Cambridge Group

A second look at the county cuts

The £120m of budget cuts sought by Cambridgeshire County Council over the next five years, with around £48m likely to be made in the year 2016/17 alone on the latest reports, will have a devastating effect on communities in Cambridgeshire, affecting social care, help for children at risk, library provision, and other services on which we rely (see our statement of December).

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Trades Council meeting: Fighting Austerity in 2016

Wednesday 17 February / 7.45 p.m. / Octagon Room, Wesley Methodist Church, Christ's Pieces, Cambridge CB1 1LG

Continuing the Heart Unions week, the Cambridge and District Trades Council will hold a meeting on how to fight the austerity policies which held down workers' wages for almost five years (six and counting in the public sector) and are stripping away the public services on which they rely. Everyone's welcome at this meeting, where speakers will include Heather Wakefield (Head of Local Government, Police, and Justice, UNISON) and the victimized schoolteacher Simon O'Hara (National Union of Teachers), suspended from Small Heath School in Birmingham apparently for his work as an NUT representative.

♥ Unions

Thursday 11 February / 12.30 p.m. / Market Square, Cambridge CB2

As the government's repressive Trade Union Bill is debated in the House of Lords this month and next, the Trades Union Congress is supporting a week of events, Heart Unions, to raise awareness of why unions matter and how the bill threatens them. We'll reaffirm our belief that organizing in unions gives us our best everyday chance of a fair deal at work and outside.

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Support the junior doctors

Wednesday 10 February / 10 a.m. / Addenbrooke's Hospital, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 0QQ

The junior doctors of the British Medical Association (BMA) have been forced to return to strike action by the government's failure to address their concerns about their new contract: from 8 a.m. on Wednesday to 8 a.m. on Thursday they will provide emergency care only. The Cambridge People's Assembly continues to support fully the doctors, and we'd urge anyone who can to visit their picket at Addenbrooke's Hospital between 8 a.m. and 12.30 p.m. or to join their strike rally there at 10 a.m.

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Statement in support of the DSEI defendants

Our friend Angela and nine others await trial in April for their protest actions at the 2015 DSEI arms fair.* Taking up the demanding tactics of nonviolence, they put themselves in the way of power, and blocked roads to the fair with their bodies until they were seized and arrested by the Metropolitan Police.

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Agenda for the February CPA meeting

Wednesday 3 February / 7.30 p.m. / River Lane Centre, River Lane, Cambridge CB5 8HP

Everyone's welcome at our February meeting, at the wheelchair-accessible River Lane Centre (halfway along the road, opposite the junction with Beche Road and next to a small playground). As always we'll agree the agenda at the start, but here's the latest draft.

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Revised constitution

Our annual general meeting revised our second constitution (see item 6 in the minutes) as follows.

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Minutes of the January CPA meeting

There follow the minutes of our January meeting, which was our annual general meeting for 2016. Our next monthly meeting will be held on Wednesday 3 February at 7.30 p.m., at the wheelchair-accessible River Lane Centre, River Lane, Cambridge CB5 8HP.

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Protest the county cuts

Saturday 13 February / 12 midday / Market Square, Cambridge CB2

Cambridgeshire County Council has announced that it plans to make £120m of cuts to services and facilities over the next five years (see our statement). In its meeting on Tuesday 16 February the Conservative and UKIP-dominated County Council will pass a package of cuts for 2016/17 [but see the update below] which will have a devastating effect on communities, affecting social care, help for children at risk, library provision, and many other services on which we rely. Now local community, trade union, and political organizations will join us on Saturday 13 February to protest the cuts.

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Unite Community picket for affordable housing

Saturday 30 January / 12 midday / Spiller's Mill, Mill Park, Cambridge CB1 2FN

Our friends in Cambridge Unite Community will hold a picket on Saturday outside Spiller's Mill. The historic industrial building was destroyed by fire in 2010 and rebuilt as a block of nineteen luxury flats, all of which have now been bought by the Howard Group for an undisclosed price that the Cambridge News places around £11m.* The picket is part of Unite Community's tireless campaign for affordable housing in our city, following its widely-noticed march in November (see the Guardian article by Jessica Labhart). These latest luxury flats, which the News reports 'are not going to be marketed locally', symbolize the distortion of the Cambridge market.

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