Thursday, 31 May 2012

South West NHS Trusts to reduce Pay, Terms and Conditions

A number of NHS Trusts in the South West, including Weston Area Health Trust, are now working together to look at ways of reducing staff pay, terms and conditions. They are looking at the following, with the aim of having definite proposals in place by October 2012:
  • Unsocial hours payments
  • Incremental progression
  • Working Hours
  • Annual Leave
  • Pay levels
  • Sickness Absence enhancements
The full document is available here: South West Pay, Terms and Conditions Consortium

New local government pensions proposals released

The Local Government Association (LGA) and trade unions have today announced the outcome of their negotiations on new LGPS proposals (for England and Wales) to take effect from 1st April 2014.

These proposals will now be communicated to scheme members, employers, funds and other scheme interests. Unions will consult their members over these proposals and the LGA will consult employers. The government has confirmed that a favourable outcome of our consultations will enable them to move directly to a statutory consultation later in the Autumn to implement these proposals.

The main provisions of the proposed LGPS 2014 are:

1 A Career Average Revalued Earnings (CARE) scheme using CPI as the revaluation factor (the current scheme is a final salary scheme).

2 The accrual rate would be 1/49th (the current scheme is 1/60th).

3 There would be no normal scheme pension age, instead each member’s Normal Pension Age (NPA) would be their State Pension Age (the current scheme has an NPA of 65).

4 Average member contributions to the scheme would be 6.5% (same as the current scheme) with the rate determined on actual pay (the current scheme determines part-time contribution rates on full time equivalent pay). While there would be no change to average member contributions, the lowest paid would pay the same or less and the highest paid would pay higher contributions on a more progressive scale after tax relief.

5 Members who have already or are considering opting out of the scheme could instead elect to pay half contributions for half the pension, while still retaining the full value of other benefits. This is known as the 50/50 option (the current scheme has no such flexible option).

6 For current scheme members, benefits for service prior to 1st April are protected, including remaining ‘Rule of 85’ protection. Protected past service continues to be based on final salary and current NPA.

7 Where scheme members are outsourced they will be able to stay in the scheme on first and subsequent transfers (currently this is a choice for the new employer).

All other terms remain as in the current scheme. Future scheme costs will be monitored and controlled to ensure stability and affordability of the LGPS. Further details on cost management and scheme governance will be released once the ongoing discussions in the next part of the LGPS 2014 project are complete.

Heather Wakefield, UNISON National Secretary Local Government, Police and Justice Section said:

“The negotiations over LGPS 2014 have been long and tough and have taken place in a demanding political and economic climate. The process has shown that UNISON, the LGA and the other local government unions can work productively together in the best interests of LGPS members and potential members.

LGPS 2014 is a sustainable, defined benefit scheme, which is designed to protect existing members and be affordable for the low paid and part-time workers who are its majority. Under exacting circumstances, we have achieved the best possible outcome.”

Full details available here -

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Integrated Care Organisation - why a Social Enterprise shouldn't run Health & Social Care Services in North Somerset

UNISON is extremely worried about the government's intention to create 'the largest social enterprise sector in the world'.

Voluntary and community organisations have taken on specialist roles in the health service, where they use their skills and innovation alongside the NHS to deliver quality patient care.
Now the government wants to allow social enterprises - private companies outside the NHS - to provide everyday mainstream health services.
UNISON believes this will break-up the NHS.
It means that innovation will take a backseat in the fight to win contracts, with costs being driven downwards. Patient care will suffer as the race to provide the cheapest service will affect the quality of care - and teams from different organisations will find it increasingly difficult to co-operate with competitors over a patient's care.
If these small social enterprise businesses fail, the NHS will not be able to bail them out. This opens the door for multi-national companies to step in, meaning that your healthcare will be run for profit. Any surpluses will go into shareholders' pockets rather than into improving the service. 

Useful Documents on Social Enterprise:

Social Enterprises and the NHS

Third Sector Provision of Local Government and Health Services

Mutual Benefit?

UNISON documents on NHS Bill:

More than just a brand

Integrated Care Organisation - 7 reasons why UNISON opposes Foundation Trusts

In 2003 the Labour government introduced legislation to allow the best performing hospitals to become foundation trusts, independent bodies with freedoms to set wages and attract private funding. The first foundation trusts were introduced in 2004.There are seven reasons why UNISON has continued to oppose foundation trusts.

Reason 1: Foundation trusts compete as part of a commercial market

Foundation trusts operate in a competitive, commercial market in the NHS. In this market primary care trusts (PCTs) buy services from a range of different providers across the public and private sectors, including NHS trusts, foundation trusts and privately run diagnostic and clinical centres. As foundation trusts have more freedoms to invest in services and health facilities than other health competitors it is likley that competition will become a ‘one-horse race’.UNISON is concerned services will suffer and harmful competition could lead to a two-tier health service and the possible closure of smaller general hospitals.

Reason 2: Foundation trusts are a backdoor to privatisation

Foundation trust status creates a backdoor to privatisation by allowing private and voluntary organisations, such as BUPA, to apply for a licence to run a foundation trust.UNISON is concerned the threat of increased privatisation in the health service could lead to the outsourcing of some or all health services to the private sector.

Reason 3: Foundation trusts will not lead to greater local accountability or social ownership

NHS hospitals were already owned by and run for the benefit of the whole public. The governance framework for foundation trusts does not lead to greater local accountability or social ownership. For example, foundation trusts are able to run with only a very small number of members in relation to the population that uses them.UNISON is concerned that foundation trusts do not represent the communities they serve.

Reason 4: Foundation trusts are poor value for money

Foundation trusts have freedoms to borrow privately which costs more than if they borrowed from the public sector. Private investment does not lead to increased total levels of investment, as the private sector borrowing counts towards the overall capital allocations agreed between the Department of Health and the Treasury.UNISON is concerned that public finance will simply be replaced by more expensive private finance, leading to higher costs and no overall increase in the level of NHS capital investment.

Reason 5: Foundation trusts lead to greater inequalities between trusts

Foundation trusts have greater powers and freedoms than NHS trusts which leads to inequalities in the health service. For example, they are able to keep all operating surpluses and asset sale proceeds themselves, whereas under the current system surpluses go to a central NHS funding pool from where they are redistributed to wherever the need in the NHS is the greatest.UNISON believes the levels of private borrowing by foundation trusts leads to decreased funding for non-foundation trusts.

Reason 6: Foundation trusts draw scarce staff away from non-foundation trusts

Foundation trusts have greater powers to raise private funds and set wage levels and will therefore be able to exercise additional flexibility on pay, leading to these hospitals drawing scarce staff away from Trusts that do not have Foundation status.UNISON is concerned that trusts without foundation status will have difficulty recruiting and retaining staff. This will undermine their performance and increase their reliance on temporary staff.

Reason 7: Foundation trusts undermine the NHS’s public service principles

Foundation Trusts undermine the provision of an integrated and planned health service and reinforce inequalities in access to health care. They will have an extremely negative impact on the NHS and staff as there is an emphasis on meeting financial needs rather than health needs.UNISON is concerned that foundation trusts damage services and harmful competition is leading to a two-tier health service.

Useful Documents on Foundation Trusts:

UNISON's Opposition to Foundation Trusts

Foundation Hospitals and the NHS Plan

In the Interests of Patients?

UNISON documents on NHS Bill:

UNISON's reponse to White paper - Liberating the NHS

Regulating Healthcare Providers

Local Democratic Legitimacy

Commissioning for Patients

Transparency in Outcomes

UNISON's reponse to Listening Exercise

Friday, 25 May 2012

'A Future That Works' - mass TUC demonstration in London on 20 October

The TUC is to organise a mass demonstration in London under the banner of 'A Future That Works' on Saturday 20 October 2012. A march through central London will culminate in a rally in Hyde Park.

On March 26 2011 the TUC's March for the Alternative attracted 500,000 people to a march and rally in London.

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: 'The tide is turning against austerity. We were told that spending cuts were needed to get the economy growing, yet they have driven the UK back into recession. We were told that we were all in it together, yet Mr Cameron's main purpose at the G8 summit seemed to be protecting the banks against the growing international support for a Robin Hood tax - and the last Budget's centrepiece was cutting the 50p tax rate.

'It is becoming ever clearer that this government does not have the policies - or even much of a commitment - to build a prosperous economy that can generate the jobs and industries we need for the future.

'Rather than bold policies for investment and growth, the best that ministers can do is half-baked proposals to make it easier to sack people.

'That is why we expect a huge turnout from the growing numbers that want a future that works. With the USA and France now setting out the alternative, it's time the UK also changed course.'

The branch will be organising transport to take members to the march and rally. North Somerset UNISON members who would like to attend should register their interest by emailing or phoning the branch on or 01934 634759.

Flexi Time Policy - Latest

Despite UNISON not agreeing the new policy, the Council will introduce the new Flexi Time policy on 1st June 2012. North Somerset Council have agreed to monitor the introduction of the new flexi time policy for both equalities and operational impact.

Our recent consultative ballot of UNISON members has indicated that members are willing to take industrial action to protect the current (until 31st May 2012) flexi time arrangements. As a result North Somerset UNISON will be talking to UNISON South West Regional Office about the possibility of an official ballot for some form of industrial action over the flexi-time issue, along with the issue that some of our lowest paid members face around proposals to reduce their payments for working unsocial hours.

An official ballot can only take place if it is approved by our Regional Secretary. Also, for legal reasons, industrial action ballots do not happen over night. It could take up to 2 months to arrange. For this reason my advice to all members is to make sure you use up any unused flexi time by the end of June, and also ensure that any additional hours you do are pre-approved by your manager as TOIL so that they can be carried over. Alternatively you can simply work your contracted hours.

Further updates will be posted on this blog.

Judge backs family’s battle against youth cut decision

The following article by James Franklin appeared in this week's Weston Mercury:

A JUDGE will now rule on the legality of the cuts North Somerset Council has made to its youth services after a young man’s judicial review bid was granted.

Aaron Hunt launched his legal challenge after saying the council had not taken into account the special needs of everyone using the services when it made its decision to slash services.

And his case will now be heard in the High Court after a judge deemed the authority had a significant case to answer.

Aaron has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, used to attend a youth club in Weston but says the cuts have ‘ripped his family of friends apart’.

The 21-year-old, of Westfield Road, Banwell, is entitled to youth service provision until the age of 25.

His action claims the council breached its requirements under the Equality Act 2010 by failing to consider matters including the disability, sexual orientation and race of those using the youth services.

Now a judge has confirmed that the Hunts’ claim has raised significant concerns that require the full consideration of the High Court.

A date for the hearing has not yet been confirmed, but it is expected to take place on June 22.
Aaron’s mum, Alison Hunt, said: “I told Aaron that it had gone to the High Court and he just said ‘good’.

“We’re over the moon as we are determined to do this for all of the young people in North Somerset as we feel that what the council is doing is simply wrong.”

The Hunts are represented by Public Interest Lawyers in their bid, and Daniel Carey, from the firm, said they had been encouraged by messages of support from other residents in North Somerset.

He urged other people who are affected to contact them on

He said: “We gave North Somerset Council plenty of opportunity to turn back, but it has pressed on regardless.

“We are pleased the High Court has confirmed the claim is properly made and needs an urgent trial to resolve.

“The High Court will now listen very carefully to the views of North Somerset’s youth - something the council manifestly failed to do.”

A council spokesman said: “We will be defending our decision when the matter is heard and it would not be appropriate to comment further at the moment."

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Integrated Care Organisation - Have your Say!

North Somerset Council have launched a consultation for Health & Social Care staff and service users.

Here's the link to the prospectus which contains a short questionnaire towards the end:

You can also take part in the consultation online at this link:

You have until 31st July to make your views known. Make sure you have your say.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

North Somerset Youth Services Full Judicial Review Hearing

Public Interest Lawyers Press Release:

North Somerset Resident Granted Permission for Full Judicial Review of Decision by North Somerset Council to Cut Budget to Youth Services

The High Court has granted Aaron Hunt, a resident of North Somerset, permission to proceed to a full judicial review hearing of North Somerset Council’s decision to reduce funding to the area’s Youth Service.

Mr Hunt is seeking judicial review of the February 2012 decision of the Council to pass a budget that will see funding to Youth Services reduced by over 70% up to 2014/15. As a result of the reduction, the Council have confirmed that six youth groups in the area will cease to operate. Those youth groups in the area that are not closing face a period of uncertainty as the Council provides only a limited funding grant whilst local town and parish organisations and residents attempt to organise activities to try and plug the gaps left by the Council withdrawal. Further cuts will now fall in successive years.

Mr Hunt, a long time user of a youth group in Weston, is challenging the decision to drastically cut the youth services budget as he has seen a number of changes take place to a service that he holds dear. He is worried about the effect that the future cuts will have and fears for the long term future of not just his club, but others in the area too.

Mr Hunt challenges the Council’s failure to consult widely enough with service users before seeking to introduce a new budget that will have profound effects on a great many of North Somerset’s young people. Critically, the Council also failed to give due consideration to the needs of vulnerable users protected by the Equality Act 2010.

In their initial response to Mr Hunt’s claim, the Council sought to raise a series of technical points to ensure that the case did not proceed to full judicial review. Further encouraged by messages of support from local residents angry at the Council’s decision making process however, Mr Hunt’s claim has been confirmed by the High Court to have raised significant concerns that require the full consideration of the Court. A date for the full hearing has yet to be confirmed however it is expected to take place before 22nd June 2012.

Further persons who are affected by the cuts or who are able to make a financial contribution are being asked to email local campaigners on in support.

Daniel Carey of Public Interest Lawyers stated:
We gave North Somerset Council plenty of opportunity to turn back, but they have pressed on regardless. We are pleased that the High Court has confirmed that the claim is properly made and needs an urgent trial to resolve. The High Court will now listen very carefully to the views of North Somerset’s youth; something the Council manifestly failed to do.

For more information go to Public Interest Lawyers website

Friday, 11 May 2012

Aaron's Judicial Review Challenge over Youth Cuts

The following article by James Franklin was published in this week's Weston Mercury

A MAN with learning difficulties who has launched a judicial review against North Somerset Council says the authority’s cuts to youth services have ‘ripped apart’ his ‘family’ of friends.

Aaron Hunt and his mother Alison launched their High Court bid as the council looks to cut its youth services budget by 71 per cent over the next four years.

Aaron, who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, says the authority failed to take the special needs of those using youth clubs into account, while his mother branded the cuts ‘disgusting’.

Six youth groups including Spread Your Wings and the girls’ group at Milton and Old Worle Children’s Centre, and the girls and boys groups at South Weston Healthy Living Centre have closed as a result of the cuts.

Communities, charities and other organisations are in the process of creating new networks to keep open other clubs across the district.

Twenty-one-year-old Aaron, of Westfield Road, Banwell, is entitled to youth care until the age of 25. He used to attend the youth club at the Healthy Living Centre and said his group of friends was like a ‘family’. But he said the cuts had: “Made me very sad, and my friends sad too. It has ripped us apart.”

His mother says they have taken the step of seeking the review on behalf of young people across North Somerset. She said: “I think it is disgusting what the council is doing. This has left a lot of youngsters who used these clubs distraught.

“The council doesn’t know what it’s doing to the youngsters of North Somerset - they are our future and this could have a serious impact for years to come.

“The thing that annoys me the most is that they are wasting money here, there and everywhere, but they are making savings where children are concerned.”

The challenge claims the council breached its requirements under the Equality Act 2010 by failing to consider matters including the disability, sexual orientation and race of those using the youth services.

The Hunts are being represented by Public Interest Lawyers (PIL) in their bid. They will hear in the next few days whether it will proceed to a full hearing at the High Court in London.

Daniel Carey, from PIL, said: “For cuts of this severity, the law requires the council to carry out a high degree of information gathering and to anxiously consider their impact before approving them. But the council has clearly failed to do this. It is refusing to push the pause button on these cuts, so we have no option but to ask the High Court to intervene.”

A spokesman for the council said it had given a ‘full and robust response’ to the claim, and said it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.

This article by Alex Evans was published in this week's Weston Mercury:

Union asks for support

A TRADE union is asking youngsters to outline what their youth club means to them to support a judicial review into council cutbacks.

Unison wants young people who use youth clubs, or their parents, to email it about the importance of their club to back Aaron Hunt’s judicial review of North Somerset Council’s decision to cut services.

A North Somerset Unison statement said: “We need your help to support his case - we need you to write witness statements saying how you feel about your youth club and the cuts to youth services.
“This could be the last time local people can have their say about the cuts. If youth clubs start closing in six months time there won’t be much that anyone will be able to do about it then.”

The union is asking people to write in outlining which club they attend and how long they have done so, what they like about their club and whether anyone at the council asked them about potential cuts. People are being asked to write to by tomorrow (Fri)

Thursday, 10 May 2012

North Somerset UNISON statement on the new Flexi Time policy and Consultative ballot

The normal procedure for consulting on policies at the council is that trade unions including UNISON are provided with the policies and given time to comment before they are issued to managers and staff. In this case a draft of the policy was given to UNISON on 17th April. Then a final version of the policy was issued to all trade unions (including UNISON) for consultation on 24th April - 10 minutes ahead of the email which was sent to all managers to disseminate to staff. We have been given until 24th May to give our comments.

HR's email to managers stated “The refreshed Flexi-Time policy continues to give employees the flexibility to vary their start and finish times from work. Changes have, however, been introduced to the credit and debit hours carry forward scheme to reflect the concern that teams are generally reducing in size and it is becoming increasingly difficult to ensure adequate staffing levels all at all times to meet service delivery needs.”  

“Changes have also been made in response to concerns over an inconsistent approach to the application of the scheme and the need to improve the recording and monitoring arrangements.”

My understanding of why the council want to change the policy is because they have less staff and are finding it operationally difficult to ensure adequate cover. They are also keen to move to a scheme where additional hours, which are then taken as leave, can be monitored, which they argue is not the case currently.

The UNISON office was deluged with phone calls and emails from members from 24th April onwards. As a result I met with HR on 3rd May to feedback members’ comments. These included:

  • Lack of consultation with trade unions before policy was issued
  • Need for an equality impact assessment
  • Flexi not being carried forward into next month and difficulties caused with staff all taking flexi leave on the last day of the month
  • Operational difficulties
  • Staff with caring responsibilities
  • Staff at Castlewood having to start early in order to get a parking space
  • Issues with hot desking
  • Impact on staff morale
  • Flexi not allowed for JM3 and above
HR made it very clear to me that CMT want to abolish flexi days, because they are difficult to keep track of. Instead they want what was once called flexi to effectively become TOIL, which has to be pre-approved by managers, which can be carried forward into the next month, and which is logged on ITRENT so it can be tracked.

My understanding of what they want from the new policy is that flexi-time and flexi leave will only exist within a calendar month. Any other “flexi time” (additional hours) built up effectively has to become TOIL, which has to be preapproved by line managers, and can then be carried over. HR made it clear that they don’t intend to tell line managers what to do in terms of approving TOIL, so it could well be the case however you work currently won’t change. But that you will have to come to either a formal or informal arrangement with your manager about working additional hours.

In my discussion HR also indicated that more than 1 day’s TOIL could be carried over under the new policy, but this doesn’t now seem to be the case, or at least can only happen with Service Manager / Director approval.

In addition I asked HR to make it clear in the policy that the definition of TOIL is not as it was in the old policy, where TOIL was hours worked after 6.30 pm and at weekends. Now TOIL is any additional hours on top of your normal working hours – no matter what time of day or weekend that is. I think this was causing some confusion.

Briefly then my understanding is that what was once called flexi will effectively now be TOIL and in that way it can be carried over into the next month and used within that following month, but that it has to be pre-approved by managers.

HR asked whether UNISON would agree to the policy. I asked HR to send it out again to see how staff felt, and if staff were happy then we could agree. As it is obviously the case that staff are still not happy then UNISON will not agree to this policy. Having said that the council will still implement it and the only way we can then stop it is if all members are prepared to take industrial action. As a result we need to know how members would like to proceed. Ballot papers have been emailed to all reps for distribution, along with those members who contacted us directly with comments. If you have not received a ballot paper, please email to request one. Ballot papers need to be returned to the branch office by 22nd May 2012.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Report on Evaluation of Integrated Care Pilots

On 22nd March 2012 the Department of Health published the report on a two year independent study of integrated care pilots. The evaluation which commenced in 2009 looked at 16 sites across England who undertook different ways of integrating care, for example, between general practices, community nurses, hospitals and social services.

Key findings from the report include:

Improved outcomes for patients are not likely to be evident in the short term.

Savings are not inevitable and are also not likely in the short term.

Download the full report using this link:

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Why should North Somerset UNISON members care about an Integrated Care Organisation?


If you work in ASS&H (with the exception of Housing) and CYPS at North Somerset Council, or Weston General Hospital, PCT, or North Somerset Community Partnership you will be transferred to a new employer. This won’t just apply to social workers and nurses but to all workers, including Admin workers.

The new organisation is likely to be either a Social Enterprise or an NHS Foundation Trust. This means that your service will be opened up to privatisation.

When you are transferred to a new organisation or company your terms and conditions transfer with you through something called a TUPE transfer. BUT TUPE does not protect you forever – it could last 5 minutes before the new employer consults with you to change your terms and conditions.

Pensions are not part of TUPE, although currently there is separate legislation requiring the new organisation to continue your Local Government or NHS pension, or to provide you with a broadly comparable pension.

Because the new organisation will be a merger between Health and Local Government it is highly likely that the new employer will want to "harmonise" terms and conditions so that all staff are on the same terms and conditions. Generally when employers do this staff terms and conditions deteriorate.

In addition, because the new organisation will be a merger between Health and Local Government it is also likely that there will be duplication of jobs, and therefore there may be redundancies.

Finally, if a new integrated care organisation comes into being in North Somerset it will be the biggest privatisation of public services undertaken in the area.

UNISON opposes the privatisation of public services because it generally means a deterioration of terms and conditions for members, and poorer quality services for local people. It is also unethical that private companies can make profits out of public services, funded by tax-payers’ money.


You need to make sure that you nominate a UNISON rep or contact for your team so that we have good communication throughout the process.

You need to attend the meetings listed below, and future meetings, which will be arranged. You also need to encourage any of your colleagues who aren’t UNISON members to join.

As Health and Social Care professionals you need to tell your employer what you think will be the impact on the service you provide.

You need to take part in the council’s consultation with staff and residents at, and you need to encourage your friends and family to give their views. The consultation ends on 31st July 2012.

The Integrated Care Organisation cannot run without staff, so if you are all prepared to stand together against this, then we can stop it.

As a result we will be balloting you on whether or not you are prepared to take some form of industrial action to stop this. And we will also be asking you to demonstrate at North Somerset Council meetings, Board meetings at Weston Area Health Trust, NHS North Somerset and the Strategic Health Authority.


29 May in First Floor room 2 at Badger House at 12.30

7 June in the Kenn Room at the Town Hall at 12.30

14 June in the Waverley room in the Academy at Weston General Hospital at 12.30

26 June at at 12.30 Castlewood rom 2.07

28 June at 12.30 at Badger House FF Rm 2

3 July at 12.30 at the Town Hall New Council Chamber

11 July at 12.30 at Weston Hospital – Academy, Syndicate C

25 July at 1.15 pm at Castlewood, G9/10

31 July at 12.30 at Badger House FF Rm2

7 August at 12.30 at the Town Hall New Council Chamber

14 August at 12.30 at Weston Hospital – Academy, Waverley room

21 August at 12.30 at Castlewood Rooms G8.G9.G10

29 August at 12.30 at Badger House FF Rm 2

Monday, 7 May 2012

Integration of Health and Social Care in North Somerset - Council Consultation

Have your say on the future of Health and Social care in North Somerset - follow this link: The consultaton on Integrated Health and Social Care was due to begin on 11th May but has been delayed. Keep checking back to find out when it begins.

North Somerset UNISON encourages all members who are also residents of North Somerset, or who use services in North Somerset, to take part in the consultation. This is your chance to tell the council that you want public services to remain in the public sector.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Cuts to Youth Services in North Somerset - we need your help

Do you attend a Youth Club in North Somerset, or are you the parent of a young person who attends a North Somerset Youth Club?

A young person in North Somerset is taking North Somerset Council to court for cutting youth services, and we need your help to support his case - we need you to write witness statements saying how you feel about your youth club and the cuts to youth services.

Can you help us by writing down how you feel about your youth club and the cuts that were made to youth services this year. If so can you answer the following questions, add your name, address and phone number and email them to: by Friday 11th May 2012

1. Which youth club do you attend and how long have you been going to the club?

2. What do you like about your youth club?

3. Did anyone ask you about the cuts to youth services in North Somerset? If so, when were you asked about the cuts and who asked you?

4. How do you feel about the service offered by your youth club currently? Have there been any changes to the club from before?

5. How confident are you that your youth club will continue to run into the future? Has anyone discussed with you how long you can expect it to run for?

This could be the last time that local people can have their say about the cuts. If youth clubs start closing in 6 months time there won’t be much that anyone will be able to do about it then.

Have your say NOW!

If you are a young person who has additional needs or you’re female, or LGBT, or from an ethnic minority, and you or your parents are claiming benefits, you could even become a claimant in the case – you don’t have to attend court if you do. If you are prepared to step forward to protest against the cuts to youth services please email: giving your name and phone number by Friday 11th May.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Have your say on High pay!

Spiralling pay at the top must be stopped!

If you have pension savings or an ISA* then you have a stake in Britain’s biggest companies.
Your pension or ISA provider is a shareholder in Britain’s biggest companies and that gives you the right to have your say on high pay.

Directors' pay and bonuses are put to a vote of shareholders. Ask your pension or ISA provider to vote against excessive pay.

This is a unique opportunity to break down the barriers to the boardroom and have your voice heard!

Don’t have a pension or an ISA? You can still take action against high pay:

Tell directors that enough is enough:

* Stocks and shares ISAs only.

Find out more:

Sign the petition against Bristol NHS Trust closure of the General Medical Ward 33‏

Bristol NHS Trust are proposing the closure of the General Medical Ward 33 effective from July. This is a cost cutting exercise and is not being done to improve patient safety or healthcare.

Those making the decision do not believe that those who use or fund the ward, taxpayers and parents, should have a say.

What would this mean to the hospital? The loss of 16 beds, including 7 high dependancy cubicles. Loss of 12 cubicles for children who require nursing in isolation. Redundancy or relocation of staff, greater pressure on beds, staff and resources.

What would this mean for patients? The remaining medical ward would be constantly full and children would be slotted into other wards where nurses are unfamilair with conditions such Cystic Fibrosis and other respiratory illnesses. When those wards are full or short of staff the nearest specialist childrens hospitals are in Taunton, Birmingham or Southampton.

What can you do? Sign this petition that we will present to the hospital. Write ot the MP for the hospital constituency or the hospital Patient Advice and Liason services Pass this on to your friends

Link to petition: