Frack Free Solent April Newsletter

The campaign against fracking continues – there are now 115 anti-fracking groups in the UK.

Frack Free Solent has had another busy month, with two successful fundraising music nights and a public meeting in Forestside plus daily monitoring of the Markwells Wood site. We also gave a short talk to Portsmouth Trades Council, who have very kindly donated £100 towards our campaigning activities. Don’t forget to check our website for up to date info, news & more.

Markwells Wood

We are still monitoring the site at Markwells Wood, Forestside – a few hundred yards north of the – T-junction here. Exploration work could start at any time, and we will be strongly opposing this as it is very likely to include testing for the feasibility of using fracking at this site. The operator of the site, Northern Petroleum, has recently said that they are looking to sell all their UK assets – however, two other companies already part own the PEDL licence, and there are plenty of other possible buyers who could take over operations. Markwells Wood is within the South Downs National Park and is completely unsuitable for the type of large scale industrial extraction involved in fracking.

Forestside Meeting

Markwells Wood is directly next to the small village of Forestside. Frack Free Solent helped organise a public meeting for Forestside residents in March with several speakers, including Marcus Adams from Frack Free Fernhurst. Over 30 local residents attended, many of whom are now setting up a local group to campaign against fracking. We are now looking to organise another public meeting in nearby Compton, while a few miles further north another group has recently been set up in South Harting following a – meeting there

Green Film Festival

Frack Free Solent is sponsoring the showing of Gasland at Portsmouth Film Society’s Green Film Festival. This will be at 6.00pm on Friday 23 May at the Eldon Building in Portsmouth University, and will be followed by a debate with a panel made up of Tim Dawes and Stuart Mills from Frack Free Solent and a local geologist. We have 25 tickets available to buy online at the reduced price of £4 829 . The usual price is £6, or you can also buy a festival pass from PFS for £10, to see all three films – more info

Donations needed

We need cash! To campaign effectively, we need your donations to pay for leaflet printing, web hosting, hall hire etc. We are fortunate to have had some grant funding from Lush Cosmetics, plus donations from Unison & Portsmouth Trades Council, but we need more.

Please consider making a donation to us – you can make a bank transfer to the Frack Free Solent bank account: Account No – 65698017 Sort code – 08 92 99 Or you can use the donate button on our website to donate via paypal.

Facebook

To keep up to date with fracking locally and nationally, join Frack Free Solent’s Facebook group

Next organising meeting

Frack Free Solent holds regular organising meetings, which are open to anyone who wants to help us plan activities to oppose fracking. The next meeting will be on Thursday 10 April at 7.30pm in the back room of the – White Hart, 1 East St, Havant PO9 1AA

Links to other groups

Frack Off – national network against fracking – lots of useful info & resources

Frack Free Fernhurst

Frack Free Sussex

Contact Frack Free Solent

“CARE CUTS HURT” demo outside Poole Council meeting. 22 April 17:45

Click for 2xA5 flyers

50% pay cut for ex-NHS carers in Dorset.

A personal account from a Dorset care worker:

In 2011 approximately 160 adults with severe learning disabilities and challenging behaviour were transferred from long stay hospital units and moved into their own homes. The private sector stepped in to provide care for these people and staff were personally matched and TUPE transferred with each individual. The promise was that any private care provider bidding for one of our clients had to show they could ensure our contracts for 2 years minimum, employ new staff on the same pay as the NHS workers to avoid a 2 tier workforce, and help with retention of new staff. A few weeks after the transfer it became apparent this was not the case; providers were employing colleagues at a much lower rate.

By October 2012 the provider ‘Dimensions’ had cut one third of staff’s salary in the form of lost enhancements, change to overtime rate, reduction in annual leave, loss of sick pay, reduced maternity leave etc.. Staff on average lost between £300 and £500 per month in take home pay. For one reason only, many staff accepted the cut at that time while others were dismissed and re-engaged. This reason being respect for those we care for. In Dorset many of us have worked for decades with these people, and have seen them uprooted and socially isolated in their own homes, often with strangers (agency staff) coming in to care, having lost day care provision and suitable transport, we felt so soon after this monumental change in their lives it would be beyond heart-breaking to remove the stability of those they had grown to trust over the decades, so we bit the bullet and continued to provide good care for our clients with the facilities we have.

‘Lifeways’, another of these providers, early in 2014 not only cut their staff’s wage in a similar fashion to Dimensions, they also reduced the hourly rate by 20% at the same time leading to huge reductions in take home pay. For example, a single parent of 3 previously took home £950 per month for part time hours – for these same hours she will now take home £389 – less than her mortgage payment alone and that is after 27 years in the service. Again those that did not sign to accept this cut were ruthlessly dismissed and re-engaged.

In March 2014 Dimensions staff received a further letter stating their hourly rate would be cut by £1.90 (a 20% drop this time). This is going to force the long term staff to search for work elsewhere a choice they cannot take lightly but for reasons of survival will be forced to, having devastating effects for those we care for. Stability is essential for their quality of life and the staff realise this as we have, in many cases, dedicated our lives to the vocation.

Both Dimensions and Lifeways insist the cuts are only necessary because the local authorities who commission the work to such companies have cut the budget and they cannot survive as businesses unless they do. This appears to be their priority – survival as a business – rather than the devastation they are about to unleash on staff and vulnerable people.

That said, other private providers locally receiving the same amount of money from the authorities have kept their ex NHS staff on their original terms and conditions without going out of business. Despite staff arguing that the cut of £1.90 per hour to 42 Dimensions staff in the area, will result in recruitment and training costs higher than the saving made, Dimensions are well aware of this and stated they are looking at the long term stability of the company, so to us as staff this devastating upheaval is completely unnecessary, especially when you learn extra directors with huge salaries have been employed, managers have been cut in number but received an increase, deputy managers have been put in place and a bonus will be paid to all staff in April due to a profit share scheme.

In what world can carers and those we care for be treated this way – in a tory world where profit is put before people time and time again, I would ask everyone reading this to imagine losing 50% of their wage within 2 years, through no fault of their own and in fact for taking more responsibility now than we ever did as a care worker in the hospital units.

Where does this leave me? Other than fighting against this cut I cannot look the gentleman I have looked after since 1999 in the eye for fear of how I am about to let him down, let alone his family and how they will feel when those staff they trust implicitly are priced out of the job. Not to mention how to pay my bills and care for my own children.

Join the “CARE CUTS HURT” demo outside Poole Council meeting. 22 April 17:45

Freedom is Dead, Long Live Freedom

wessexsolidarity:

Best of luck to the collective in the new venture.

Originally posted on Trade Onion by Jon Bigger:

In the mid 1990s when I was 18 and studying A-Levels in rural Lincolnshire one of my teachers told me about Freedom Bookshop and the newspaper.  It seemed a long way away at the time.  He had a stash of anarchist literature hidden away in the school and when he realised I was heading to London Guildhall Uni (now London Metropolitan Uni) he told me that the bookshop was just around the corner.  I ended up visiting a few times over the three years I studied there and always got a copy of the paper.  The last full regular issue is out now and the collective running the paper has taken the decision to operate online from now on.  That brings to an end a physical publication that’s been running since 1886.   Buy the last ever full paper issue!

The last issue has made me want more.  I’m glad we’re…

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“CARE CUTS HURT” demo outside Poole Council meeting. 22 April 17:45

CNCIf you have been affected by cuts to care in any way, whether you have lost your day care, lost you benefits, mobility car, a carer who has had their wage slashed, a care provider who is having to slash their staff’s wages or simply someone who cares please join us in the “CARE CUTS HURT” demo outside Poole Council meeting. Let those that are making the decisions see the human cost, bring a placard, bring your personal story written down to be collected for presenting to the councilors at a future date. Enough is enough with 60% of cuts still to be rolled out we must make ourselves heard.

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Poole Civic centre (map)

farcebook event

BPACC (Bournemouth & Poole Anti Cuts Coalition)

Meet The Green Workfare Charity Boss Who Also Runs A Biotech Firm And Builds On Greenbelt Land

Originally posted on the void:

bob-lawson There are few things more contemptible than those who claim in public to care about poverty or the environment, yet show no such scruples when it comes to making a buck.

Bob Lawson is the Chairman of the Groundwork Federation, an organisation currently the target of anti-workfare protests.  Groundwork are a ‘green’ charity, who boast on their website of ‘helping people create healthier, safer and greener places’.

Like so many of the idle rich, Lawson doesn’t just have one non-job, he has three.  When not prancing around pretending to be some kind of eco-warrior, Bob Lawson is also the Chairman of Barratt Developments PLC.  This organisation have a very different approach to creating healthier and greener places, which mostly involves the use of a bull-dozer.  There have been countless protests against the company who are currently littering the countryside with houses for posh people.  Barratt would rather build on greenbelt land

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Call-out to Oppose Worldwide White Pride in Swansea April 5th

Originally posted on Anti-Fascist Network:

swansea

From Cardiff Antifa Caerdydd:

Urgent Call Out To All The Antifacists In Britain

A WHITE PRIDE WORLD WIDE DEMONSTRATION HAS BEEN CALLED BY THE NATIONAL FRONT IN SWANSEA ON THE 5th OF APRIL 2014. THE DEMO IS CO-ORGANISED BY AN UMBRELLA GROUP OF BRITISH WHITE NATIONALIST THAT CALL THEMSELVES ‘FOR RACE AND NATION COLLECTIVE’.

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