Support Dorset Eye – Independent Citizen Media

Via www.dorseteye.com

Dorset Eye is a vital resource for communities and activists, providing local, regional and international voices on a wide range of topics determined by the public. Since 2012 thousands of people have contributed news and analysis to a website that is unique in the UK, supporting local democracy, defending public services and keeping a close “Eye” on those with authority and influence.We aim provide an empowering democratic experience, so the website is run entirely by volunteers operating on a not-for-profit basis. The site is clean of corporate advertising: content is at the centre of the media experience. With growing costs and ambitious plans to become a model that can compete with the corporate media we need a significant increase in resources, especially through financial support.

What they say about Dorset Eye:

Debbie Monkhouse, Defend Dorset NHS:

“Dorset Eye covers the news that really matters to us here and is not afraid to state the facts. Dorset Eye has really helped get the message out about what is happening to our Dorset NHS – the huge losses at Poole Hospital A&E and Maternity, 245 acute beds across the county, and community hospitals in Portland, Wareham, Ferndown, Westhaven and Alderney. Crucially, Dorset Eye has not shied away from sharing clear evidence of the risk to life inherent in the CCG plans.”

Dr David McQueen, Journalism & Media, Bournemouth University:

“Dorset Eye provides a quite unique example of citizen journalism in action – giving local people a venue to write about and debate topics that range from parking, crime, traffic issues, the impact of austerity on local NHS provision, to Brexit, climate change and the mainstream media’s failure in its reporting around Saudi Arabia and the war in Yemen. No other local media in the UK is so open to citizens’ voices across such a wide range of topics and stories.

Please support Dorset Eye as generously as you can and never hesitate to contact us to discuss how we can help each other. You can back us financially at:- Support Us:  https://dorseteye.com/support-us/

– GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/dorset-eye
Please circulate this message to your friends, workmates and neighbours, and through your community, trade union, party and other networks.

You can contribute your own news, reports and analyses to Dorset Eye at: https://dorseteye.com/submit-a-report/

The Dorset Eye team

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Help Bristol Care Workers Network!

Hello comrades!

We are Bristol Care Workers Network. We an autonomous collective of healthcare and social care workers. We are contacting other organisations in Bristol to ask for help.

The charity Mencap have gone to court to demand that the government overturns its recent ruling on sleeping shifts counting as work for the purposes of calculating workers’ entitlement to the minimum wage. Because of Mencap, millions of low-paid workers will now be denied the minimum wage for their sleep shifts.

This has come at a time when non-payment of the minimum wage is at its worst ever level. The care sector is already one of the worst affected. Even for workers who are paid legally, studies have shown that it is almost impossible to make a living on the minimum wage. And now, Mencap want to make it even harder for workers to get the minimum wage.

The social care sector is a precarious sector where workers are routinely denied their rights and where union presence is very low. Although the situation for care workers is dire, this makes it an ideal sector for grassroots organising. We’ve found our campaigns around home care workers pay to be very successful and popular, and we’ve generated a lot of support by fighting this issue.

Precarious workers in other sectors are getting organised in an unprecedented way recently but at the moment the care sector has not caught up with what’s been happening among couriers, hospitality workers and other precarious sectors of the economy. The law around home care is changing rapidly and the TUC unions can’t keep up, so there is a real need for grassroots and DIY organising in the care sector. The home care sector is reaching crisis point due to austerity and Brexit will make this worse, so now is the time to start focusing on this sector. This is also an intersectional issue, as home care workers are overwhelmingly women, and a high proportion of care workers are people of colour and/or migrants, so as well as being an issue of class struggle, this is also a feminist issue and an anti-racist issue. This is why we think it’s important to start fighitng this.

We are a small organisation with limited capacity and influence, so we need other organisations to help make this event a success. You can help us by attending on the day, bringing your banners, and making a lot of noise, and/or publicising and sharing our event on your social media.

Thanks,

BCWN

Useful links:

BCWN website: bristolcareworkersnetwork.org

Stand up to Mencap event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1974568829267337/

BCWN’s critique of Unison and the TUC, and our arguments for grassroots organising in the care sector: https://bristolcareworkersnetwork.org/2018/08/26/unison-social-care-seminar-report-and-actions-the-workers-respond/

Background info on the Mencap court case: https://www.unison.org.uk/news/press-release/2018/07/sleep-shifts-judgment-huge-mistake/

Article about non-payment of NMW: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-45608993

Swindon Radical Bookfair Saturday 15th September 2018.

Links to FB event

We’ll be there!

Central Community Centre, Emlyn Square, Swindon 1 – 5pm

Parking is available on-site.

There will be a social and food at the Glue Pot (opposite the bookfair) straight after the bookfair.

Provisional timings for workshops will be –

1.30-2.30pm – Bristol Radical History Group / Docs Not Cops

2.45-3.45pm – Social Workers Without Borders / Acorn

4-5pm – Reel News

Wessex Solidarity at Bristol Anarchist Bookfair 2018

In addition to our stall at the Black Swan, we are hosting, as a last minute addition to the programme, the following meeting at BASE (formerly  Kebele) from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Defend the NHS and Fight for Socialised Healthcare!

A Dorset anarchist’s experience supporting grassroots campaigns, working with different groups, dealing with different political agendas, and handling the media. He will then suggest a strategy to set up a defensive infrastructure, capable of rapidly reacting to future threats, and uniting groups of healthcare workers with the users of the service. This will then be followed by open discussion.

That’s a long time to talk so bring your own ideas and experiences!

HOLD ON THE ROAD!

A night of crazy Forest music to raise money for the legal fight against the closure of Lydney and Dilke Hospitals. £5 minimum donation on the door. A Bar and great music from Pure Evil, NFA and The Acronyms. Should be a great night for a good cause! Donate here though whether you can make it or not (but not to be missed!) https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/holdourhospitals/
facebook event

HELP US SAVE OUR HOSPITALS

For anyone who has yet to visit the Forest of Dean, please do – you’re most welcome, it belongs to everyone after all as it’s public property – we last fought and won for it to remain so in 2011. We have a track record of community action going back at least four centuries to force authorities into doing U-turns. There is a very keen sense of public ownership in the Forest, and this extends to its two community hospitals – Lydney and the Dilke Memorial. Miners and other local workers largely built the hospitals during the half-century before the NHS existed, they paid by subscription out of their paltry wages and acquired land in the middle of the woods near the town of Cinderford for the Dilke (named for the Forest’s Victorian-era Radical Whig MP, Charles Dilke) with a covenant that stated the site should always be used for the care of the poor and the sick.

The reason the Forest has and needs two hospitals is a practical geographic reason: there is a big Forest that separates the northern and western side of it from the southern and eastern side – almost all the settlements are in a bracelet around the main eight-by-10-mile block of woodland.

During its propaganda drive when it was “consulting” on closing the two hospitals to be replaced by a cheap one in an undisclosed location, with undisclosed facilities, the Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust reduced this widespread acknowledgement that the hospitals belong to us, as they were built and funded by us to us being “sentimental” about them, or according to one of the Trust’s plants at a public meeting, “dinosaurs”.

What you tend to find now in our Forest community of 50,000+ people – and we have been going door-to-door with a petition against the closures – is that more than 90 per cent we meet are rushing to sign, while only very few express support for the single new hospital of undetermined location and size. Everyone else sees it for what it is, a cutting in half of our health services, our Minor Injuries Units, our non-acute hospital beds and the asset-stripping of two valuable pieces of real estate. The NHS Trust has written off the hospitals as not fit for purpose – despite them getting five-star customer satisfaction surveys. It cites “clinical reasons” – the main issues being an antiquated heating system, leaky roof and lack of piped oxygen… and the staff shortages which are endemic throughout the NHS. We say the working environment and the problems could be sorted in both hospitals using the £11 million the Trust has in its pot. The reason these problems exist is due to managed decline, to chronic underinvestment by the Trust. Who pays for the Trust and for the NHS? We do… therefore it is up to us and all other communities fighting similar cuts proposals and asset-stripping across the country to make sure we aren’t robbed by these corporate entities.

This is the third battle we know of save the Dilke Hospital from being closed by a succession of governments and NHS trusts. The first we know of was in 1988, while the last battle was in 2005-6, and our Tory MP Mark Harper was at the forefront of it, in opposition to the New Labour government. He and fellow Tories soon transformed a traditionally Labour, or even Communist, area into a Tory stronghold on the back of this “save our hospitals” campaign.

It’s a different story this time around – all our local councillors of each party are either keeping quiet or trying to smear us campaigners. We have now discovered that since 2015 various politicians from various parties, alongside voluntary group representatives and those from the private/ charitable local healthcare sector all signed non-disclosure agreements to keep secret the plot to shut the two hospitals, until the NHS was ready with its propaganda drive, post-election. This focus group convened by the Gloucestershire NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, we are now told, made the decision on behalf of us, the community!

We beg to differ and so we have taken the plunge and got a major public law firm involved and are applying for a Judicial Review. We desperately need to raise £5,000 by April 28 just for the first application stage. The good news is, the legals have found five grounds for challenge and we have raised almost half via the legal crowdfunding platform CrowdJustice (yes they take a percentage for acting as a bridge between us and the money, but none of us were prepared to be saddled with responsibility for loads of cash!). The scary news is, we still have half of it to raise, and if we don’t…

Anyway, please help us out in every you can, a few of us are full-time on this but we need this out everywhere… people pledging donations and sharing around. Also come to our fundraising gig on April 21st, gonna be a blinder!

Please share this link / or pledge a donation to it (not taken out of accounts until April 28 if we raise the target) https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/holdourhospitals/

Councillor Bill Pipe, resign!

From the Keep Kingfisher and Maternity at DCH a 24/7 Consultant Led Unit Team DCH Facebook page:

“Councillor Bill Pipe, new Chair of the Health Scrutiny Committee, which has the power to challenge the bed closures, hospital closures and removal of services in the clinical services review says the committee reversed its decision to refer the plans to the secretary of state for health because it did not have evidence of public support.

This is not the case. 27,000 signatures were collected in the petition to save Kingfisher ward and nearly 37,000 to save Poole Hospital. Campaigners wrote letters and attended meetings to express their concerns and even the watchdog Healthwatch challenged the decisions.

Cllr Pipe also pressurised members of the committee by holding a special pre meeting in which they were asked to individually state their voting intentions and also by giving a 5 minute speech before the vote urging the committee to support the changes.‎ Such actions amount to bullying and are unprecedented and unacceptable in a committee which should remain independent.

He has also misled the committee about the numbers voting for the referral at the Joint Health Scrutiny Committee in December and by not telling them that the week before, he had proposed that Purbeck District Council oppose the CCG’s plans – which they did with a unanimous vote.

We believe that Cllr Pipe has brought the Health Scrutiny Committee and Dorset County Council into disrepute, that he is unfit to chair the committee and that he should resign.

If you would like to write to Leader of the Council, Rebecca Knox and ask her to replace him as chair with someone who has the confidence of the public then please message us and we’ll advise you how to do it.”

On yer bike, Pipe!

magpiebillpipe@freeuk.com