Friends of the Library of Birmingham

I attended a very useful campaign workshop this Saturday 26th October organised by the Friends of the Library of Birmingham. We sent the morning discussing a draft response to BCC’s Green paper and local and city wide campaigns. More about this later. please find attached below a useful poster re. Saving our librarires from both privatisation and closure by UNISON.

Save our library poster

Save our library poster2

Hands off Hall Green Library

Birmingham City Council are currently undertaking service reviews across a broad range of services that they currently provide. As a result, the Green Paper – Developing Successful and Inclusive Communities has been published and is open for consultation. This paper looks in particular at the future delivery model of library services and has ramifications for all community library services across Birmingham.

I believe that our library in Hall Green is at the very heart of our community, but this is under threat as councils are being put under indeterminable pressures as a result of the depth and frontloading of cuts being made to local authority budgets by the Tory-led Government.

Here in Hall Green, there is a very real risk to our Library, and the effect of such a closure would be felt across the whole Ward. There would be potential job losses. Any closing and reduction of access to libraries will remove or reduce Internet access for the many residents who do not have it at home, place more strain on already stretched school library services and impact on adult education. This just isn’t right.

I have set up the 4hglibrary campaign and hope that both residents from Hall Green Ward and others who believe in the very real benefits that libraries provide to join with me in this campaign. Please visit the website for more details of the campaign and information about how you can support it.


Those who know me will know that I am an active trade unionist and therefore I do not underestimate the huge task ahead of us. While we can campaign for libraries and advocate their place in society we must be aware that as they are part of a larger organisation, that being the local authority, this fight will need to be one that is sustained. Whilst we have a Tory led government in power, the public spending cuts will become yet deeper over the coming years and libraries among other services will face continued attacks and ultimate destruction.

An Unacceptable Truth: The Mental Health of Young People | 99percentblog

This is a piece written by by Youth Voice Journal:

The recent controversy concerning Tesco and Asda halloween costumes perhaps tells us more about the challenge of combating mental health than anything else. While it is true that most people will have the common sense to realise that these images are grossly exaggerated stereotypes, on reflection it has clear potential to make it harder for those with mental illness to seek help, for fear of being called derogatory names like lunatic and makes pre-existing attitudes and stigma harder to eradicate. Is it right to complain if a work colleague had a heart attack and hadn’t turned up for work? Of course not. So what makes it different than, say, depression? This is a question that, it appears, too many people don’t want to face.

Read more here: An Unacceptable Truth: The Mental Health of Young People | 99percentblog.

Labour Councils should oppose Bedroom Tax evictions

The Bedroom Tax has so far created many tragic stories of suicides of those fearing being evicted because of rent arrears or being moved away from the only communities they have. Many of those stories have been covered in the media but there are tens of thousands of other untold and terrible stories of despair and anguish as a result of this Tax.

Already the Bedroom Tax has made debtors out of 50,000 council tenants, virtually all of whom are very poor and many of them disabled. The Tax has outraged anyone in the general public with even the slightest compassion. Read more here…Labour Councils should be clear in opposing Bedroom Tax evictions | Councillors Against Cuts.