• Make the NHS Ambulance Service recognised as an "Emergency Service"
    Did you know that the UK NHS Ambulance Service is NOT currently recognised by the Government as an "Emergency Service"? (we are currently only classified as an essential service). Why is it important to receive recognition? = If the Ambulance service is officially recognised as an "Emergency Service" the funding would come from central government rather than the NHS budget. How would this affect you? - You would almost certainly get a better funded, better trained and better equipped ambulance service for yourself and your family = if you think that is important?
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    Created by Les Hill
  • Fair retirement age for Emergency Ambulance staff
    Emergency ambulance staff are often unable to work until the state pension age due to repetetive strain injuries, sustained through years of lifting patients. Every week we will be forced to carry patients in a carry-chair on multiple occasions; these patients are often younger than ourselves and increasing levels of obesity make the outlook bleak. Do people want emergency ambulance staff aged over 60, perhaps 68, attending their relatives for time-critical emergencies, almost always having to carry patients up/downstairs between just 2 staff? Emergency Ambulance staff have in the last few years increased their work-load by over 40%. If you value the response we provide, and agree that our job is more demanding than most, then I would like to take this opportunity to ask your support for the Ambulance service 'Emergency' staff to have pay and retirement parity in line with the Police and Firefighter's.
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    Created by Les Hill
  • Accept the Lewisham hospital decision
    Appealing the decision would waste still more taxpayer cash which should be spent on making the NHS better. It would cause continued damaging uncertainty and anxiety for NHS staff and local people. The decision to close vital Lewisham services was completely flawed and has now been found unlawful. The government has already spent hundreds of thousands, if not millions, in a misguided attempt to close Lewisham hospital services. It should stop now, not throw good money after bad. If the High Court judgement were to be overturned, no hospital anywhere in the country would be safe from closure. See www.savelewishamhospital.com/ and www.opendemocracy.net/ournhs for more information.
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    Created by Caroline Molloy Picture
  • Stop Community Composting Being Crippled by Disproportionate Government Agency Fees
    Otter Rotters provides supported volunteer, training and job opportunities for learning disabled and disadvantaged people. Community Composting Groups used to operate under an exemption. The exemption ceiling for the new permit regime has been set too low and community groups have been forced to stop their operations whilst calling for a review. Environment Agency stated in April 2012 “ we recognised that a significant number of composting operations were likely to be disproportionately affected by the changes. Such operations would move from exempt status to full bespoke permitting as they could not take advantage of our light-touch standard rules approach” and bespoke fees were reduced but not to a level that would enable the community schemes to be able to afford the application process. Community Composting is about local communities composting their green waste locally. The introduction of this permit regime has meant that green waste is now being transported out of area and a disposal fee having to be paid to commerical operators. It will reverse the trend of green waste being diverted from landfill sites if Otter Rotters is forced to give up their composting site resulting in job and training opportunity losses for its learning disabled team.
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    Created by Otter Rotters
  • Keep Lincolnshire Libraries Open
    The Council plans to cut £2 million from the library budget by 2015. This will lead to the closure of 70% of our permanent libraries, and a reduction in opening hours, mobile library and home library services. Libraries are a focal point for the whole community. They are a diverse space where children learn to read, pensioners can go to socialise, and free internet access is provided for everyone. They provide access to education and the arts for everyone. We cannot afford to lose them. The County Council is currently holding a consultation to find out the experiences and opinions of local people. Once you’ve signed the petition, please fill out this Council survey to let the Council know how important your library is to you: http://apps.lincolnshire.gov.uk/snapsurveys/llc/lincolnshire_libraries_consultation.htm For more information about the consultation and events where you can have your say, please check out this website: http://www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/residents/discover-libraries/libraries-consultation/ The Council plan to make their decision in September so we still have time! Please sign this petition now to show the Council how much we value our libraries and to apply pressure before the final decision is made.
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    Created by alan parker
  • No more rail privatisation - keep East Coast public
    http://www.bringbackbritishrail.org/images/eastcoast.png East Coast is currently the only rail franchise in public ownership; it is also the most successful. The East Coast railway line from London to Scotland is run by the publicly owned Directly Operated Railways (DOR). It went into public hands in 2009 when National Express became the second private company forced to drop the franchise after financial difficulties. Despite the success of the publicly owned East Coast line, the Government plans to hand the franchise back to a profit-making company by 2015. If this happens, it will be much harder to improve the railways in the future by running them publicly. East Coast is better for passengers: Public ownership of East Coast has improved journeys for passengers. The line achieved a 92% overall satisfaction rating in the Autumn 2012 Passenger Focus National Passenger Survey – the highest score on this franchise at any time since the survey was first launched in Autumn 1999. This score was three percentage points higher than the 89% average for all long distance train operators. East Coast was rated higher than the long distance operator average for 16 out of 19 measures. Passengers rated East Coast 13 points higher than the long distance average for how the operator deals with delays. The train operator won a national award, the Silver Whistle prize, for its provision of customer information at times of disruption. East Coast is better for taxpayers: The publicly owned East Coast group is paying more money back to the state than any private operator ever has. It has paid more than £600 million in premiums and profits into government coffers in the three years to April 2012. This is more than Virgin's West Coast line has paid in the past 15 years. A study by the Office of Rail Regulation, the official industry watchdog, noted that the East Coast line requires significantly less government funding than the other 15 franchises given to the private sector by the Department for Transport. Whilst Virgin West Coast last year received 3.6p per passenger mile, £133 million in total, East Coast was given a net subsidy of 0.5p per passenger mile. This petition is supported by these organisations: http://www.bringbackbritishrail.org/images/coalitionlogos.png
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    Created by Cat Hobbs
  • SPT/Glasgow Subway - improve service and retain 10/20 journey tickets
    The service times of the Glasgow Subway are not satisfactory. People often need to get around the city before 6.30 am, and particularly after 11 pm. The situation is even worse on Sundays, when there is only limited service available between 10 am and 6.30 pm - it is not even possible to get into town for e.g. a cultural event on a Sunday evening. Extending the service times would make public transport in Glasgow far more attractive. SPT is a public body, which means it is owned by the people, and hence it should meet their need for efficient public transport. (SPT often say "regular heavy maintenance" is needed to be carried out at night and on Sunday evenings - but other and often larger subway systems all over the world seem to be able to offer far better service times.) On top of that, and scarcely announced, the popular 10 and 20 journey tickets (for 12/22 £) were scrapped on 29 June without public consultation. They are meant to be replaced by 7 day and new 28 day season tickets: http://www.spt.co.uk/subway/smart/ However, season tickets are far more expensive - 45 £ for 28 days - and less flexible compared to 10/20 journey tickets because they expire. This lets down frequent but not daily travellers. This petition is not directed against new "smart" tickets per se, but against punishing regular but not daily travellers through a massive price hike. We really would like to know what SPT mean in detail when they say "SPT would like to reassure customers who have made use of our multi-journey tickets in the past that there will be a similar ‘smart’ ticket product in future." If, as SPT claim, the "smart" tickets cannot count to 20, then alternative solutions are possible, e.g. in the form of top up offers (pay 22 £, get a 28 £ top-up - this would be equal to the old 20 journey ticket). But making regular users pay for a single ticket every time (even from a top-up card) is not good enough - and increases the price for 20 flexible journeys from 22 £ to 28 £, a 27.3 % increase. Prices were already increased by 9 % last year ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-19300997 ). But still, there is no service improvement at all - we, the public, have to live with appalling opening times and bad access for the elderly, disabled and prams. A customer complains on Facebook: "The heart of Glasgow yet your happy t scrap 10&20 journey tickets that so many people rely on. I currently spend £22 a month using your subway. Your price changes mean you want me to spend £44. If your introducing "Smart" cards is the reason for this, then why are they not "smart" enough to deal with 10&20 journey? Disappointing and you have lost a loyal customer of 5 years from July!" Another customer says on SPT's Facebook page "I think your new 7/28 day tickets are just an excuse to make extra money, I work 4 days a week and only use the subway one way so a 10 journey can last me over 2 weeks, on your new system I would be more than double the money for the same period." As a publicly owned and run body, SPT is not serving our interests. Therefore we would like to ask Gordon Maclennan, SPT's Chief Executive, to listen to us as SPT's owners by improving service times and proving that the new "smart card" ticketing system lives up to its name and can handle 10 and 20 journey tickets.
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    Created by Frank Christian
  • Say No to School Transport Costs
    Staffordshire County Council is proposing to charge £380 a year per child for transport where children are not attending the nearest school. The figure does not take proper account of income and could be increased. For thousands of families their nearest school is not the local catchment school there is no way of avoiding this cost. An estimated 72 schools are affected and could face losing pupils. http://www.thisisstaffordshire.co.uk/Staffordshire-pupils-facing-pound-380-school-bus/story-19171776-detail/story.html In Perton where I live the nearest school is in Wolverhampton which is another Local Education Authority. We have no choice but to send children to Codsall if we want them to go to the local catchment school. The council is suggesting that pupils should walk to school if parents can't afford the transport costs or drive them, but with many of the those affected living in rural areas, walking along unlit 60 mile an hour roads is not a safe or viable option. It will also lead to a increased volume of cars on many roads causing disruption and congestion to other travellers. This policy is poorly thought through and unfair especially at a time when many families are already struggling to make ends meet.
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    Created by Debbie Swan Picture
  • Save our firestations
    Boris Johnson wanted to cut £45 million over two years from the fire service. To save £28.8 million in 2014, on 9 January 2014 he decimated the London Fire Brigade, closing Belsize, Bow, Clerkenwell, Downham, Kingsland, Knightsbridge, Silvertown, Southwark, Westminster and Woolwich Fire Stations. As part of this austerity drive, he also cut 552 firefighter positions, 14 fire engines and 2 FRUs. Westminster for example has lost its 109 year old fire station - and now uses Lambeth’s instead, over the river. Is it fair that Lambeth taxpayers fund a service used by Westminster? And that world heritage sites, like Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Cathedral as well as tourists and taxpayers are left without emergency protection, with only two bridges into Westminster from Lambeth? Five of the ten closed by the Mayor are Grade 2 listed buildings. And a 6th is just behind Harrods. Others, like Kingsland and Silvertown, are located in areas where property values are rising dramatically (due to to projects like Crossrail and the Mayor's Royal Albert Docks development). This is not about saving money, as the Mayor has found public money to fund vanity projects such as the 'not so public' Garden Bridge (£60 million in public money), the Emirates Air Line and the Barclays Bike Scheme. Closing and selling these fire stations is like selling the family silver to gain a one-off windfall. Southwark Fire Station alone was valued at £10 million in 2010. Once they are sold into private ownership, taxpayers will never be able to get them back. We won’t be able to afford them. And we can’t afford to lose them either. Boris Johnson stated that fire incidence is down (which is disputable). Firefighters do more than fight fires. Recent events like the gas explosion in Marylebone remind us of that. They educate us (and save lives as a result). They assess risks in our homes (for free).They are the ones who will cut you out of your car when you have a road traffic accident. They are our first response when terrorists attack as was the case in 7/7 in 2005. They rush in to the underground or train stations when smoke is pouring out. They have an arson investigation unit. They do voluntary work within the community. They train locally and have local knowledge, like learning where the disabled live or knowing their way around housing estates; all this local knowledge has been dispersed through the closures. Response times have increased and insurance premiums with them due to the reduced fire coverage. All to save the price of a few cups of coffee. An annual increase of £5 on council tax would have prevented the closures. Our communities will be poorer and more vulnerable if we lose these fire stations forever. Please do not let that happen. Please sign and share the petition. And let the Mayor know that what he is doing is dangerous...
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    Created by Artemis Kassi
  • resist franchise of swiss cottage post office
    Local residents, including senior citizens, those who rely on benefits, less abled people and small business outlets in the area depend on this office for service and trade. Post Office management say that the office is not making a profit for them so it can be sold to someone who can make a profit from it! No crown (main) post office can make a profit as it is a public service and (apart from postal orders) do not sell anything on their own behalf. Every service they provide is on behalf of an outside interest (such as the bank of Ireland) royal mail, or a government agency. Since 1987, one thousand one hundred and twenty four crown post offices have closed (and innumerable sub-post offices). And now there are only 376 crown offices left in the whole of the uk. Post Office management wish to rid themselves of a further 76 crown offices as a means to creating a profit, but past history indicates that this policy is doomed to failure. Previous hosts of former post offices include wh smith (who, it is said, are not renewing the contract on the franchishe's they took on where the lease is now expiring ), chemists, kebab outlets etcetra, now they have indicated that betting shops might be a good venue for a post office. Councillors have indicated that post offices could be located in libraries, this was before councils began to close libraries, then they said that police stations could have a counter in post offices, then the decision was made to close more post offices. Everything that the union has done to accommodate changes in the post office in order to maintain jobs and save offices from closure has not satisfied senior management. They are like turkeys voting for Christmas, their employment will cease along with all the staff they employ. the difference is that they will walk away with a very handsome golden handshake etcetera (as many senior "managers" have in the recent past) whilst the loyal staff end up on the dole.
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    Created by tony reilly Picture
  • Herefordshire Council Customer Services
    Herefordshire Council are making drastic cuts to Council Services a large percentage of those cuts will affect Customer Services which includes our Library staff as well as all the staff based in our Customer Service Centres and those in our call centre. Currently Customer Services deal with all of the following services. Services available Blue badges Planning Building control Housing benefit Council tax Business rates Licensing Housing solutions (homelessness) Home point HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) Transportation Environmental health and trading standard Conservation Listed buildings Highways, potholes, dangerous trees, grass cutting, litter Free computer access Sign posting to external services Waste and recycling including clinical waste, commercial vehicle and trailer permits There is also a wide range of information available, leaflets and general advice on all council services. During a typical day in Customer Services - We're busy Taking payments by phone for council tax, taxi licensing and other sundry debts Giving advise on exemptions, discounts and payment methods for council tax Taking details about your change of address for Council Tax purposes Logging and accurately recording the precise locations of potholes or road defects Arranging road closures on behalf of the police Liaising with Amey and chasing up your previous calls Arranging pest control appointments Arranging collection of bulky items and taking payments Arranging clinical waste collections and handling missed waste queries Explaining how to access planning information on line, and arranging searches on previous planning applications Helping you navigate our website Helping the public complete a form Taking your complaints and helping to resolve them Issuing blue badge and bus pass applications and assisting with completion of forms Assessing entitlement to benefits and directing you to additional benefit services Taking calls about a lost or stray dog Sign posting callers to Healthy lifestyles advice and services Arranging for members of the public to get help and advice from our Welfare rights team Telling a callers what time the next bus is, or where the Public rights of way are Providing members of the public with contact details for Councillors Arranging for collection of litter and fly tipping This is just a selection of some of the things we're busy doing every day. Our staff are dealing with 100's of queries every day and we're all working extremely hard on your behalf. Our dedicated staff are constantly fighting on your behalf to make sure you get the service you want. Currently if you have any enquiries about any of the above, members of the public can call into one of the Council s Information Centres in any of the Market Towns or Telephone the Information Lines. You can speak to staff with a vast amount of knowledge who are employed purely to help and assist you. The staff in our information centres and in our call centre are totally committed to helping you and are dedicated to making sure you get the best possible services. Herefordshire Council want to digitize most of those Services. Herefordshire residents will be directed to web based services for most of the above Services, that's if those Services still exist. The County of Herefordshire has a higher proportion of older residents than nationally (21% of Herefordshire’s population are aged 65 and over). Demographically most of those people live in our rural areas, can you really see our elderly residents logging onto a computer and navigating a complex website to report a missed bin collection, pothole or request some grit for their roads. And that's assuming they have a computer and a broadband connection! If you want to save Customer Services so we can continue to serve you! Please sign our petition
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    Created by John Rosser
  • SAVE ROYAL MAIL FROM PRIVATISATION
    Royal Mail is part of the fabric of the nation – we don’t want to see it ripped apart. The Government has announced that it plans to sell off the Royal Mail later this year either through issuing shares or potentially a private sale which could be to a private equity company. Royal Mail provides a hugely valued universal service. It charges the same to post a letter from Aberdeen to Penzance as it does from London to Manchester. This along with free postal services for our service men and women as well as vulnerable groups could disappear. Not only that, but it provides a lifeline to rural communities. Post Offices are often the cornerstones of remote villages, and provide the space for residents to meet and conduct their affairs, particularly for older people. And Royal Mail makes a profit. £403 million to be precise. It is an asset to the UK, worth an estimated £20 billion. But the government wants to sell it off, for just £3 billion. The government is giving away a public utility so that large corporations can turn a profit. The public has not been consulted about this, it was not in any party manifesto. The sell-off is a travesty that must be stopped. Sign our petition, share it amongst your friends, and let’s keep the Post Office public.
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    Created by mark w