Thursday, 9 January 2014

Please Sign Petition 2 Oppose privatisation and Serco Contract TODAY

keep SERCO out of our hospitals

On 1st October 2013 Lewisham hospital merged with Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich, to form the Lewisham and Greenwich Hospital Trust. This Trust inherits all the debts of QEH which originally threatened the survival of Lewisham hospital, and financial problems persist.Catford serco slogan
Now the new Trust has signed a £200m deal with SERCO to run the Trust’s procurement department. That is, a company, which itself might hope to benefit from any procurement deals, is to run the procurement department itself. Brockley serco slogan
Private contractors and private profit have no place in a publicly-paid for health service and there is no public mandate for the outsourcing and privatisation which has been proceeding within the NHS over the last 20 years.
Serco in particular has an appalling record. It has just agreed to the early termination of its out of hours GP contract in Cornwall after the company left the county short of doctors. They are at the centre of fraud allegations regarding the way they charged the government fort electronic tagging. They have been barred from bidding for state contracts by the Cabinet Office pending a review.
Please sign the petition started by the GMB union which represents some of the workers whose jobs would be affected at:
Sydenham serco sloganWhile we were painting this slogan in Sydenham many passers by stopped to sign the paper copy of the petition which will be given in at the February meeting of the Trust's Board.  You can download a copy to take round your friends, neighbours and workmates: Serco Petition
For an overview of the scale of SERCO's operations see:


Labour Mayor will not pledge "No Evictions"

We oppose the bedroom tax! Around 2500 signatures handed to Mayor

We have been collecting signatures on a petition calling for no evictions of Lewisham Homes tenants who get into arrears because of bedroom tax deductions from the housing benefit.  Here's a video of the performance of "We Will Survive" in the public gallery of Lewisham Council Chamber on 28th November just before 1505 signatures were handed to the Mayor. These were collected jointly by LPBP and the South London Revolutionary Communist Group who have also been active in this campaign.
We have also visited Hexagon Housing, Hyde Housing and L & Q to ask these housing associations to take a similar position. Hyde and L&Q have replied with details of how they are making allowances for arrears when arranging transfers to smaller homes.

Send us an email at or text 07986 998 172 to find out where we are next campaigning on this issue.
LPBP has launched a petition calling on Mayor Steve Bullock and Lewisham council to pledge not to evict anyone as a result of them getting into arrears due to the effects of the bedroom tax. You can download a copy of the petition here: No Evictions Petition
Click on the "Bedroom Tax" item on the "What We Are Doing" menu at the top to find out more about this issue and why People Before Profit is campaigning on it.

Save the NHS - demonstration in Manchester.

Around 100 campaigners went from Lewisham to Manchester on Sunday, 29th September, where we marched on the Tory conference demanding that they annul PFI contracts and stop privatising the NHS.

The Sunday before 10 members of People Before Profit lobbied the Labour party conference in Brighton.

We concentrated on PFI issues there, talking to delegates about the fact that although Labour conference last year passed policy against PFI, Ed Balls and Ed Milliband still think it is a valid way of financing public projects - even though the Treasury Select Committee said that it is always more expensive than traditional government borrowing.

Video of Demonstration in Central London on 18th May 2013

This concentrates on Lewisham and the successful direction action stunt by the PFI Scam direct action team.  As the march passed by the Barclays branch hundreds of people took Boycott Barclays cards and information about the petition to exempt health from the forthcoming US-EUTrade
Treaty.  Dozens of LPBP members took part and were accompanied by Strawberry Thieves Socialist Choir.
Sad news: only a week after the hoarding below was targetted by our direct action team, the whole set of four boards was completely removed from the corner of Endwell Road / Mantle Road, Brockley!

LPBP Conference 2013

The LPBP Party Conference on Saturday 21st September in New Cross

updated the party's manifesto in preparation for the elections next year.
A very productive session was held and the new manifesto will be available shortly.

You can download a copy of the old manifesto here:

Manifesto 2011

Annul PFI contracts petition

Why we are calling for PFI contracts to be annulled

The Public Finance Initiative was invented in 1992 but really came into its own after Labour won the election in 1997.
South London Healthcare Trust had two hospitals built under PFI contracts costing £210 million.  They have paid £535million so far in 10 years.  The contract provides for a further £2000 million to be paid over the remaining term of the contract - around 18 years.
This is the main reason why the trust is bankrupt and why the Tories have used a clause put in by the Labour government to impose a Trust Special Administrator, Matthew Kershaw, to run the trust while coming up with ways of making it financially viable.
He is using this opportunity to demand the closure of Lewisham Hospital's A & E and Maternity departments and wants to sell off parts of Queen Mary Hospital in Sidcup.  He also wants the Princess Royal Hospital in Farnborough to be either run by Kings College hospital or privatised.
Anyone with a brain can see that the main problem is the exorbitant payments being made by taxpayers under the PFI contracts.
Here is a link to an excellent Daily Telegraph(!) article about it: PFI - Where did it all go wrong?
And here is the link to BBC Radio 4's File On Four which investigated how PFI contracts are being sold on to other vulture capitalists: File on Four: PFI Profits
Another excellent article from the Guardian on the PFI, Hospitals and Fixing the Libor Rate

Massive Demonstration in Lewisham

Over 20,000 on the march!

Lewisham saw it's largest demonstration in memory yesterday as thousands marched past Lewisham Hospital calling for Jeremy Hunt to reject plans to close its A&E and maternity departments.

The demonstration was decided upon shortly before Christmas and the last three weeks have seen hundreds of people involved in getting the political message out to the residents of Lewisham, Bromley, Bexley and Greenwich.
Lewisham People Before Profit played a major role in the organisation, working together with other campaigners to ensure the smooth running of the campaign. National radio and television have given prominent coverage to the protest action and we are now awaiting Jeremy Hunt's announcement, which will be followed at 6pm by a rally outside Lewisham Hospital.
Whether Hunt decides to close the A&E and Maternity or to spare them, we will still need to counter the underlying cause of the bankruptcy of the NHS trust in Greenwich and Bromley - PFI payments to Barclays, Innisfree and Taylor-Woodrow (United Health Consortium).
We have been paralysed within the campaign meetings by the reluctance of the Labour Party to allow discussion of this aspect - Joan Ruddock MP didn't mention it on Radio 4, Heidi Alexander didn't mention it in her speech in Mountsfield Park. None of the Lewisham MPs has signed the early day motion on PFI and Lewisham ( presumably because they don't want to put the blame for the mess fairly and squarely where it belongs - on Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.
Fortunately Lewisham People Before Profit has no such inhibitions and we will be discussing how to campaign on this at our regular monthly meeting next Monday, 4th February at 7.15 at The Broca Cafe. All welcome.
We have already performed a short sketch about the PFI scam inside Barclays Bank branches in Deptford and Lewisham and set up a petition on the Downing Street website at
There is lots of interesting information about PFI at

Lewisham Hospital

Fight to save Lewisham Hospital Accident & Emergency

Video of Brockley consultation meeting on Monday 26th November

Video of the demonstration on Saturday 24th November

First consultation meeting Tuesday 13th Nov 2pm - 4pm

at West Greenwich Community Centre, 141 Greenwich High Street (near Greenwich railway station).
Four members of Lewisham People Before Profit were there to confront hatchet man Matthew Kershaw.  We challenged him on PFI and the 50 or so members of the public were all sceptical of his reasoning.!

Public meeting last Thursday, 8th November

at the Lessoff Auditorium, Lewisham Hospital, 6pm.  The meeting venue was full so two overflow venues were arranged.  Around 700 people attended in total and heard Louise Irvine, a local GP and Keep Our NHS Public activist and Eileen Smith from Ealing's Save Our Local Hospitals. Along with Mike Davey of Lewisham Unison they explained the situation and called for maximum turnout on the demonstration on 24th November. Mayor Steve Bullock and MP Heidi Alexander also spoke.  Steve Bullock refused to commit Lewisham Council resources to informing all residents about the campaign - so we'll have to do it ourselves!
Please sign the petitions at: and

Download the paper version here: Petition


We have produced 30,000 cards explaining the issues.  You can download it here: PFI Card.
Contact if you would like some cards to give out while petitioning.  We also need people to help give out the cards and collect signatures at primary schools and at railway stations.
PFI card p1PFI Card p 2

Demonstration on Saturday 24th November

assemble at the Grassy Knoll, between Rennell Street and the roundabout in Lewisham to march to Lewisham Hospital for a "Hands Round the Hospital" event.

Go to for more information.

Here's a brilliant video about privatisation of healthcare - do pass it on.
Hope to see you there.

LPBP occupies 5 council houses to prevent sell-off!

Click here for the full story as it unfolds: Occupied Housing Update

Please sign the online petition at:

email to:
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