local services

The No to Veolia Action Group will be outside Haringey Civic Centre on Monday at 19:00 as part of its 'Protest Blitz', urging councillors not to award a waste management contract to Veolia, a company that profits from the occupation of Palestine.

The North London Waste Authority, which covers seven boroughs, is soon to award a £4.7 billion contract for waste management, and campaigners want Veolia excluded from the tendering process.

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Report from Save Downhills Campaign

Industrial Action

On Tuesday (22 May) our teachers held a one-day strike in protest at a forced and unwanted change of employer to the Harris Federation.  This was not a decision they took lightly and all messages of support were very much appreciated.  Our teachers were joined by parents and other supporters on the picket line - here's the BBC report, if you missed it.

This support grew in strength during the day when over 400 people attended a Day of Action in to support our teachers.  The Save Downhills campaign organised a family event in the Downhills Park with international food, banner making, face painting, sports and arts and crafts.  Paul Lyall, a local poet, ran a fantastic poetry workshop for children and Michael Rosen also attended and voiced his support for our campaign - we so much appreciated both of them.  Practically the whole school was there and many from the wider community - it was an event that won't be forgotten.  Many thanks go to the NUT, UNISON, Sophie Kaur and others who helped make the day such a success.

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No one we spoke to could remember a bigger meeting in Haringey. You'd probably have to go back to the '80s, when hatred of the Iron Lady and her Tory henchmen united huge numbers of people across the borough.

But here we were, fresh into 2012, with well over 600 people packing out the hall at Downhills to find out about, and overwhelmingly to voice our opposition to, Michael Gove's proposal to force academy status on our community school.

Gove had branded those behind the campaign as idealogues. But tonight we heard from teachers and parents, of this and other local schools. One after the other they talked of the fallacy of the government's suggestion that forcing a structure change on a school can improve the outcome for the children.

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by Janet Lallysmith, parent

Parents, teachers and governors at Downhills Primary School, Tottenham have launched a campaign to prevent the Department for Education (DfE) forcing the school to become a sponsored academy by September 2012. Although no Haringey primary schools were identified in Michael Gove’s original list of 200 ‘underperforming’ schools, this hasn’t stopped the DFE targeting schools in the most deprived parts of Haringey.

Downhills’ governors, teachers and parents found out about DFE plans through a leak in the local press a few weeks ago. We mobilised rapidly and organised meetings for interested parties – the first one was attended by over 120 people and addressed by Alasdair Smith from the Anti-Academies Alliance. It quickly became apparent that most people had no idea of the Secretary of State’s agenda for privatisation in our schools or the implications for their children.  Most people signed up to be involved in the campaign.

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Andrew Lansley MP accused of being 'a liar' as demonstrators demand an end to hospital cuts and a halt to the controversial Lansley 'NHS privatisation' Bill currently going through Parliament

On Monday 11th October a dozen members of the Save Chase Farm Hospital campaign and the Defend Haringey's Health Services coalition ambushed Government Minister for the NHS, Andrew Lansley MP, at the North Middx Hospital on the Enfield/Haringey border. As Mr Lansley got out of his chauffeur-driven car and strode past them they proudly wielded placards saying 'OUR HOSPITALS - SAY NO TO CUTS', and handed out over 300 'Defend the NHS' leaflets to staff and patients. The highly popular leaflets condemned cuts at Chase Farm and called for the scrapping of the 'Lansley Bill' promoting privatisation of the NHS.

A number of staff spontaneously joined the protest, saying that they supported opposition to cuts and privatisation and complaining that staff had not been informed about the Minister's secret visit. The protests were highly embarrassing to the Government and featured on BBC news bulletins with Mr Lansley being accused of breaking promises made before the general election to halt the previous Government's threatened closures.

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