#Teachers’ #strike – Wednesday 26 March

March 25, 2014
  • from North London People’s Assemble Against Austerity and Islington NUT

The National Union of Teachers (NUT) has called a national strike for Wednesday. The strike is about pensions and conditions, but equally about broader education issues that are not part of a trade dispute but of concern to teachers and the union.

The NUT is striking against:

As well as visiting your local picket line to express your solidarity, there is an opportunity to support and solidarity at rallies and marches taking place across the country. (Click here for a complete list: http://www.teachers.org.uk/strikerally.)

In London, we will be joining the march with our banner and helping distribute PAAA leaflets for the June national demo. RSVP to this address and matthewwillgress@hotmail.co.uk if you can help

The march is gathering at 11.30am at Duchess Street, London, W1A 1AA (at the back of Broadcasting House, nearest tube Oxford Circus.) People will then be marching past Broadcasting House via Regent Street, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square and Downing Street, arriving at 1.00pm at Central Hall Westminster, Storey’s Gate, London, SW1H 9NH.

Islington picket lines

From 8am

  • Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School for Girls, Donegal Street, N1 9QG,
  • Mount Carmel Catholic College for Girls, Holland Walk, Duncombe Road, Archway, London N19 3EU,
  • Islington Sixth Form College, The Angel, 283-309 Goswell Road, EC1V 7DD.

Visitors bringing solidarity are very welcome!


New #Whittington boss puts #Islington’s hospital back under threat

March 13, 2014

Islington people will have to start a new fight against proposed cuts to the Whittington Hospital.

Defend the Whittington Hospital Coalition is making the call after hearing the plans of the new chair of the hospital board at a public meeting.

Last July, the Coalition, with support from IHOOPS, won a victory after hospital bosses reversed decisions to cut staff and sell off building.

Islington Hands Off Our Public Services marches for the Whittington

Islington Hands Off Our Public Services marches for the Whittington

But at a meeting on 3 March, at St Mary Brookfield church, Dartmouth Park Hill, the chair Steve Hitchens said that the hospital could not remain as a district hospital.

Chair of the Coalition, Shirley Franklyn commented: “So, are you up for a fight back? We hope so, because otherwise our hospital services will be further decimated and privatised.

“In the end, after a lot of prevarication, Steve Hitchins, surprised us by turning up to tell us about his plans. He does not think it is viable for our hospital to remain as a district hospital.

“It appears that all he wants to create is a glorified health centre, with integrated care and skyping patients spread across the boroughs.

“He plans to cut staff, while wasting millions of our money that should have gone into the hospital but that was paid to private consultants whose work they have ignored. But, other services are also being privatised at the hospital – e.g. catering and IT.

“Hitchins also said that he thought if the Hospital lost the Foundation Trust status that it would also lose a lot of services. We do not believe this to be the case. Whoever runs the Trust will have us on their back to ensure that we have a fully-fledged district hospital.

“He has torn up all the plans that have gone before. So having spent millions, including around £350,000 to Ernst and Young and £1-2 million to Unipart, as well as all the work done by hospital medical directors and their teams, they are back to the drawing board.”

The Coalition is asking people to tell them what they think. People can email them or put comments on their – http://www.dwhc.org.uk and/or Facebook

The meeting also heard from Lewisham, Chase Farm and Whipps Cross campaigns.

Shirley continued: “All these campaigns have hospital staff and consultants on them. It would be great if we could have more insiders coming to our planning meetings.

“A big thanks to everyone who turned up to the meeting and to our wonderful speakers.”

The next planning meeting is Monday 7 April at 7.00 in the ground floor room at the Archway Methodist Church Hall, in Archway Close. The room is wheelchair accessible.


#Islington free #school promises #union recognition

January 29, 2014

I am very pleased to be able to report to you that STEM 6 Academy has today agreed to recognise the NUT and enter in to meaningful and early negotiations with us about our members’ terms and conditions. (Any formal recognition agreement we come to should apply to all staff unions and not just the NUT.)

On this basis we have agreed to suspend tomorrow’s strike action. A decision on further action will depend on the progress achieved in the forthcoming negotiations. There will, therefore, be no picket outside the school tomorrow.

This is a very significant success, not just for the NUT but for everyone concerned about union rights and the Coalition government’s efforts to use privatisation and marketisation to drive down workers’ pay and conditions.

It shows that we do not have to surrender in the face of employers’ attacks but can stand up and fight back for our rights.

It is a credit to our members at STEM 6 that they have been prepared to do this so courageously in the face of considerable intimidation.

I would like, on behalf of STEM 6 teachers, to thank you all for the numerous messages of support they have received in recent weeks.

The battle at STEM 6 is not entirely over but today’s developments have taken us a long way towards achieving our objectives.

I know that we can count on your support if it becomes necessary to reinstate our action.

In solidarity

Ken Muller
Assistant Secretary
Islington NUT


#Islington free #school #teachers vote for strike action

January 25, 2014

By Ken Muller

Earlier this week, it was announced that teachers at the STEM 6 Academy, a newly opened 16-18 free school in Islington, had voted to take strike action in support of their demand for union recognition in a ballot organised by their union, the NUT.

This morning (Wednesday, 22 January),  the NUT  gave STEM 6 governors of a one day strike next Thursday (30 January) to be followed by two days of action on the Wednesday and Thursday of the following week (5 and 6 February) and a further three strike the following week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 11, 12 and 13 February.

Later today, the teachers received a letter instructing them to attend individual, ‘one to one’ interviews tomorrow  (Thursday 23) with the academy principal, the chair of governors – Boris Johnson’s chum Tony Sewell and the chief executive of the firm behind the free school.

Quite rightly – and courageously – the teachers met this afternoon and agreed to boycott the interviews and ask the NUT to write to the principal telling him that if he and the governors want to discuss their grievances they should do it through their union.

One of them observed that if there was any ever doubt about whether they should fight for union recognition or not today’s attempt to bully and intimidate them has ended it.

Once union recognition has been achieved, teachers at STEM 6 are demanding a major revision of the disgraceful contract which they only signed under duress before Xmas. This includes the right of management to lay teachers off without pay at its discretion – which effectively amounts to a zero hours contract. It also includes a maximum of 15 days paid sick leave per year, statutory maternity leave provision and no incremental pay progression, with any future pay increases being, once again, at management’s discretion.

This is a crucial fight, the first of its kind at a free school. The contract STEM 6 governors want to impose on its teachers is the future for all of us if Gove is allowed to get his way. STEM 6, like other here schools and academies, should be brought under local authority control and its staff should enjoy the same terms and conditions as their colleagues in maintained schools.

But meanwhile, STEM 6 teachers deserve our support – both because they are in the right, brave and courageous and because a victory for them will be a victory for the all of us.

Messages of support via: Ken Muller (ken-muller@blueyonder.co.uk)
Anyone who can make it, come and join the picket line from 7.30 am next Thursday.


Upcoming Events from IHOOPS and North #London People’s Assembly

January 18, 2014

Jan 2014

Islington free school teachers strike ballot
20/01/14
STEM 6 Academy  ballot for strike action closes

IHOOPS – Review deadline for March public meeting
22/01/14
Deadline to review IHOOPS public meeting in March

UCU industrial action
23/01/14
11am – 13pm. Higher education and further education lecturers’ mini-actions
.

North London People’s Assembly Against Austerity (NLPAAA) street stall
25/01/14
12noon, Wood Green. Building the Hands off Our Unions Campaign and March public meeting. Contact: elaine@redpuffin.co.uk

UCU industrial action
28/01/14
2pm-4pm
Higher education and further education lecturers’ mini-actions
.

Unite Against Fascism (UAF) meeting
28/01/14
7pm, Finsbury Park Mosque, 7-11 St Thomas’s Rd, N4 2QH. Near Finsbury Park Tube

IHOOPS meeting
29/01/14 (Weds)
7.30pm (not 7pm), Islington Town Hall, Upper St

Feb 2014

North London People’s Assembly planning meeting
06/02/14
6.30pm, venue tbc. Discussing 2014 activity, mobilising for the June People’s Assembly Against Austerity national demonstration the recall People’s Assembly Conference in March. Volunteers needed for leafleting, design and stalls.

Stop the Privatisation of Student Debt
03-07/02/14
‘No sell off of the student loan book’. In November, the government sold off all student loans taken before 1998 and worth £900m to a private debt collector for £160m. This is likely to be just round one of the ‘Great Student Loan Giveaway’. Student Assembly Against Austerity will lead national actions on campuses. More info.

Hands off our Unions
11/02/14
6.30pm, 
Camden Centre, Bidborough Street, London WC1H 9AU. Defend the right to resist national speaking tour launch rally. The government’s announcement of an inquiry into trade union tactics is further proof of its determination to undermine the right to protest against its austerity programme. We pledge ourselves to resist this attack. Speakers include: Len McCluskey, Unite the Union, Mark Serwotka, Public and Commercial Services Union, Francesca Martinez, Comedian, John Hendy QC and others.  Register for a free event.

Women’s Assembly Against Austerity
22/02/14
10am – 5pm, Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London. Info and register

Mar 2014

RALLY: The People vs Austerity – North London People’s Assembly Rally
04/03/14
Venue and further details tbc.
2014 anti-austerity plans. Speakers include Diane Abbott, MP for Hackney North, Katherine Connelly, Student Assembly Against Austerity, Jeremy Corbyn, MP for Islington North & Chair, Stop the War Coalition, Elaine Graham-Leigh, Enfield Against the Cuts & NLPAA, Unite plus participation from a range of local, union, anti-cuts and community campaigners. Facebook info here

IHOOPS public meeting
06/03/14 (to be confirmed)
Islington Town Hall, Upper Street.

Banner Theatre play
14/03/14
Platform, 260 Hornsey Road London, N7 7QT

Re-call People’s Assembly conference
15/03/14
The Emmanuel Centre, Marsham St, London, Westminster SW1P 3DW. Supporting trade union branches, campaigns and community groups shuld send delegates. Contact: conference@thepeoplesassembly.org.uk Facebook event info

Budget Day – ‘Britain needs a pay rise’ demo
19/03/14
Protests and actions are being organised across the country on Budget Day, information and details to follow soon. The People’s Assembly plan an evening protest ending in a rally at Downing Street and want short videos and photo showing what should be in a ‘People’s Budget’, office@thepeoplesassembly.org.uk

No to Racism and Fascism demo
22/03/14
Supported by People’s Assembly Against Austerity (PAAA). More information.

May

May Day protests
01/05/14

June 2014

People’s Assembly National Demo
21/06/14
Central London. Free festival. More info soon.

Oct 2014

TUC National Demonstration in London.

People’s Assembly Against Austerity, http://thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/


North #London #anti-cuts meeting, 4 March 2014

December 24, 2013

North London People’s Assembly will be holding a public meeting The People versus Austerity on 4th March.

Speaker include: Diane Abbott, MP for Hackney North, Katherine Connelly, Student Assembly Against Austerity, Jeremy Corbyn, MP for Islington North & Chair, Stop the War Coalition, Elaine Graham-Leigh, Enfield Against the Cuts & NLPAA, and a speaker from Unite the Union.

Venue and further details to be confirmed, but put the date in your new diaries now!

The Facebook event is here:

We are going to be busy from the start in 2014, building for our public meeting, the all-London rally to launch the Hands Off Our Unions speaking tour at the end of January and the recall People’s Assembly conference on 15th March. We will be holding regular activist meetings to co-ordinate this activity for north London, with the first two on 14th January and 11th February (both from 6:30pm, venues tbc). Everyone is welcome, so please come if you can.

First of all, thanks to everyone who turned out to help on the stall on 14th December as part of the national day of action.  People were lining up to send their Christmas messages to David Cameron and you can check out the pictures on our Facebook page.

Elaine Graham-Leigh
North London People’s Assembly

Copyright © 2013 North London Peoples Assembly, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
North London Peoples Assembly, 41c Gladsmuir Road, London  N19 3JY


#Islington’s #anti-cuts policy ideas

October 21, 2013
  • Help us develop policies for the next Islington People’s Assembly on 7 December.
  • Feed ideas to the anti-austerity campaign at our next public meeting.
  • Policies covered: Education, Pensions, Hosuing, Disability, Environment, Equality
  • Review policies for the borough produced by people attending the last Islington assembly in September 2011.
  • IHOOPS is supporting the North London People’s Assembly, 26 October, 10am at Haringey Cypriot Community Centre, Earlham Grove, London N22 5HJ

Interim Report from Islington Peoples Assembly 2011

“We won’t pay for their crisis!”

On Saturday 17th September 2011 over 80 people attended Islington People’s Assembly, organised by Islington Hands off Our Public Services (Ihoops). The following is a report on the outputs from the People’s Assembly that relate to Islington Council.  Other actions, such as NHS issues, will be progressed in other ways. There are eight sections and the theme for each is briefly summarised and then followed by our demands on Islington Council, including aspects where we hope we can work together.

Introduction
The Tory-led coalition government is implementing a wide programme of devastating cuts in public sector spending. The cuts threaten a huge range of services that ordinary people rely on, from the NHS and pensions to local public services, community organisations, benefits and access to education.

On Saturday 17th September 2011 over 80 people attended Islington People’s Assembly, organised by Islington Hands off Our Public Services (Ihoops). Workers, trade unionists, community groups and local residents met to debate and discuss what could be done to stop the government’s assault on our communities, jobs and lives. There were a range of speakers and workshops covering the many areas in which the Tory cuts are impacting on the local community.

In February 2010 Islington Council voted through a range of cuts totalling over £40m in cuts to public services, and have stated a figure of £39m in cuts for 2011-12. It is clear that these cuts would not only further decimate a community already struggling following last year’s cuts, but would also lead to huge increases in social problems such as crime, youth offending, mental health problems and homelessness. All problems, which, in turn, will cost significantly more to remedy than the preventative services originally funded to avoid them.

The following is a report on the outputs from the People’s Assembly that relate to Islington Council.  Other actions, such as NHS issues, will be progressed in other ways. There are 8 sections and the theme for each is briefly summarised and then followed by our demands on Islington Council, including aspects where we hope we can work together.

Conclusion

Many people feel this is a defining moment in which the outcome of the battles over the austerity measures being proposed and imposed will shape the kind society we live in for generations to come. The Welfare State, which the majority rely on is about to be dismantled.

Ihoops has been formed to ensure that the battle to defend our public services and welfare state is successful. We recognise that this will require the greatest possible unity in campaigning and the involvement of the largest number of organisations and people, from community groups to trade unions to the many individuals whose voices are often not heard.

We believe that the best way to do this is for the council to refuse to implement a budget which makes cuts. We recognise this is most effective as part of a mass mobilisation and mass public support. We call on the council to work with others including Ihoops, trade unions and local people in building such a campaign to defend an alternative budget and defeat the Coalition government’s cuts. We recognise that there is disagreement between ourselves and the current position of the council on this issue. We will continue to campaign for and publicise a no cuts budget and work with others where we can to further this aim. We will also continue to campaign against all cuts in the borough.

We recognise the commitment of the council to a Fairness agenda as demonstrated through the Islington Fairness Commission. We also recognise that there are many opportunities to work with the council in opposing cuts and challenging the attack on the Welfare State. At the Assembly Councillor Catherine West specifically spoke about the campaign against Council Tax subsidy cuts and the importance of housing as a campaigning area. We want to ensure that we work together in such campaigns.  The current battle to defend public sector pensions must be one such opportunity to work together to support the proposed strike action and campaign for decent pensions for all.

We also hope that the demands that have arisen from the People’s Assembly are areas where we can campaign together to defend and improve services and the Welfare State.

________________________________

Education for all: schools, colleges and universities

The education workshop brought together students, parents and teachers from different sectors – primary and secondary school, FE College, youth services and Higher Education.  There was a wide ranging discussion. Cuts and privatisation are destroying existing structures and many vital services that provide for the most vulnerable children. Retired head teacher Sue Seifert spoke of her dismay that vital services were being cut and that, once gone; they are likely to be lost forever.  The cuts in funding which have resulted in a total of twenty six staff, both teachers and support staff in the Ethnic Minority Achievement Service (EMAS) being made redundant is an example of significant services, impacting often on the most vulnerable children,  being lost. 

It was recognised that the council, Ihoops and local education unions had worked well together campaigning against the specific threat of academy conversions. It was felt that a similar approach to youth unemployment, the cuts to EMA and the introduction of tuition fees could benefit from the same alliance approach. However some of us felt that by implementing Coalition cuts the Council is making it more difficult to achieve this unity. We want to work with the council in opposing cuts and want to see Councillors leading the whole community in a fight against cuts as a matter of urgency. We would like to see the council engage in a wide ranging discussion with all those involved, seeking to democratise the decisions about education provision. Ihoops are keen to work with others in such a forum to produce an alternative manifesto for education and youth services in the borough: outlining what needs to be done to improve education, and to make it more democratically accountable, involving children, young people and their parents as well as workers in the education and youth services.

Education – Key Demands for the Council:

    1. There is an existential threat to public education from academies and free schools. We have to be positive and proactive in defending public education, and we want the council to be equally proactive
    2. To encourage local trade union branches and workplace groups to invite local councillors to attend their meetings to discuss educational issues and to urge the councillors to take up the invitations.
    3. To call on Islington Council to create a forum for all those involved to discuss the future of education in Islington after it is brought back “in house” in 2013, following the end of the contract with Cambridge Education

Decent Pensions for All: The fight for dignity in old age

The pension’s workshop discussed the need to campaign for Pensions for All. The demand has now been adopted by the TUC. The 30th November which is likely to be a date of strike action by public sector unions is a key date to campaign around Pensions for All.

The importance of building solidarity across the generations was discussed. Supporting and developing the kind of forums that had been begun at the People’s Assembly is a necessary part of doing this.

The workshop also discussed the issue of fuel poverty and its impact on elderly people. The need to defend winter fuel payments and campaign against cuts in them was identified. A free national health care system was seen as necessary to establish dignity in old age. Similarly maintaining a warden service in sheltered housing and preventing cuts to lunch clubs which provide a range of support and services for elderly people was seen as vital.

Pensions – Key Demands for the Council:

  1. The council to ensure no cuts to wardens in sheltered housing
  2. The council to defend and protect lunch clubs and ensure no cuts to these services.
  3. To work with other organizations including Ihoops and Islington Pensioners Forum to build solidarity across the generations and find ways of developing opportunities to do this.
  4. To work with local public sector unions to support the Nov 30th pensions strikes and demonstrations.

The attack on the NHS and mental health services: Keep the NHS public

The workshop discussed the huge attack facing the NHS. The Health and Social Care Bill currently on its way through the Houses of Parliament will result in the privatisation of the Health Service. The workshop discussed the opposition to it and the importance of the campaign to stop the Bill. In addition the workshop also discussed the need for a focus on mental healthcare where devastating cuts and changes are taking place. It was agreed of the need urgently to involve health worker trade unionists in the broader campaign against the Health and Social Care Bill. The workshop agreed to support the upcoming public sector strikes and include case studies in campaigning leaflets.

The workshop discussed establishing an Ihoops working group on health, aiming to support the Defend the Whittington and wider HNS campaign. The idea of a petition which could be used to get GPs surgeries and dental practices to sign up against marketisation of the NHS was raised. Finally the workshop suggested a Defend Islington NHS conference in 2012 with a focus on participation by grassroots organisations.

Housing: why the cuts are breaking up communities

The Housing workshop agreed that council housing should, in principle, return to council control where it is more accountable and secure. There was concern that Government policy will drive up rents and that secure tenancy agreements will no longer be available for future tenants. There was also concern that former local authority housing which is transferred to arms length companies will, like Housing Associations become accountable to shareholders rather than tenants, leading to a poorer service for tenants in all areas.

If Homes for Islington keep control of housing stock, will they merge with other ALMOs to become large business concerns? Will they push for more part buy/part rent stock as other housing associations have, at the expense of less housing for rent in social housing? It was argued that if council housing is returned to local authority control that there will be an opportunity to have the service scrutinised by democratically elected councillors making it more accountable and transparent. 
 The workshop argued for full consultation and a ballet of all tenants on the issue who runs the local authority housing stock by 2014. Tenants should be given an opportunity to examine equally the case for local authority control and against it. The material provided should not be biased propaganda produced by wealthy ALMOS, as it has been on previous occasions when tenants have been asked to make decision. The decision over the original contract won by Homes for Islington and the contract for refurbishment of bathrooms and kitchens were both given as examples where tenants were asked to make decisions based on one-sided information.

Housing – Key Demands for the Council:

    1. To join with Ihoops and other groups to campaign for the return of local authority housing to Local Authority Control.
    2. To organise a ballot of tenants by 2014 on the issue of which organisation should run local authority housing.
    3. To ensure that the ballot process allow tenants to make an informed choice based on material which allows the case to be made equally by both sides.

Attacks on disability benefits and services and how to resist

The workshop discussed a number of important areas. At the moment the benefit system is undergoing major reform both locally and nationally. Over 1.3 million Incapacity Benefit claimants are being re-assessed. The assessment has three possible outcomes; ready for work – straight onto Job seekers Allowance, ready for support into work qualifying for Employment and Support Allowance, not ready to work placed onto Employment and Support Allowance. In the latter case a long term sick review may not take place again for eighteen months.

This affects thousands of people in Islington, currently 70% of claimants are assessed as ready to work – which affect Housing Benefit entitlement, Council tax levels of contribution and charges for services locally. Many people appeal their decisions and 40% of appeals by claimants are won. However the appeal process can have a major impact on mental and physical health during that time, sometimes requiring crisis intervention. It was agreed that an impact assessment of the reassessment of claimants was vital and believe this should be carried out by the council if it has not already been undertaken. In addition it was suggested that Islington Council funds the development of an independent advocate to support disabled residents through the assessment and appeal process. Figures show that 70% of claimants supported at assessments by informed advisors are placed in the group ready for support into work. The will also reduce the demand for local government services.

From available records 16% of Islington residents declared as being disabled whereas Islington Council (LBI) has approximately 5% of employees declared as disabled. Accurate and well informed records of the number of people declaring as disabled are crucial, since they can demonstrate a lack of funding from Central government related to specific need. They are also necessary to plan adequately for services locally such as Social Care.

Disability – Key Demands for the Council:

    1. An impact assessment of the Incapacity Benefit reassessments and appeal process.
    2. The funding and development of an independent advisor and advocate to assist claimants in the assessment and appeals process.
    3. The establishment of an accurate and well informed record of the number of people declaring as disabled within the borough.
    4. A plan to address the gap between the low number of disabled people employed by the council both in house and through contractors and the much larger number of disabled people living in the borough.

One Million Climate Jobs: Solving the environmental and economic crisis

The Environment Workshop at the Islington People’s Assembly brought together representatives from IHOOPs, the Green Party, the Council’s Energy Team and Greenspace Team and the Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union Group and others.

It was agreed that inefficient use of energy was a threat contributing to rising carbon emissions leading to irreversible climate change, increased fuel poverty and future energy efficiency. It was also agreed that tackling the inefficient use of energy was an opportunity for tackling high unemployment levels particularly amongst the young.

It was agreed that the most effective action in reducing carbon emissions in domestic properties, combating fuel poverty and reducing dependence on finite supplies of fossil fuels was the mass insulation of homes. It was agreed that the Coalition’s withdrawal of funding and reliance on the market to fund home energy efficiency, the Green Deal, was unlikely to improve homes fast enough to meet carbon targets. It was also unlikely to play a significant part in reducing fuel poverty, in fact due to the nature of the scheme could even make the problem worse and was unlikely to secure future energy security. Instead the workshop agreed we should engage with a programme of mass insulation of homes, initiated by the council.

Environment – Key Demands for the Council

    1. The main aim of Council energy policy should be through mass insulation across the borough.
    2. Islington Council should endorse the One Million Climate Jobs report produced by Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union Group.
    3. The council should implement a pilot scheme to insulate every property in an area, across all housing types. Training for the relevant skills should be provided in local colleges. The project should draw in community groups, unions and young people. It should employ local residents. The effects of the project on carbon emissions, health, and unemployment and fuel poverty should be measured.  (It was recognised that the Archway Low Carbon Zone went some way towards this area based approach but that the scheme suggested would be much more far reaching insulating every property in the area).
    4. Begin to engage in a coalition of groups to campaign on this issue

Cuts, racism and homophobia: the fight for equality

The workshop discussed the way that the cuts will disproportionately affect those who are already disadvantaged.  It was argued that deep economic crisis and the proposed austerity measures will create a climate in which racism increases. It was suggested that it is vital that anti-cuts activists and others understood the way that racism is integral to the narrative used to promote the cuts. The situation at Dale Farm, Essex with the proposed eviction of traveller Families is an example of this. The workshop agreed to support the Travellers defending their homes at Dale Farm. There was also concern about the activities of the far right in this climate. There was support for the establishment of an Islington Unite against Fascism group, and a group at LondonMetUniversity.

Racism and Homophobia – Key Demands for the Council:

  1. To provide a detailed comparative breakdown of the Council budget for 2010-11 and 2011-12 in order to identify the impact on black, ethnic and minority groups in the borough both as service users and staff employed by council services.

Arts and Leisure: why the cuts are no fun

The workshop raised concerns that cuts in arts were seen as more palatable than other “priority services”. The workshop argued that all cuts including those on the arts have a damaging impact on the community and all cuts are unacceptable. Access to music, theatre, arts is a right not a privilege. Cuts will mean that access to the arts will become more difficult for those on low incomes. The workshop suggested that art and culture can inform the anti-cuts movement. It was agreed that Ihoops would explore a monthly podcast in conjunction with 104.4 Residents FM to allow every campaign to be articulated across London. Ihoops would also explore an Islington anti-cuts X Factor to promote the talent the cuts have stopped funding.