Nothing brings communities together like a local issue. And there can be no better example of this in Tamworth than the uncertain future for the former Moorgate Primary School buildings on Hospital Street, The Leys.
The now vacant Victorian school premises, which form a key part of the Hospital Street Local Conservation Area, are under threat of disposal by their owners Staffordshire County Council (SCC).
Having been provided with a brand new two-storey school, built at the back of the existing school site – accessed via Moorgate and funded directly by the government during the school’s conversion to academy status – the school moved out of the Victorian buildings in 2015, leaving SCC with a headache; what to do with the old site?
Clearly, SCC doesn’t want to maintain empty buildings when they are short of funding in these times of Tory austerity, so are seeking to dispose of the site. But how should this be done?
Enter Moorgate Action Group (MAG) who think the buildings need to stay intact (certainly externally unchanged) and reused, preferably for the good of the whole of Tamworth as much-needed community spaces.
As MAG state on their website, Tamworth has lost many local community venues due to redevelopment and sale leaving the town short of appropriate and affordable places to deliver community-led services.
Tamworth Greens are proud to support MAG and their initiative to have the site reused for the benefit of the people of Tamworth and have now included a link to their campaign from our ‘Issues’ list (see main menu).
People in Britain are angry at the status quo – and they’ve expressed that anger by voting to leave the EU. We cannot hide our disappointment at this result having campaigned strongly for a vote to Remain. But, we must now turn our attention to the task at hand: unifying our divided communities after an extraordinarily bitter period in British politics. We cannot allow the problems of racism, inequality and alienation that have, at times, been worsened by this campaign to grow.
This referendum campaign was carried out in a manner which does a disservice to the people of Britain. It was a Tory leadership campaign fought out over an issue of huge importance to this country and to Europe. People will have been turned off politics to an even greater degree than before. To help fix this democratic deficit we need electoral reform for the House of Commons to help build a more representative, inclusive democracy.
During the campaign the Green Party repeatedly stood up for migrants much more boldly than any other party, and are hugely concerned that this country’s commitment to the free movement of people is now in peril. We pledge to continue to stand up for migrants and to demonstrate
how the free movement of people has enriched not impoverished people’s lives both in Britain and beyond. Please stand with us, and pledge to be a part of that campaign now.
Our party will now mobilise alongside the trade unions, environmental groups and others to defend our hard-won rights at work and environmental protections. Greens will not allow this shock to destroy what we hold dear, and we will redouble our efforts to protect our NHS and public services from privatisation and both safeguard and enhance environmental protections.
Many people have been joining the Green Party in the time since the result emerged. Now is a good time to ask sympathetic friends, colleagues and family to consider doing the same, to join the struggle to protect our hard won gains in coming months and years.
Please feel free to share your thoughts with me about where the UK goes from here: you can reach me directly on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Tories continue their relentless attack on the few remaining rights of some of the most vulnerable in society.
At present, council house tenants have a right to stay in their homes as long as they wish but under plans announced by the Tories no one will be secure for more than five years. Having a reliable roof over your head is one of the most fundamental requirements in life and knowing that you can build a family home without fear of eviction has always been central to the council house ethos.
The new Tory plans will see families having to face the prospect of repeated moves which will negatively impact on the education of thousands of children and remove the security that we should all be entitled to in our old age.
Our local MP has repeatedly shown that he will vote in line with his government instead of what is best for his constituents. Yet again we need to make sure he knows that the people of Tamworth do not support these evil measures.
The 1st of December marked 60 years since Rosa Parks refused to move from her bus seat for a white person, an act that sparked a demonstration which lasted 381 days and helped to change the way minorities were treated all across America.
It is a perfect example how the resolve of a small number of people to do what is right and not what is easy can make a positive difference in society.
At present many in the western governments, backed by irresponsible elements in the media, are determined to escalate the ‘war on terror’ in the middle east in supposed retaliation for the abhorrent attacks in Paris. We are told of pinpoint accuracy and only hitting ISIS, just as we were told similar stories in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.
The reality is a continuing cycle of suffering and death for millions of innocent Syrians caught up in a terrible civil war. History has shown us that air strikes go wrong on a worryingly regular basis, only last month the US paid out compensation to one of many wedding parties it has destroyed in drone strikes. The past twenty years have seen hundreds of thousands killed and millions displaced and yet we are no closer to peace in the middle east or ‘security at home’.
As Albert Einstein said:
‘to repeat the same experiment over and over again expecting different results is nothing less than insanity’.
We need to stop this insanity now.
So what is the answer? The last one hundred and fifty years have shown continual interference in the middle east by western powers interested only in their own gains. We need to break the cycle of violence by stopping support for regimes that deny democracy and abuse human rights. We need to stop the supply of arms and training to those regimes. And most importantly we need to support those countries to develop free and open societies that value all their citizens or whatever gender, race, religion or sexual orientation. It won’t happen over night but it is the only way we can move forward.
What can the people of Tamworth do? Write to Mr Pincher and tell him that military intervention is not being done in your name. Make sure he knows that we will hold him to account at the next election.
Whilst it is true we face an acute shortage of suitable accommodation, there is no contradiction between continuing to campaign for decent, affordable homes for all and stepping up to meet our obligations to do the right thing and support the Syrian refugees.
On that basis, we would urge people to show the caring, tolerant and compassionate face of Tamworth and bring family and friends to join the “Tamworth says YES to refugees” gathering in Castle Grounds, at 2pm on the 7th November.
Many people are still unaware of TTIP (The transatlantic trade and investment partnership) and even fewer are aware of what it means for them. So here are a few reasons that you should be fighting against TTIP.
1. Food standards. TTIP will potentially force the EU to allow the use of pesticides it has banned and allow higher levels of legal pesticides than presently allowed. As the negative effects of increasing chemical usage have become apparent over recent decades it is obvious that we need to be REDUCING not increasing the use of chemicals on our food. The intensive methods driven by a few chemical companies will ensure this cannot happen if TTIP is approved.
2. Employment and job security. The EU has admitted that TTIP will cost jobs but the most frightening aspect is the adoption of US employment laws which are known to be amongst the worst in the world. This will erode the benefits gained from hundreds of years of fighting for laws to protect EU workers and leave them increasingly open to zero hour contracts and other unfair working practices.
3. Democracy. With the likes of Christopher Pincher ignoring the people of Tamworth on issues like foxhunting it may feel like democracy is distant already at times, but at present parliament is free to make laws as it sees fit without the direct interference of big business. TTIP will allow big corporations to sue governments that pass laws that are deemed to be against their business. So tobacco companies could sue the government for introducing smoking bans as it would affect their
4. Last, but not by any stretch least, the NHS and education. TTIP allows for the opening up of the NHS and our schools to American companies. This would mean that your taxes go into the pockets of rich investors instead of funding the vital services we all rely upon. It also means that the public no longer have a say in the services that they are paying for through their taxes.
Join the fight today and let Christopher Pincher know that he does not have the right to sign away the rights that past generations fought to achieve for us.
We would like to offer you our heartfelt congratulations on the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party.
Jeremy is a conviction politician and a man of principle with whose views we have much in common. We look forward, now, to Labour returning to its roots as a social movement campaigning in the best interests of ordinary people.
It is with that in mind that we would like to suggest that, where we now have agreement, we explore ways of working together on the issues and campaigns affecting the people of Tamworth.
We think these should include:
opposition to the austerity measures which are fuelling the growth in food banks;
support for our hospitals in the face of ongoing cuts, ward closures and privatisation of services;
campaigning for high quality, affordable housing to meet very real local needs.
We would also add, especially given the voting records of local Tory MPs including Christopher Pincher:
the threat of ‘fracking’ in the County
the need to defend the legislation outlawing fox-hunting which was brought in by a previous Labour government.
So, whilst we will continue to maintain our independence, particularly at the ballot box, we do wish Jeremy all the very best and look forward to a fruitful collaboration with his colleagues locally.
Several years ago we were told that Tamworth schools were in such a state that the only answer was to have an academy in the town. It was also decided that all of the 6th forms would be closed in favour of a single 6th form run by the new academy sponsor Landau Forte. This was fought but the decision had already been made and despite massive public opposition to the changes they were pushed onto Tamworth whether we liked it or not.
The government has recently said that any schools that fail to reach a good standard in the OFSTED inspection regime will be turned into academies as though it is a magic bullet that cures all ills. But what happens when academies fail? Sadly we are in this position with the only 6th form in Tamworth having been given a ‘requires improvement’ in its latest OFSTED inspection. What this shows yet again is that the use of private companies and organisations within schools does nothing to improve achievement.
The last thirty years have seen relentless meddling by successive governments, constant attempts to undermine the status of the teaching profession and the use of education to score political points off their rivals.
So what is the answer? Public money should be spent on things that benefit the public not to subsidise contracts for big corporations. Education professionals need to be given the freedom to develop the curriculum that best suits their pupils. And most importantly there must be real choice for parents to choose a school that best suits their child.
Tamworth deserves to have good schools for ALL children and that will only be achieved by well motivated staff working in well equipped schools. It is time to stop spending money on what private companies want and start spending it on making a better future for the children of Tamworth. The Green Party is dedicated to a fair system that values the skills of every child and believes that parents should decide what is best for their children.