Cambridge Group

Minutes of the November CPA meeting

There follow the minutes of our November meeting. Our next monthly meeting will be held on Wednesday 2 December at 7.30 p.m., at the wheelchair-accessible River Lane Centre, River Lane, Cambridge CB5 8HP.

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Out of credit, out of office

Saturday 21 November / 12 midday / Market Square, Cambridge CB2

In July the chancellor George Osborne announced a 'new settlement' for permanent austerity, resting on an increase in the minimum wage alongside massive cuts to tax credits. Four months later that settlement is crumbling, in widening alarm that (according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies) three million low-paid families will lose an average of £1,000 a year: the alarm extends to Conservatives like Heidi Allen, the new MP for South Cambridgeshire, who used her maiden speech to criticize the cuts to tax credits, and to the House of Lords, which last month defied the Conservative majority in the Commons with a remarkable vote to delay and review the cuts.

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Cambridge Momentum campaigning meeting

Wednesday 18 November / 7.15 p.m. / Hanover and Princess Court Community Room (off Coronation Street), Cambridge CB2

Momentum is a network of people and organizations founded to continue the resounding campaign that brought Jeremy Corbyn the leadership of the Labour Party, in seeking to make our society 'fairer, more democratic, more environmentally just, and more equal'. Momentum is open equally to Labour members and non-members (including members of other parties) and has announced that it hopes to work with existing independent campaigns like ours, so we're glad to note that the Cambridge Momentum group will hold its first campaigning meeting this Wednesday.

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Cambridge Health Emergency organizing meeting

Tuesday 17 November / 7.30 p.m. / Alex Wood Hall, Norfolk Street, Cambridge CB1 2LD

The next meeting to plan the Cambridge Health Emergency campaign, founded recently to stand up for our local hospitals Addenbrooke's and the Rosie after their parent trust was placed in special measures, will be held tomorrow at Alex Wood Hall. Among other things it will hear a report from a public meeting of the trust's directors and start to plan a wider meeting of its own, to inform and organize patients to act against any threats to their hospitals in the form of cuts or private sector entry.

March for homes

Saturday 14 November / 11.30 a.m. / Regent Terrace (off Parker's Piece), Cambridge CB2

Affordable housing is badly needed in Cambridge. Sale prices are well out of the reach of most workers in the city at an average of £419,000 last year, driven up not only by workers' demand as the local economy grows, but that of the global rich for homes for their student children, and – feeding on the former – that of buy-to-let landlords and even 'buy-to-leave' speculators. Rents are correspondingly high but may well afford poor accommodation. In a long-continued period of rising world inequality, we're seeing local houses and flats being pulled into global markets.

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Statement on the student demonstration

We send a message of solidarity to the students who demonstrated in London today against the Conservative government's elitist policy in further and higher education, among them many from the two universities which are jewels of our city. We send special greetings to the organizers, the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts, and to demonstrators from the intermural student organizations that joined us in May for the Cambridge March Against Austerity: Cambridge Defend Education, Cambridge Marxist Society, Cambridge Universities Labour Club, and Cambridge Young Greens. We also congratulate Cambridge University Students' Union for its decision to organize free transport.

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Film screening: The Spirit of '45

Tuesday 10 November / 7 p.m. / Keynes Hall, King's College, King's Parade, Cambridge CB2 1ST

Next week our friends in Cambridge Left Unity will show the 2013 film The Spirit of '45, Ken Loach's documentary on the popular demand for social reform after the Second World War that issued in the election of a purposeful Labour government and, in the teeth of economic crisis, the foundation of Britain's welfare state. Admission is free, and the film will be followed by a discussion.

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London demonstration for free education

Wednesday 4 November / 12 midday / Malet Street, London WC1E

Students will take to the streets next week to protest the government's elitist education reforms – deep cuts in further and continuing education, the abolition of maintenance grants and likely still higher fees in higher education – and to demand free education and living grants (in the sense of a living wage) for all. The demonstration is called by the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts.

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Agenda for the November CPA meeting

Wednesday 4 November / 7.30 p.m. / River Lane Centre, River Lane, Cambridge CB5 8HP

Everyone's welcome at our monthly meeting in the wheelchair-accessible River Lane Centre. As always we'll agree the agenda at the start, but here's the draft which circulated on our mailing list earlier today.

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London rally and lobby against the Trade Union Bill

Monday 2 November / 1 p.m. / Central Hall, Storey's Gate, London SW1H 9NH

The next important action against the government's Trade Union Bill is a rally and lobby of MPs in Westminster on Monday, organized by the Trades Union Congress. The rally begins at 1 p.m. at Central Hall, and the lobby at 2.30 p.m. at Parliament.

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