Matt Wrack wins FBU General Secretary election

Submitted by Janine on 7 May, 2005 - 8:32

Fire Brigades Union press release
6 May 2005

Matt Wrack has been elected General Secretary of the Fire Brigades Union. He defeated Andy Gilchrist in a secret postal ballot conducted by Electoral Reform Balloting services in which over 40% of members voted.

The result:
Votes cast: 20,663
Spoilt 571
Matt Wrack 12,883 (63.9%)
Andy Gilchrist 7,259 (36.1%)
Matt Wrack said: “I am enormously proud to be elected and thank everyone who participated in the ballot. I congratulate Andy Gilchrist on a hard fought campaign.

Attacks on Supported Housing residents

Submitted by Janine on 7 May, 2005 - 8:04

What's New in Social Housing?

Not the poor old Council Housing residents this time, but a group even more vulnerable.

Who are they?

People in Supported Housing, the elderly and the frail.

Supported housing providers are charging tenants top-up payments to plug the gaps in their budgets.(Inside Housing 6/5/05)

Housing associations operating in at least two councils are expecting residents to pay towards support services, placing the local authorities in breach of Supporting People funding rules. (Inside Housing 6/5/05)

AWL: what we are, what we do and why we do it Anon Tue, 05/03/2005 - 23:34

Over a period of two centuries and more, humankind has made tremendous strides in developing its power to control nature and, in terms of medicine and surgery in all their aspects, over itself. But we have proved as yet unable to break through into the higher stage of civilisation whose objective preconditions have long existed - the stage characterised by rational, human control over our society, and over nature, by a harmonious relationship with the eco-system on which everything depends.

Parents' anger at class size increase

Submitted by Janine on 29 April, 2005 - 10:23

Parents have condemned a government policy that caused their kids' class sizes to leap by 50% at the start of this term.

Year 1 children at Brook Community Primary School returned from their Easter break to join classes of 30, after the previous three classes were merged into two.

Brook is the 'Fresh Start' school that replaced Amherst Primary in central Hackney, which was in Special Measures. When one of the 61 children in Year 1 left the school, the government's funding formula forced the school to form two classes of 30 to replace three of around 20 each.

The Future of Social Housing

Submitted by Janine on 25 April, 2005 - 9:33

by Tony Osborne

What happens now? Some Councils, like Hackney, are scrabbling to get on the Arms Length Management Organisation (ALMO) ladder. They think this is the only way they are likely to raise the money after years of (their own!) neglect and mismanagement, to comply with central government’s directive that all Council homes must reach Decent Homes standard by 2010. However, this is by no means guaranteed even if given ALMO status.

Students, universities, occupation, and resistance in Iraq

Submitted by AWL on 25 April, 2005 - 7:26

Yahia Said, a researcher at the London School of Economics who has visited Iraq a number of times since 2003, spoke to the April meeting of the Iraq Workers' Solidarity Group about the student movement, university life, and the resistance in Iraq. Read more!.

How we feel ... a view from a Hackney teenager

Submitted by Janine on 23 April, 2005 - 9:06

By Nicky (16)

Yo, what’s up, peeps?

Or should I use correct grammar?

Say “Hello, how are you?”

To tell you the truth, I couldn’t give a damn.

And I’m sick and tired of not being listened to.

Cos I’m a teenager, and all people seem to think we do is get up to no good, bunk school, y’know, get into fights, have no respect, can’t dress properly, …

I mean – when’s it going to stop?

We have a lot of stress on our hands.

Defending Our Homes: People Before Profit

Submitted by Janine on 19 April, 2005 - 7:46

From 'Hackney Solidarity' April 2005 issue, for Aspland & Marcon estates

by Janine Booth

The future of our estates still hangs in the balance, as the Council continues to attack us, and we as a community – through the Tenants’ & Residents’ Association – do our best to stick up for ourselves and our rights.

One thing we can be sure of – the Council does not have residents’ interests at heart, and the ‘consultation’ process is a sham. We’ve had meeting after meeting, jargon upon jargon, one broken promise after another.