Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Public services poem raises the roof at Glastonbury

In the latest stage of the union’s campaign against the Tory’s hard and fast public spending cuts, UNISON, the UK’s largest public services union, has commissioned a poem from the poet in residence at Glastonbury festival.

The hard-hitting poem called For the People, By Tony Walsh, aka Longfella, was  performed during the three-day festival taking place at Worthy Farm.
Dave Prentis, UNISON General Secretary, said:
“We are using every means possible to get the message out there about the huge dangers the Tories pose to our society, our economy, and to our public services. Tony’s rousing poem highlights the injustice of cuts, which hit the poorest hardest, at the same time as the bankers carry on pocketing billions in bonuses.”

Saturday, 18 June 2011

TelGraf 5th Anniversary bash at Parliament

With Jenny Jones AM, the Kurt twins (Green Party Candidates), Danny Bates (Jean Lambert's office) and Caroline Allen (Green GLA candidate)

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Police numbers.

Met officers taking over staff roles

The Metropolitan Police 2011-14 policing plan will reduce the proportion of staff in the workforce, with an 11% reduction of staff and 5% reduction of officer numbers. The Met has one of the lowest proportions of staff in the workforce in comparison with other forces.

Jenny Jones is concerned that this shift means officers are being moved into jobs previously done by staff for a lower cost, including uniformed staff such as PCSOs and others dealing directly with the public. At the London Assembly plenary meeting on the 8th June, Jenny will question the Chair of the MPA Kit Malthouse and the Met's Deputy Commissioner Tom Godwin on the value for money of this change.

Reportedly, Lambeth police are planning to fill five front counter vacancies with officers rather than specialist station reception staff or PCSOs. Further, the proposed reorganisation of the control room will see a loss of staff posts with officers taking over some of the work.

Changes to Safer Schools teams include 70 officers replacing 102 PCSOs and the Safer Transport command has seen 510 traffic warden and PCSO posts replaced by 413 officers.

The Mayor's buy-one-get-one-officer-free offer to boroughs has resulted in proposals for officers to take over park patrols from local authority staff in Redbridge and Wandsworth.

Jenny said:

“I am worried that the focus on keeping up officer numbers means the Met are taking a backward step by putting officers into roles that can be done by staff. All the advice in delivering a better police force for less recommends making greater use of police staff. Beyond financial savings, there are other advantages to using police staff in these roles, as they tend to stay in the same role longer, developing expertise and local knowledge.

“Police officers are highly trained with specialist skills and should be used in roles that require these skills. Putting officers on front counters, when this can be done successfully by specialist staff for less, delivers poor value for money for Londoners”.

Jenny Jones has put the following question to Kit Malthouse (MPA chair) and Tim Godwin (deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police) for the London Assembly plenary on the 8th June.

Question No: 81/2011

Make-up of MPS workforce


Are you concerned about the value for money implications of moving to a workforce with a higher proportion of police officer posts and lower proportion of civilian posts?

Thursday, 2 June 2011

The health benefits of merely living close to a green space are worth up to £300 per person per year

The UK's parks, lakes, forests and wildlife are worth billions of pounds to the economy, says a major report. The health benefits of merely living close to a green space are worth up to £300 per person per year, it concludes. The National Ecosystem Assessment (NEA) says that for decades, the emphasis has been on producing more food and other goods - but this has harmed other parts of nature that generate hidden wealth.