I'd like briefly to defend the sense and the necessity of street protest, including the ongoing demonstrations in Cambridge against the racist politics of the new US president Donald Trump (Cambridge News, 23 and 31 January), which the People's Assembly has joined.Read more
We present the text of our secretary's speech at the rally held on Saturday 21 January in Market Square by Cambridge Stand Up to Racism, and supported by the Cambridge People's Assembly alongside many others.Read more
Cambridgeshire library services suddenly introduced charges for book reservations in June this year – they are £1 per book for books between Cambridgeshire libraries, £2 for books from Suffolk libraries, and £7.50 for inter-library loans from other national libraries.Read more
Q1. What is the reservation charge?
If the library item you need – let's say it's a book – is out on loan, or if it's held at another Cambridgeshire library, you can ask for it to be reserved for you. When the book's returned from loan or delivered to your library, it will be put aside for you to borrow next. This system helps ensure that shared resources are used efficiently.Read more
The Cambridge People's Assembly supports the statement against the NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) issued by the recent Health Campaigns Together conference in Birmingham. It is vital that the NHS is sustainable – not least as a matter of justice between generations – but the STPs are designed to make sustainable its underfunding.Read more
The basis for the library reservation fee for adult users, introduced as an austerity measure by Cambridgeshire County Council in June, remains unclear after the council's response to a set of requests under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. We'll discuss its response below (that response is also attached in full) but present our main findings immediately.
- The council has been unable to produce documentation of the decision to introduce the fee.
- The council has been unable to produce evidence that the fee's impact on communities has been considered.
- An internal council report projected that the fee could discourage two thirds of adult reservations.
- The fee was to be announced 14 days after the council passed a budget for 2016/17 which didn't include it.
What did we ask? What has the council told us?Read more
We present an unsigned review of the work of our third year. The Cambridge group was founded at the end of June 2013.Read more
The Convoy to Calais took place on 18 June and was a huge demonstration of solidarity with refugees from the people of Cambridge and of this country. It was a practical aid trip, but also a statement of hope in humanity and a demonstration that we will not forget those who are still stranded with no homes and no future. There are currently nearly 7,000 refugees at the camp, with around a hundred new arrivals every day.Read more
The Cambridge People's Assembly sends a message of solidarity and appreciation to the Labour Party under the anti-racist, anti-austerity leadership of Jeremy Corbyn. The referendum vote that Britain should leave the European Union has opened a period of uncertainty and grave dangers, the most terrible of which is recalled by another sharp rise in racist and xenophobic street attacks (and was earlier prefigured in the murder of the Labour MP Jo Cox).Read more
Cambridgeshire residents should be seriously concerned that access to an important part of their library service now depends on their ability to pay ('Dismay at £1 library charge', Cambridge News, 8 June). The new reservation charge will be a disproportionate blow to, among other groups, those of us who don't live in easy reach of the county's urban libraries and rely on reservations to get the books we need at smaller ones. We can be certain that use of these libraries will fall as a result. And we can expect that falling usage will be given as a reason to close yet more libraries in a future round of austerity cuts.Read more