see above notes of the planning meeting on 1st February. Contact us if you want to help organise the People's Budget campaign and conference or would like to stand as an anti-cuts candidate in your local council.
This meeting will now be entirely on zoom. See events page.
We held a small but determined meeting on Monday evening 22 Nov in Woking. Our first in-person meeting for around two years. We had a number of apologies as some people are still isolating and we had a solidarity message from the Fire Brigades Union who were unable to attend in person.
Following on from the decision at our virtual meeting a few months ago, we endorsed the decision to work towards a Peoples' Assembly in Surrey in the Summer of 2022 - with the aim of developing a People's Budget for Surrey. This would be a needs-led budget, based on input from the various trade unions and community groups. It will be an anti-austerity and anti-cuts, anti-privatisation budget and we will use it as a manifesto to encourage any active trade unionists and community campaigners to consider standing as candidates in the Surrey County Council elections in 2025 and the various Borough and District Council elections over the next few years.
As a first step towards this goal, we want to hold a planning meeting in January 2022 to start the ball rolling - to look at dates and venues for the People's Assembly, how we can build for it, how we can use social media and also reach out to all the trade unions and community groups who support Save Our Services in Surrey.
We really need your help in this endeavour. Please click now on the link below and let us know what dates you may be able to make an evening planning meeting in Woking in January:
When we have received a reasonable number of responses we will go for the most popular date and let you all know.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Secretary, Save Our Services in Surrey
Save Our Services in Surrey open meeting
Monday 22nd November at 7pm
in the Maybury Centre
Board School Road, Woking GU21 5HD
We need a People's Budget
This meeting will hear from just some of the campaigns to defend and improve services across Surrey, including from the Fire Brigades Union, UNISON in Health and Local Government, Social Care Services, Special Educational Needs Services and more...
The aim is to work towards a local conference which can draw up a budget based on the needs of residents - not the balance sheets of cash-strapped local councils - and a plan to fight for it.
First of all, thank you to those union branches, organisations and individuals who responded to our recent appeal for affiliation donations for 2021. There is still time to donate, just email email@example.com for details of how you can do this.
SOSiS has not been particularly active as a group during the pandemic for obvious reasons but I know many of us have been working hard on the front line defending workers and service users, ensuring access to relevant PPE and safe working conditions. Those like me who have been working from home for nearly 18 months have also found things difficult. Hopefully we will be able to get back to some sort of normal activity, physical meetings etc. soon.
What we have agreed to do is to support the national day of action on July 3rd in support of the NHS's birthday, opposing further privatisation and outsourcing, opposing the pay freeze and demanding a fair pay rise for NHS and other public sector employees. SOSiS also want to see full pay and fair pay rises for all workers affected by Covid.
There is a full (and growing) list of currently organised (Covid safe) demonstrations here: https://keepournhspublic.com/event/nhs-anniversary-protests-2021/
Our nearest one is probably in Reading (unless you are nearer to London). SOSiS will have a small contingent on the Reading demonstration with our banner. Please do join us if you want to. Let me know by reply so we can arrange to meet up.
We have been quiet for some time due to the pandemic and lockdowns - though we are all fighting our own battles, both personally and at work. Those of you currently active in your trade unions will know just how difficult this last year has been - and a decade of drastic government cuts to public services has not made life any easier.
We felt it was time that we got back together, see where we are at and what we can do (mainly online of course) to flag the issue of public sector cuts, the need for extra resources in health & social care, the drastic situation within our fire services etc.
We also have the County Council elections this year (if they go ahead) where we may be able to make some kind of impact regarding council funding, cuts and privatisation etc. as well as the ongoing current crisis in health and social care exacerbated by years of under-funding.
We have called an online meeting (via Zoom) to discuss all of this and see if we can come up with a few actions we can all take to continue the fight against the cuts. We have invited Surrey Fire Brigades Union (FBU) reps to give us an update on the situation in the Surrey Fire and Rescue Service and we will also have Hugo Pierre from TUSC (The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition) speaking on how they are proposing to take up the fight against cuts in local councils. Hugo is also a UNISON NEC rep but will be speaking in a personal capacity.
Save Our Services in Surrey
Fighting back against cuts in Surrey
Guest Speaker; Hugo Pierre (TUSC)
Invited speakers from Surrey Fire Brigades Union (FBU)
Monday 15th February at 7.30pm
The link to attend the meeting can be requested via our 'contact us' page
A month ago, no one could have guessed that we would be looking at a new pandemic which would close down whole countries and threaten millions of people's lives and livelihoods. But here we are.
Our government is intent on defending 'the economy' and their big business friends whilst workers on the front line are left to fend for themselves.
In the immediate term, SOSiS is accepting scientific advice and avoiding social contact in the medium term - so the planned meeting on 1st April is cancelled.
Public services will come under unprecedented strain in the next few weeks and many of you are proven fighters for communities and for those public services. We may be called upon to assist in emergency food, aid, caring responsibilities etc. and we hope we can be up to the task.
Our trade unions will be advising members working in those public services and who will be in the front line of dealing with the pandemic and its effects. Please get involved and make yourselves available - solidarity!
Well the election is over and we have a majority right wing Tory government. The need for our campaigns to defend public services, public sector workers and the most vulnerable in our society has never been greater.
The Fire Brigades Union are still fighting the cuts to Surrey's fire services, UNISON are fighting every day to protect jobs and services in local government, health and elsewhere.
The family of Zane Gbangbola are daily reminded of their little boy's untimely death in the floods of 2014, as rivers break their banks across Surrey (see below for the latest escalation of their campaign).
The next SOSiS meeting (see events page) is on 1st April in Woking. We have a guest speaker and everyone is welcome.
The fight to protect public services goes on...
Most of our campaigning activities are on hold during the election as many of our supporters are political activists and will be busy canvassing etc.
If you do nothing else though - please make sure you use your vote and vote against austerity and public sector cuts.
Check out our 'Charter' page for details of Surrey candidates who have formally adopted our charter in this election.
This is where we will try to publish anti-cuts news we receive