civil disobedience to end apartheid. It took civil disobedience for women to get the vote.”

He also pointed out the greed of some Parliamentarians who voted for first reading of the ConDem’s Health and Social Care bill last month. He said that 140 members of the House of Lords who voted for the bill were shareholders in companies that will benefit from it if it becomes law.

Another speaker, Hammersmith MP, Andy Slaughter, said that Ealing Council has applied for a judicial review on the proposed closure of four Accident and Emergency units in Charing Cross, Central Middlesex, Hammersmith and Ealing hospitals.

Islington MP, Jeremy Corbyn called for the scrapping of PFI and privatization in the NHS. He also called on people to campaign against government proposals for mental health services.

PIC IHOOPS, Defend London NHS, Corbyn, 13-05-18

Islington MP, Jeremy Corbyn and Unite’s Peter Kavanagh

London Assembly member for the Green Party, Darren Johnson, told the audience that Boris Johnson was heckled for two hours for his support of the proposed closure of LewishamHospital when he took part in a People’s Question Time in Catford in March.

#SaveTheWhittington Update – Defend London’s NHS March, 18 May

May 16, 2013
  • Assemble with Defend Whittington Hospital Coalition, 11am at the hospital on Saturday

All London Hospitals March Saturday 18th May
Saturday is nearly upon us – the day of the All London March to Save the NHS. We are supporting this demo since it is an opportunity for people across London to show their concerns and anger at the privatisation and cuts – in various ways- to hospital services across. London. A cut in one hospital impacts on hospital provision for us all. And there is a variety of horrible cuts proposed across London, including a total lack of spare mental health beds within the M25 area.
Please join our feeder march to the demo (via the tubes, of course!).
We are meeting outside the Whittington Hospital at 11.00 sharp, on Saturday morning. Do join us, so we can march together behind our banner
More details about the march and how you can help, such as stewarding which is still needed, can be found below. And a songsheet is attached for use during the march.

Meeting with Hospital Board
We are arranging to meet with the Board of the Hospital for them to update us with their latest plans and to answer our questions – see attached. We would like as many staff and residents there as possible. The date and time is proving difficult as the Board want this before the end if this month, when our local MPs are not free. So we are negotiating times and dates, and will keep you posted. Given the current reportedly intimidating climate for some staff at the Hospital, we have requested that no member of staff should be intimidated of victimised for attendance or for speaking at this meeting.

Next Planning Meeting
Please join us at 7.00 pm on Monday 20th May at Archway Methodist Hall, Archway Close, so that you can listen to our plans and have your say about what you think we should be doing next. There is another Board meeting on Wednesday 22nd and Hospital Open Day events. We should discuss how these have gone and whether or not we should be present.

Our Website
Our website – www.dwhc.org.uk <http://www.dwhc.org.uk/>  – has been fabulously updated. Do have a look. And do make a comment on several of the pages that might interest you. Big thanks to Tony Marshall for his work on and commitment to it,
We look forward to seeing you on Saturday

Shirley Franklin, Chair , Defend the Whittington Hospital Coalition, www.dwhc.org.uk <http://www.dwhc.org.uk/>


Facebook Pages
Defend Whittington Hospital Coalition:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/243554475615/

Please sign the petition to stop the Whittington Hospital Sell-off!


Concert Hall Approach (
 Belvedere Road) Waterloo
Map http://goo.gl/maps/Lg6MT

Rally in Whitehall 2pm

Web  http://defendlondonsnhs.wordpress.com/
facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/121307804726666/146302312227215/?ref=notif&notif_t=plan_mall_activity




The march route is all on roads and is wheel chair accessible. We estimate it will take about an hour.
There are a restricted number of seats on a campaign bus (which is not wheel chair accessible) for those who cannot walk the full route – please book these with us in advance.

You can download black and white leaflets and posters here:
A5 Leaflet  http://defendlondonsnhs.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/18_may_bw-a5-updated-pdf.pdf
A3 Poster  http://defendlondonsnhs.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/18_may_poster_bw.pdf

If you or your group can volunteer as stewards please let us know as soon as possible or contact Anne on 07854 467373
Please can stewards meet at 10:30am at Concert Hall Approach SE1

If you could help make placards on Wednesday or Thursday 15/16 May at 2.30pm or 6.30pm contact 07854 467373 for address.

Can you get your local papers to cover the demonstration?
Do you have any local patients or others who it would be good to include in a London press release?
A press release will be uploaded to the web site soon that you can use here: http://defendlondonsnhs.wordpress.com/60-2/

This demonstration has cost thousands of pounds so all donations welcome.
Please send cheques to London Keep Our NHS Public c/o 32 Savernake Road, NW3 2JP


More information from http://www.keepournhspublic.com <http://www.keepournhspublic.com/>
To unsubscribe please email LondonKeepOurNHSPublic@gmail.com

#Islington #anti-cuts campaigns need to revive Poll Tax struggles

May 10, 2013
  •  London-wide benefits cuts federation needed
  • 21% in lowest income bracket has 39% of cuts

More people are needed to challenge the government’s bedroom tax and housing benefit cap, a meeting heard recently.

Speakers and audience members said the 1980s Poll Tax campaign was a good example for today because it stopped the tax and deposed Prime Minister Thatcher.

Calls for more campaigning were heard at IHOOPS’ second bedroom tax meeting held at St Luke’s Community Centre, Finsbury on 7 May.

Campaign where people congregate

Rob Murthwaite speaking for Disabled People Against Cuts said that meetings like this created the Poll Tax campaign. He said: “We need to connect a local group with IHOOPS. We can build a national federation and we can stop the cuts.”

PCS organizer, Tony Reay highlighted the movement in the south of London. Campaigners built relationship with local groups such as tenants associations, pensioner forums and even Millwall Football Club.

He said: “We didn’t get 25,000 people to go on the Save the Lewisham Hospital march overnight. Wherever people, congregate you need to get a speaker there.”

The issue of public involvement in the bedroom tax campaign was raised by the audience. An audience member said she was concerned that people in Islington were not attending public meetings and did not know about the benefit cuts that would affect them.

IHOOPS’ secretary and meeting chair of the meeting, Suzanne Jeffery told the meeting that there were organized campaigns in Scotland, Manchester and Leeds. The Benefit Justice Summit 2 on 11 May is an opportunity to organize nationally and in London.

PIC IHOOPS, bedroom tax audience, 13-05-07

Bedroom tax meeting in Finsbury: more anti-cuts meetings needed

Benefit cuts means poverty

Islington’s housing leader, Cllr James Murray said that the council’s information campaign was targeting affected households. Council staff were encouraging households to apply for all the benefits available to them.

He said that the Council would support social housing and reject market-based rents.

But he warned the meeting about the impact of benefit cuts on local households. He said: “It means people living on 50p a week after rent. They will pay their rent but that means people can?t have money to spend on anything else.?

“I’m no going to lie. There are people who are going to go into poverty because of this.”

PIC IHOOPS, bedroom tax, CllrMurray,13-05-07

Islington councillor, James Murray: social homes and rents pledge

Eileen Short from Defend Public Housing told the audience: “Advice and information are important but these cuts can’t be managed. It’s time for words to be turned into action. Campaigns across London should link up. We are pressing Tower Hamlets Council not to evict people because of the bedroom tax. If you don’t people will blame the council for carrying it out.”

Government policy contradictions

She attacked contradictions in the government’s housing benefit policies. She reminded the audience of Cameron’s promises before and during the last election that included ‘protecting frontline services, the vulnerable in society and tenancies’.

She said that research by the charity Scope has revealed that those in the bottom 21% of household incomes were experiencing 39% of the budget cuts.

PIC IHOOPS, bedroom tax, EileenShort, 13-05-07

Eileen Short: people will blame councils if they evict

She pointed out that a single person would need more housing benefits if he or she moved from a two bedroom council property into a single bedroom private flat.

While, 80,000 London households are affected by the bedroom tax while 300,000 homes are overcrowded.

Tony Reay said that campaigners should develop their own vision for the welfare state. PCS has begun an educational campaign on tax avoidance and evasion. He said: “For a long time our colleagues in Inland Revenue said that £120bn are not paid in taxes. We need to start talking about tax evasion.”

PIC IHOOPS, bedroom tax, TonyReay, 13-05-07

Civil service union’s Tony Reay: wants togetherness to stop tax avoidance, with Suzanne and Cllr Murray

Benefit Justice Summit 2
11am Central Hall, Westminster, Storey’s Gate, SW1H 9NH, http://dpac.uk.net/2013/04/benefit-justice-summit-2/  www.benefitjustice.wordpress.comfacebook.com/benefitjustice, twitter @benefitjustice

Simon Hinds

#Benefit Justice summit2 details

May 8, 2013

The event will be held in the Library at Central Hall Westminster, Storey’s Gate SW1H 9NH.
– map <http://www.c-h-w.com/location/&gt;  and directions <http://www.c-h-w.com/contact/transport/&gt; . (and see below).

Step free access is available directly from the street, through an entrance which will be sign posted. The event begins at 11am with Registration, and the first session will start at 11.30am.There is no charge to attend, but we will ask for a donation if people can afford it, to help with costs.

Opening session timetable and details:

  • 11.30- 12.15   Chair Roger Lewis and Ellen Clifford DPAC
    Opening contributions:   Steve Clarke Welsh Tenants Federation, Chris Baugh PCS, Sean McGovern Unite, Ciara Doyle DPAC,  Ian Hodson BFAWU, Counihan-Sanchez Campaign;  John McDonnell MP, Albert Portillo Spanish anti-eviction campaigner,  Maria Brabiner Manchester v Bed Tax
  • 12.15-1pm . What next to stop benefit cuts – discussion
  • 1-1.30 break
  • 1.30-3pm. Three workshops:
  1. Build a local campaign to win with Leeds and Manchester campaigners
  2. How to stop evictions: can the law help – Lix Davies, Phil McLeish and others
  3. Universal Credit:  fighting all benefit cuts –  Pat Carmody Right to Work,  Andy Green DPAC, Jane Aitchison PCS
  • 3.15- 4.15pm  An action plan  – to discuss proposals for organising to end the Bedroom tax and benefit cuts

Please get in touch if you have any questions or want any more details.

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday

Eileen Short, Benefit Justice

Accessible travel and directions to the venue

The nearest wheelchair accessible tube station to Westminster Central Hall is Westminster which is on the Jubilee line but always check before you travel that there are no maintenance problems such as faulty lifts reported. Westminster is also on the less accessible district and circle lines and the venue is also in close proximity to St James station on the district and circle lines.

Buses 11, 24, 148 and 211 pass the door.

Buses 3, 12, 53, 53X, 87, 88, 109, 159 and 453 stop nearby. All London buses should have a working wheelchair ramp.

Map of the area: http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?x=529902&y=179581&z=0&sv=SW1H+9NH&st=2&pc=SW1H+9NH&mapp=map.srf&searchp=ids.srf

To plan travel across London you can select different mobility options on Transport for London’s Journey Planner:www.tfl.gov.uk <http://www.tfl.gov.uk/&gt;