April 2016

Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council

delegate minutes Thursday 21st April 2016


  1. Present – Sis Taylor(UNITE-CYW), Whyte, Dixon, Weaver (UNISON), J.Williams (WEA)

    Bros. Kelleher, Deacon, Pugh, Morris, Turner (UNISON Gen), Purchase & Rahimi (UNITE), Childs (CWU), Beuno (UNISON Sandwell), J Grant (UCU), Brackenridge (FBU/LP), N.Williams (WEA)

    Apologies – Bros. Juss (GMB), Martin (MU), Marris (UNITE), S Grant (NUT), Sis. Halfpenny (NUT), Brealey (UNISON Gen) All were welcomed and introduced.


  2. Minutes of March delegate meeting agreed, no matters arising

  3. Executive Committee report April; correspondence of note:


  1. Wolverhampton Worker 1913-15 newspaper of WB&DTUC @ £200 from closing bookshop; agreed to offer £150 as copies already in Archives

  2. Wolverhampton Federation of Tenants Assoc. 11 May Parliament lobby agreed £25 donation. Seeking woman speaker for Womens Hour interview – sent contact but they using their Chair.

  3. Wolverhampton Credit Union re Why we wont be wearing Wolves strip next seaso, discussed agreed to add publicity on website, Rob Marris and Pat McFadden made press statements already.

  4. TUCJCC ballot 3 candidates, agreed to support Bro Kelleher

  5. Midlands TUC Chainmakers stall & appeal for funds agreed donation £100 – volunteers needed for stall

  6. Mids TUCs – Sat 14 May conference 10.30am Derby 2 delegates from each TUC, can send motions – Sis Whyte & Dixon nominated, motion on Housing Bill agreed:


    Kill the Housing Bill


Conference notes that (after amendments by the House of Lords yet to be debated by the Commons) the government’s Housing and Planning Bill will:

  1. Force councils in England to sell “higher value” homes when they next become vacant and remit at least some of the proceeds of these sales to the government to be used, it says, to help fund extending Right to Buy to Housing Association tenants;

  1. Introduce “Pay to Stay”, in effect a tax on households with incomes over £40,000 a year (or £50,000 in London). This tax will be collected by councils (so they will be required for the first time to keep records of tenants’ incomes and of the identities and incomes of everybody in the household) but will not benefit the local Housing Revenue Account as it will also be passed to the government;

  1. Replace secure tenancies for new tenants (including those acquiring tenancies by assignment or succession) with agreements for, generally between two and five years but possibly longer for certain tenants; and,

  1. End the Section 106 “Planning Gain” arrangement whereby developers can be required to provide low-rent homes as part of new developments and let them instead build homes for sale at up to £250,000 (or £450,000 in London).


Conference further notes that the Tory government has also:

  1. Imposed 1% annual rent reductions on councils and housing associations thereby diverting even more of the proceeds of Housing Benefit to private sector landlords who include, among others, the present owners of more than a third of former council houses sold under Right to Buy;


  1. Continued cutting Housing Benefit by carrying on with the Bedroom Tax, removing Housing Benefit from young people, reducing the Benefit Cap and limiting Housing Benefit in a way which may jeopardise provision of supported housing; and,

  1. Failed to tackle growing homelessness and rough sleeping.


Conference welcomes the formation of the Kill the Housing Bill coalition. It congratulates the coalition on the success of its lobbies of parliament on 2nd February and 3rd May and its national demonstration on 13th March.

Conference urges Trades Union Councils in the Midlands to consider inviting speakers about the Bill and circulating Kill the Bill material to their delegates and affiliates and to seek ways to work with local tenants’ groups and relevant unions in their localities to campaign against the bill, lobby local Members of Parliament to oppose it and continue to work jointly in future on campaigns to reverse the legislation and to sustain council housing and social housing.

Conference urges the Regional Executive Committee to support and publicise such local campaigns.


  1. TUC Grunwick model resolution – noted

  2. LP -Corbyn meal @ Royale, Wolverhampton 23 April 6pm– Morning Star sale

  3. Past pixels agreed buy 30 cards & 5 posters @ £55

  4. Tolpuddle film Festival -seeking agreed donation £25

  5. York Disabled workers Coop – banner makers – add link to website

  6. badge/book/mug sales £39.89; stamps bought £59.80; POBox renewal £312 sent; TU Friends searchlight reaffiliation £30 sent

  7. 12,500 page views on our website www.wolvestuc.org.uk in last month

4. Reports/discussion:

  1. delegates’ workplace reports UNISON – 1,000 announced redundancies now starting to take place.

  2. West Midlands Combined Authority meeting report – Sis Taylor spoke to her circulated written report – imposed by Tories, details still unclear. There will be 3 TU seats on the WMCA, but no direct link to trades union councils. Elected mayor with cabinet from local councils and reduction in councillors. Bro. Brackenridge to arrange speaker for June/July.


  3. Midlands TUC Pensioners Network – written report from Bro Deacon; only delegates were from UNITE & UNISON – activity in Birmingham 6 April. Very slow movement to pensions equality.

  4. Secretary’s report – written report circulated; 23 people (TU & LP) helped collect 800 signatures in Wednesfield and made front page Chronicle & Ex & Star. Wednesfgield Steel park is profitable. Workers’ Memorial Day arranged; 1st May leafleting of Whitmore reans to be undertaken and more volunteers needed to set up on night. Additional PCS speaker. 150,000 took part in Peoples Assembly demo last weekend. Only 10 from Wolverhampton on UNITE coach. Thanks from Bro S.Grant received for the card we sent last month.

  5. Wolverhampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign – 6 May film night on Isaeli arms industry. Bro Backenridge agreed to speak to Council Leader re lack of engagement with Cnllr Jasbir Jaspal, chair of Pensions Investment.


    5. speaker at 8pm Ned Williams, on the history and fate of the Wolverhampton Workers’ Education Association. WEA is largest educational charity with 80,000 students, 500 branches and 9,500 courses but recently closed in Wolverhampton; Dudley and Walsall WEA also closed. Wolverhampton TUC was frst involved in 1924. 75% of funding from Skills Funding Agency to make students more employable. Copies of our History and an anniversary badge were presented.



6. Any other business – plans for similar demo and 4-day event during Tory conference week in Birmingham in October as last year in Manchester.


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