Notts Bedroom Tax Campaign Plannning Meeting – Minutes 17/04/2013Posted: 19 April 2013
1. FEEDBACK FROM THE MEETING IN THE MEADOWS
Feedback was very positive and that the meeting went well. It was also noted that Paula was warm, welcoming and very helpful and was a credit to the campaign. It was agreed that the future NBTC meetings should be held in venues in the areas where we have local groups set-up and as such the next meeting would be in the Meadows.
It was noted that a local group in Hyson Green had been established independently of NBTC and so links should be made them.
• Ensure that regular contact is made with Paula & to provide help and support where needed.
• Make contact with the Hyson Green group to see how we can help/support them.
2. AIMS OF THE CAMPAIGN
There was much discussion and it emerged that the main aims for the NBTC fell into 2 areas;
• To instil confidence, provide knowledge and give support to the people affected by the bedroom tax of what can be done to appeal and fight it.
• To campaign in Notts against the bedroom tax until it is revoked.
3. WIDER STRATEGY FOR CAMPAIGN ACTIVITY
It had been agreed that the campaign would take a ‘pyramid’ approach where there would be central Notts-wide co-ordination, with lots of underlying groups formed at a local level.
As this approach was being taken it was raised that there needed to be some form of ‘structure’ that the local groups could follow in their campaiging. This would be as a means to supporting them with their activities rather than something they had to follow rigidly.
It would be beneficial to locate WHERE social housing was in the city so we could help provide wider support and information. Initially the NBTC would be focusing on those areas where there are the higher concentrations of people likely to be affected – The Meadows, and St. Annes were identified.
It was also flagged that there will be many people in areas where the bedroom tax doesn’t affect many and thus will be feeling isolated and fearful, so it was hoped that the campaign could reach and support these people shortly.
The wider strategy for the campaign would be a multi-pronged approach and would include;
How / what format
|Lobbying Councillors & MPs to
a)Re-designate housing to avoid BT (as done by NCH re high-rise flats)
b)Provide a ‘no evictions’ pledge over BT arrears
|Setting up of local NBTC groups, providing support & a ‘structure’ for their campaigning to follow.||
|NBTC website as a co-ordinating hub for the campaign||
|Get local & national media coverage||
|Link into regional and national BT protests / campaigns.||
1. Source the locations social housing through existing contact or if not to research this information.
2. Draft wording for a petition to be circulated to the group for comments before being established.
3. Acquire some public statements from Labour councillors opposing the bedroom tax.
4. Outline the council’s procedures for rent arrears & evictions.
5. Put templates of information requests & appeal letter on the NBTC website
6. Council eviction process onto the NBCT website
7. Collect testimonials of people affected by the bedroom tax for the NBTC website.
8. Obtain media contact spreadsheet
4. HOW TO ACCOMMODATE THOSE NOT ABLE TO ATTEND EVENING MEETINGS
As the next meeting would be based at the meadows the time and date of the next meeting would be dictated by their availability and direction.
The TUC had so far covered the costs of the meeting rooms but it would need to be taken over by the NBCT group – so NBTC will need to appoint a Treasurer.
It was raised that Channel 4 were looking for people interested in taking part in a documentary about living on the benefits that would have been given in the 1940’s, if anyone was interested.
Date of next meeting – to be arranged to take place in the Meadows so time and date to be circulated asap.