Waltham Forest Council Tax Support Scheme

In 2013 central government capped the amount of council tax ‘benefit’ or support they give councils. From 2015 council tax support is completely localized and all support to those unable to pay, must be found from the general grant. Claimants have to pay a minimum 15% this year but from 2015 the council seeks to charge 23% followed by 32% in 2015, or 27% for both years. It will amount to £5-12 per week for claimants including JSA claimants surviving on £72p per week.

Non-payment of council tax is ultimately imprisonable and Waltham Forest has a high rate of court summonses purely for Council Tax, which is one of the most regressive taxes in the world.

Waltham Forest Trades Council is asking people to read the consultation and click the third box which is to reject both options, and to write or email your local councillors to object in the strongest terms (they may actually not know about it so contacting them and asking them to oppose it after the consultation is important). The consultation ends on Oct 20th.

Zacchaeus 2000 and UNITE Community are campaigning on this issue.

Social housing, not social cleansing! Focus E15 Mothers fight back

A group of young mothers have occupied a group of empty flats on the Carpenters Estate in Newham. As Vice reports:

“People need homes, and these homes need people. We were all told there were no places in the borough for us, well we found them sitting empty,” says Sam Middleton, 20, one of the founding women of activist group which began when she and 29 other young mothers faced eviction from the Focus E15 hostel just over a year ago today.

Here one of the activists explains why they’ve occupied:

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The group need both physical and material support; they are threatened by Newham Council with legal action. Please follow them on Facebook or Twitter for details:

E15 Open House Twitter

A longer article on the Left Unity website.

Britain Needs A Payrise – 18 October TUC march and rally

Britain needs a pay rise

According to the TUC a higher proportion of people working in Chingford and Wood Green, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith’s constituency, are being paid below the living wage than anywhere else in London. The TUC claim 43.4 per cent of jobs in Chingford and Woodford Green pay less than the living wage, compared to a national constituency average of 20 per cent.

Local activities

Waltham Forest Trades Council have planned a Union Motorcade for Oct 4 with union branches requested to prepare one car each and bring to Chingford Fire Station at 12.30pm. Each car is to be decorated with union logos and advertise 18 Oct. The motorcade will drive down to the Epicentre in Leytonstone where a reception will be held for participants from 1pm-3pm. There will be 4 static leafleting points (volunteers requested). See the Trades Council website for more info.

Trades Council leaflet

People’s Climate March London

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This September, as world leaders meet in New York City for a historic summit on climate change, join people in around the world to show we need action now!

This is an invitation to change everything.

On September 21st, the eve of a historic summit on climate change, people across the world will take to the streets in their hundreds and thousands to inspire the world’s most powerful leaders to take ambitious action on the climate crisis.

With our future on the line and the world watching, we have the opportunity to meet this moment with unprecedented mobilisations in cities across the globe.

From New York to London and Delhi to Australia, we’ll take to the streets to demand the world we know is within our reach: a world with an economy that works for the people and planet; a world safe from the ravages of climate change; a world with good jobs, clean air and water, and healthy communities.

 There is only one ingredient required: to change everything, we need everyone. Join us.

London People’s Climate March
21st September 2014 – 1pm, Temple Place

Pride: rediscovering solidarity

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‘Pride’, released on 12 September, has already won critical acclaim. It’s the story of how the Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM) group brought solidarity from their community to the miners of South Wales during the Great Miners’ Strike of 1984-5. Waltham Forest Left Unity member Ray Goodspeed was an activist with LGSM and contributed his experiences to the scriptwriters. We asked Ray some questions about the film and LGSM.

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