30th June 2016

Before a discussion about the EU referendum results, Hazel Clawley briefly described a day conference, ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL FUTURES, held at Birmingham City University’s Baker Building, organised by the CPE-PEN educational charity, of which she and Alan are directors. It aimed to provide delegates with some ‘inspirational appetisers’ into the world of alternative education, alternative thinking and educational futures.


Patrick Highton gave those attending a copy of an independent review of the Midland Metropolitan Hospital’s PF2 business case, The Right Hospital and the Right size? by  Dr.John Lister of London Health Emergency. Dr Lister presented the review, commissioned by Keep Our NHS Public Birmingham. It was funded by Birmingham Trades Union Council and a number of trade unions, including the BMA, GMB, Unison and Unite as well as individuals concerned about the Private Finance Initiative (now renamed PF2) and its impact on the NHS, along with other health and social care provision in the area. It was launched at the Birmingham and Midland Institute in June.


Christine Parkinson introduced herself to the group, referring to her political journey and projects she has set up during her years in the city, including a women’s refuge and the Jericho Foundation. She also supports her son’s work with young people in Uganda. Christine agreed to present her forthcoming book to the group at a later date.


John Nightingale, after answering questions about the Jubilee Debt Coalition, mentioned that PFI was now being introduced in African countries: http://jubileedebt.org.uk/campaigns/global-debt-iceberg . He later presented a post referendum survey by Lord Ashcroft which may be accessed here: http://lordashcroftpolls.com/2016/06/how-the-united-kingdom-voted-and-why/


The main project in which Andrew Lydon had been involved since the previous meeting was the ONS review of inflation indices which is underway because the UK Statistics Authority had refused to approve the official proposals on the way in which owner-occupied housing could be included in official UK inflation figures.


As a spin-off from the Central Library campaign Alan Clawley told us that he is working on a history of Town Planning in Twentieth Century Birmingham. A major figure in mid-century Birmingham was Labour councillor Sir Frank Price who was also a property developer in his working life. His autobiography ‘Being There’ was published in 2002 and can be borrowed from the Library of Birmingham. His favourite projects of which he was extremely proud, were the redevelopment of the ‘Five Towns’ (Newtown, Highgate, Ladywood, Lee Bank and Nechells Green), the Inner Ring Road, Cannon Hill Arts Centre for Young People (the MAC), Telford New Town and the British Waterways Board.



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