Cambridge Group

Primary Charter picnic

Sunday 17 May / 1 p.m. / Jesus Green by Victoria Avenue (near the children's playground), Cambridge CB4

There's a campaigning picnic in Cambridge this Sunday, National Children's Day! This is a play, picnic, and information session on the Primary Charter's Four, Too Young to Test campaign, against the government's plans to extend SAT testing to four-year-olds. We're asked to bring a contribution to the picnic.

Agenda for the May CPA meeting

Wednesday 6 May / 7.30 p.m. / CB2 Bistro, Norfolk Street, Cambridge CB1 2LD

Everyone's welcome at our monthly meeting, in the basement room at the CB2 Bistro. 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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No partnership with Kora at Cambridge Central Library

The open letter below has been sent to all Cambridgeshire county councillors, and was first published on the UNISON Cambridgeshire website. We encourage readers too to write to their county councillors to protest the proposed deal with Kora, a subsidiary of Regus Group.

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The Living Wage for John Lewis cleaners!

Saturday 2 May / 1 p.m. / John Lewis, 10 Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3DS

The union-supported consumer campaign to help John Lewis cleaners win the Living Wage is coming to Cambridge!

Alberto Durango, general secretary of the Independent Workers of Great Britain union which organizes agency cleaners chiefly in London, hopes to be able to join this peaceful lobby of John Lewis customers. Our intention is to talk to customers on the street outside the store, raise awareness of the campaign, and seek new signatures to a petition which has already gained almost 150,000 signatures online. As the petition explains:

John Lewis brands itself as a company that is committed to treating its suppliers, customers and partners with fairness. But it has contracted out its cleaning services. Its cleaners receive less than the Living Wage and are not entitled to the bonus payments paid to directly employed staff.

The three parliamentary candidates whose platforms include support for the Living Wage – Julian Huppert (Liberal Democrats), Rupert Read (Green Party), and Daniel Zeichner (Labour Party) – have also been asked for their support. Dr Huppert and Mr Zeichner have so far said they hope to be able to come.

We'll meet at the corner of Downing Street and St Andrew's Street.

Minutes of the April CPA meeting

Please find below the minutes of our April meeting. Our next meeting will be held on Wednesday 6 May at 7.30 p.m., at the CB2 Bistro, Norfolk Street, Cambridge CB1 2LD.

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Book review: The People's Manifesto

We present a member's review of The People's Manifesto, available in print from the People's Assembly office (write to or telephone 020 8525 6988) and online from the Campaign Tools section of this website.

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Agenda for the April CPA meeting

Wednesday 15 April / 7.30 p.m. / CB2 Bistro, Norfolk Street, Cambridge CB1 2LD

Everyone's welcome at our monthly meeting, in the basement room at the CB2 Bistro. (We moved from our usual first Wednesday to avoid a clash with another meeting to which we'd been kindly invited to send a speaker.) We'll agree the agenda at the start, but here's the draft which circulated on our mailing list last week.

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Cambridge Keep Our NHS Public hustings

Monday 13 April / 7.30 p.m. / Wesley Centre Nave, Wesley Methodist Church, Christ's Pieces, Cambridge CB1 1LG

This event wasn't quite finalized when we noted some forthcoming Cambridge hustings events last week, but our close allies in Cambridge Keep Our NHS Public will hold their own hustings on Monday 13 April, examining the parliamentary candidates' views on the ongoing privatization of the NHS and its consequences. The candidates will be Chamali Fernando (Conservative Party), Julian Huppert (Liberal Democrats), Rupert Read (Green Party), and Daniel Zeichner (Labour Party).

People's Convention for the NHS

Saturday 11 April / 10 a.m. / Emmanuel Centre, Marsham Street, London SW1P 3DW

The People's Convention for the NHS has called a national conference ... to unite broad layers in defence of our NHS and to bring together campaign groups, activists, health workers, trade unions, pensioners' groups and anybody concerned with the future of our NHS. We aim to build the strongest forces possible and maximum unity in the fight for our NHS.

Among many good speakers at the conference we have to mention the admirable journalist and signatory to the People's Assembly founding statement, Owen Jones (latest book The Establishment); our terrific guest of December, John Hilary (War on Want, latest book The Poverty of Capitalism), explaining why the TTIP trade deal is so dangerous; our friend Martin Booth (Stop the NHS Sell-Off in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough), speaking from experience on 'NHS Privatization: How to Fight it and Win'; and the People's Assembly's national secretary, Sam Fairbairn. Another CPA friend, Steve Sweeney, has been working hard to organize the Convention. Its supporters include Keep Our NHS Public, People's Vote for the NHS, and of course the People's Assembly alongside many others.

We're asked to register to attend this free event.

Protest against privatization at Cambridge Central Library

Saturday 28 March / 10 a.m. / Outside the Central Library, Lion Yard, Cambridge CB2 3QD

Proposals put to the County Council's Highways and Infrastructure Committee for 17 March would mean a major loss of free public space for library users ... The proposal to lease a 'large proportion' of the third floor to a multinational corporation would see those who cannot afford to pay crowded on to the remaining two floors.

Make sure to attend a protest and petition-signing tomorrow against the privatization of part of Cambridge Central Library! The third floor presently houses the library's local studies collection, community meeting rooms, and cafe, but proposals passed by the County Council would have it leased to Kora, a subsidiary of the multinational office services corporation Regus Group. The protest has been called by Cambridge and District Trades Council and Unison Cambridgeshire County Branch (whose press release we quoted above). The independent petition against the proposals, opened last week, already has over 2,000 signatures.

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