Friday, 25 January 2008

GREEN OPPOSITION TO BRENT ACADEMY SCHOOL [draft by Martin Francis for Brent Green News]

The Green Party is in favour of non-selective public education accountable to local democratic control and so is opposed to the development of City Academies. Although publicly funded, Academies are controlled by private sponsors or charities. We are opposed to the proposed Wembley Academy sponsored by ARK because:

Local democratic control of the proposed school will NOT exist because ARK will nominate its own council, parent and staff representatives and will maintain a 51% ARK majority on its governing body.

The new Academy will NOT follow national teachers’ pay and conditions, leaving the way open for different rates of pay, hours and holidays compared with other local state funded schools.
There is NO democratic mandate for the Academy as the Lib Dems opposed it in their local election manifesto.

There has been NO public Council consultation on whether there should be an additional Brent City Academy as such.

The ARK consultation was really only about the name of the proposed academy and details of its admission procedures NOT whether there should be one, whether it should be all through (catering for 4-19 year olds), or where it should be sited.

Full planning permission has NOT yet been granted and the Environmental and Traffic Impact Studies for the site have NOT yet been completed.

In total only 6 members of the public attended the four public consultation meetings on the development of Wembley Academy, other than LEA, ARK and Anti-Academy representatives so that phase of the consultation is virtually meaningless. ARK’s consultation will now move to private meetings with groups of parents and governors leaving little room for open debate.

A clear YES/NO vote on the development of academies in Brent, as happened with the super casino proposal, would have been the best way to give residents a chance to voice their views. However, the recent consultation on school places gave residents a chance to say to what extent they thought private sponsors, faith groups and charities should be involved in the running of schools. Meanwhile the Green party will continue to oppose privatisation of education and campaign for democratic, accountable, non-selective schools.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008


MON 25TH FEB Stop Heathrow expansion. Rally at Westminster CentralHall - 7PM. We need to fill the hall!
E-mail your views directly to: these sites:

MON 24TH MARCH SURROUND THE BASE @ ALDERMASTON. NOON. London membersand friends can meet and travel to the base together. CND 50th anniversary this year!
Contact Romayne 07985 053 907; Jonathan 07801541924

PCS : Union Anger over Government's Nuclear Decision

11 Jan 2008 (forwarded by Dean walton & Noel Lynch)

PCS has condemned the government's decision, in the White paper 'Meeting the Energy Challenge', giving the green light to the private sector to build a new generation of new nuclear power stations.

The union accused the government of being determined to go ahead with nuclear regardless of the views of people in this country. The union maintained that the government played on people's fears about climate change to get the response it wanted to a consultation on nuclear that was so biased and misleading that green groups such as Greenpeace and Friend's of the Earth felt they had no choice but to pull out.

The union went on to argue that the government should be taking tough decisions on carbon emissions and looking at a combination of energy saving, renewables and clean coal technologies that would provide new, safe jobs as well as protecting the environment and> tackling climate change.

PCS is deeply concerned by the small print in the White Paper that reveals the get out clause for the private sector. Despite assurances that private companies will also be responsible for decommissioning and waste disposal the government is offering, in the last resort, to bail them out which means that UK workers will ultimately be liable for these costs.

Commenting on the announcement, PCS assistant general secretary Chris Baugh said: "Not only have the government, in an deplorably anti-democratic move, fixed a public consultation to get the answer they want on the future of nuclear, they are also playing on people's fears about climate change to get us to believe there is no alternative to going down the> nuclear road. This is yesterday's legacy not today's answer to our energy needs which should be to invest in renewables and create new, clean jobs that would also help us in tackling climate change.


These comments on the draft London manifesto (for the Greater London Authority and Mayoral elections on 1 May 2008), by P.Murry Green Party TU group secretary 21/01/2008, are not exhaustive or comprehensive any GP member who wishes to make further comment or see the Draft manifesto should contact Shahrar Ali at

The manifesto will also be discussed at the GPTU meeting on 30/1/2008, (see website for details).

In the public services section there is the statement: "We will work with trade unions to defend, maintain and improve public services in London.” Such statements should be found in all parts of the manifesto (with the possible exception of ‘Animals’), and also be prominent in the introduction, together with an emphasis on our opposition to privatisation and marketisation and wish to reverse these things. GP is clearly doing a lot of things that TU’s will like and saying so explicitly can help to win votes. Few other parties in the GLA election can credibly claim to be working for the same aims as TU’s.

1. Transport should mention our affiliation to the Campaign Against Tube Privatisation and policy to renationalise all privatised transport. We should also support campaigning against station closures and campaign for all stations to be staffed whenever they are opening, which will encourage greater transport use, reduce crime and create jobs.

2. Local Economy: placing too much hope on entertainment industry to provide jobs, what about jobs from building a low carbon economy?

3. Energy and Waste: job creatrion should be mentioned

4. Public Services: Should Education have a separate heading and why is their no mention of Further and Higher education policies on fees, lifelong learning and grants? London has many colleges and unis and vast student population.

5. Housing and Health: should these be lumped together?

6. Equality and Diversity support for TU work with migrant workers

7. Policing: support for pay claim?

8. Food and Drugs

9. Animals

10. Environment should support: TU & TUC campaigns for greener workplaces and for workplace environmental reps

Institute of Employment Rights Conference Feb 6th: The Quality of Working Life

From: Phelim Mac Cafferty <>

Subject: Reminder: IER Health and Safety Conference

Institute of Employment Rights-The Quality of Working Life: Promoting a Healthy Agenda conferenceWednesday 6th February 2008
at the UCU Conference Centre,Britannia Street, London WC1

About the conference

In August 2007, following an explosion which killed nine people, ICL Plastics were fined a mere £400,000 for health and safety breaches. Such a penalty graphically demonstrates how negligent companies can cut costs at the expense of workers' lives without fear ofadequate financial and other legal consequences.Statistics for 2006/07 show fatalities in the workplace up by 11 per cent on the previous year, a five year high.

Prominent among the worst sectors are construction and agriculture. Meanwhile, fewer than one in five major accidents are now investigated, and the numbers of prosecutions taken and enforcement notices issued have continued to fall dramatically.

The Health and Safety Executive's increasing emphasis on less enforcement and more voluntary approaches has been dictated by a lack of funding. Worse is likely to come. The HSE faces a 15 per cent budget cut by 2011 to meet Treasury efficiency targets.So is it time to reconsider our approach to delivering health and safety at work? Does the modern day fragmented labour market demand a new framework of law? Do the often unrepresented and increasingly undocumented workers, need a clearer framework ofregulation within which to work? Would the development of a Quality of Working Life Bill clarify and streamline the duty of care still expected of our employers?

The Institute is keen to develop these ideas and this conference can kick-start the debate. Nor should the discussion be confined to strictly health and safety issues. A quality of working life focus could include work/life balance, flexibility, hours and holidays, benefits, insurance industry, rehabilitation, discrimination, job-security, intensification of work, supply chains and more.With all these issues to discuss it's crucial that trade unionists share information and discuss the way forward for health and safety.

Phil James, will lead contributions from academics, trade unionists and legal practitioners and provide a critical examination of key areas of current policy development. The aim of the conference will be to identify what more needs to be done to protect the health, safety and well-being of workers as they go about the task of earning a living.

9.30 Registration
9.50 Welcome from Chair, Carolyn Jones
10.00 Trends in work-related harm and how to improve them Professor Phil James, Oxford Brookes University
10.25 Are Stress Management Standards enough? The case for a Quality ofWorking Life ActSimon Pickvance, Sheffield Occupational Health Advisory Service
10.50 Worker representation: what works and what should be done?Professor David Walters, Cardiff University
11.15 Tea and coffee
11.30 Corporate Manslaughter and Director Duties David Bergman, Centre for Corporate Accountability
11.55 Collective Bargaining and Health and Safety: Case Studies from the Shop Floor, Susan Murray, UNITE:T&G
12.15 Questions
12.30 Lunch
1.30 Health and Safety under Brown, John McDonnell MP
1.55 The new European health and safety action programme and surrounding deregulatory pressures, Dave Feikert
2.20 Promoting an Agenda for Better Jobs Debbie Hutchings, UNITE: Amicus
2.40 HSE: a review of current policy, funding and future prospects Steve Kay, Prospect
3.0 Tea and coffee
3.15 Corporate Manslaughter - an update Professor Steve Tombs, Liverpool John Moores University
3.40 Hilda Palmer/Rory O'Neil - Hazards
4.00 Questions and discussion
4.30 Close

Who should attend
The conference will be of great interest to trade unionists, employment lawyers, academics and students. It will be of particular interest to Health and Safety Officers.

How to book

To reserve your place, complete the form below and send your cheque, made payable to IER, to Institute of Employment Rights, The People's Centre, 50-54 Mount Pleasant, Liverpool L3 5SD. Fax 0151 702 6935.

CPD, NPP and EPP accreditation

This conference counts for 5 credit hours under the Law Society's Continuing Development Scheme and the General Council of the Bar's New Practitioners' Programme and Established Practitioners' Programme.

Additional Information
Details of nearby hotels are available from the office. Name changes are accepted up until the time of the event. Delegates who advise IER of their cancellation more than 15 working days in advance will receive a credit note with 10% deduction for administration.

How to get there

Nearest stations are: Kings Cross and St Pancras (tube and British Rail)

IER subscribers and members £75.00
Trade unions £90.00
Commercial £220.00
The cost of the conference does not include lunch.

Booking form apply to

Phelim Mac Cafferty Projects and Events Officer Institute of Employment Rights179 Preston Road Brighton East Sussex BN1 6AGt: 01273 330819e:
Log onto the new website where you can book seats at our upcoming seminars and conferences

Monday, 7 January 2008


Sian Berry, Green Mayoral Candidate accompanied Barnet & Camden Green Party Candidate - Miranda Dunn and former Green AM Noel Lynch to attend a demonstration outside Finchley Memorial Hospital to protest the threatened closure of a Church Crescent GPs' surgery. The retirement of one of the partners has left Dr Dodds' surgery struggling to maintain its premises, and the local Primary Care Trust has proposed a costly temporary move before requiring the surgery to move into the PCT centre at Finchley Memorial in 2010.

Dr Dodds and his supporters protested outside Finchley Memorial Hospital; where a meeting between local GPs and their Practice Managers had been called with Barnet PCT. The demonstrators were asking the Trust to find a permanent home for the surgery in its present area, a mile from the hospital.

Sian said:"Local, accessible primary health care is essential to our wellbeing, especially for those who are less mobile. Barnet PCT should be doing everything in its power to keep the surgery in the local community, not dragging all its GPs into a central hospital. When we've got a government splashing out on tax cuts for the rich, nuclear weapons and white-elephant motorways, it's obscene that we are threatened with cuts and privatisations in the NHS. The Finchley campaigners have my full support, and I'll carry on campaigning for an NHS that is public, well-resourced and run for patients not profit."

A Beautiful Soul
by Stipan Saulic (one of Dr Dodd's many grateful patients)

Our dear doctor Kenneth Dodds
we often think of you
Being tender kind and caring
such people we only know a few

Your days are quite busy
from babies to elderlyall patiently queue
People love and trust you
because your heart is so true

You always have a welcoming smile for us
and an understanding word or two
The Church Crescent Surgery
you've charmed into our home too

The medications you prescribe
in our best interest and well being
so we don't come back
having lazybones or another unpleasant feeling

May this poem be a little thank you
to the most wondrous doctor of all
For all the harmony and happiness
that due to you our families enjoy

And if recommendations
also for heaven be
May then kind Gods
for a true believer hear plea

May your life be as happy and joyous
as of the luckiest that have it all
May you be heavenly rewarded
for your beautiful soul!