March 2011

Despite our Luddite tendencies, we've decided to move with the times and set up a Twitter account. You can follow our tweets at hlcheathrow

Find out why the TUC March for the Alternative - Growth, Jobs and Justice is important to everyone in this country, not just the unions.

The HLC are assembling outside Covent Garden Tube Station at 10.00 on the 26th of March. We will be leaving at 10.30 prompt to join up with the other demonstrators arriving at other stations. Don't be late. Make sure that your mobile is fully charged and has credit in case we get separated by the crowds. Bring a bottle of water or something to drink, as popping in to the pub may be difficult once we're on the move.

Well, we've been telling you for long enough. If you didn't go, you've missed it!

BUT - there are plenty of other events in the pipeline. If you suddenly feel the urge to go marching, there are a series of "Save the NHS" events on the 1st of April. Details can be found at TUC for the NHS

Are you ready for "All Together for the NHS Day"?

The 1st of April is the day that the TUC has chosen to show solidarity with the NHS. Events are being organised across Britain to highlight the damage that David Cameron's reforms will do. He has no mandate for these changes and the public might reasonaby as if Cameron and Clegg has not promised to protect the NHS and education if the ConDems would ever have been elected. The HLC views their broken promises as nothing less than fraud.

But the widesoread condemnation of these plans from Nurses, Doctors, patients, trade unions, Labour, the LibDems and even some Tories means that this shake up that will mostly benefit the health companies and risks jobs and standards of healthcare for the rest of us may yet see a government u-turn. The government backed down of the forestry commission sell off after a 500,000 signature petition was submitted. We don't yet know if the battle to stop the cuts can be won, but stopping the sell off of the NHS is becoming a very real possibility. Get out there and make sure your voice is heard.

Charing Cross Hospital protest - 12.30 April 1st (the sell off of our health services is no joke)

Or - for those who can't or won't leave home

Armchair Army e-mail campaign to Save the NHS (includes list of e-mail addresses for newspapers and TV programs)

TUC campaign - e-mail your MP and ask them to "Kill the Bill" (Health and Social Care (Reform) Bill)

March 31st 2011

Willie Walsh proposes IAG investment in bankrupt Japanese Airlines

Socialist Worker - Comment on the March for the Alternative

Government to consult on future of aviation over next 10 years

Heathrow drops to 99th in new survey

BAA appeals rejected and compulsory sale of Stansted and Scottish Airport ordered

Bill Nighy and others explain why cuts are not the only solution

Sustainable future for aviation is possible claims group

Michael Moore sends message of support to NHS workers

ETF launches new campaign to protect jobs in ground handling

Investigation to take place into "fake bomb" that travelled on UPS flight

BMI named top UK airline

Ryanair pilot wins tribunal against dismissal for giving stewardess union membership form

Study shows cancer risk from airport body scanners is lower than flying, but not zero

Following concerns about radiation in the wake of reactor failures in Japan resulting from the earthquake, the public has questioned the safety of airport body scanners. The figures given indicate that the risk to passengers is far lower from scanning equipment than from their flights, where thinner atmosphere allows higher levels of solar radiaiton to reach them. However, the risk is not zero and there are no assessments made of whether there is a calculable risk to airport staff who work around scanners on a daily basis.

29th March 2011

BA flight crew vote 5 to 1 in favour of strike action with 72% turnout

Unite's members in BASSA, the assiciation that represents British Airways stewards and stewardesses has voted for strike action for the fourth time in two years. Strikes could, in theory be called to take place as early as the 4th of April. However, there will some optimism that industrial action as the chief negotiator for BA management will no longer be the confrontational Willie Walsh, who has moved to a new role since the merger of BA and Iberia.

28th March 2011

A few more details on yesterday's march

Unite eventually confirmed the official police figure for attendance at yesterday's manrch as half a million. Well done to those who made the effort. For those who didn't go, well you missed a tremendous event with a great atmosphere. There was a really positive mood that different unions and ordinary people from all walks of life can work together to stop the butchery of our welfare state that this government is attempting - not for economic reasons but because of an ideology that anything and everyone should belong to the private sector.

And let's set the record straight, for those of you who may have been distracted by sensationalist reporting about what went on yesterday. There were effectively three separate protests going on in London yesterday. These were -

1. The TUC march - half a million ordinary people, not all trade unionists, who walked, sang and waved banners on a 100% peaceful march between Waterloo Bridge and Hyde Park.

2. UK Uncut - who staged a series of peacful sit ins and publicity events along Oxfors Street at the premises of various tax-avoiding companies, then moved to a sit in at Fortnum and Mason. To the best of our knowledge their actions were well organised and 100% free of violence and damage to property. There were around 1,000 people who took part in these peacful events.

3. Assorted anarchist groups - Carried out a range of actions, some peaceful, some not so peaceful. These were the people with the balaclavas and scarves over their faces who threw paint bombs and other items, baited the police and damaged property. They also gatecrashed other protestors events. The reasons for their anger may be justified, as they are young people who have just seen this government sell off their future to pay for tax breaks to the big corporations. It is a pity that these groups who only numbered about 500 people will probably had more publicity than the 500,000 that marched peacefully.

An eyewitness report from the UK Uncut protest in Fortnum and Mason

27th March 2011

A few photos from the TUC March for the Alternative on March 26th

Despite a few rowdy gatecrashers turning up later in the day, the TUC March for the Alternative was a resounding success. The Guardian newspaper estimated 400,000 to 500,000 protestors. Despite a number of reported incidents, the Metropolitan Police made it clear that these were nothing to do with the trade unionists and anti-cuts protestors on the main march.

Ed Miliband addressed the protestors in Hyde Park and pledged his support to their goal of an alternative strategy to close the deficit.

This is the beginning of the trade unions' campaign to make the public aware that there are many other ways to deal with the government's debt, such as a "Robin Hood tax" on the banks, closing tax loopholes, a windfall tax on energy companies who have profiteered from fluctuating fuel prices, investment ot create new jobs and new taxpayers and postponing any program of cuts until the economy is strong enough to avoid a double dip. Expect more events in the very near future.

26th March 2011

Hear what John McDonnell MP hopes that the march will achieve

BA Cabin Crew could strike from the 4th of April

BAA signs £100 million IT outsourcing deal

Labour may end support for Heathrow expansion

BAA promises £50 million investment in preparations for snow

Inflation rises again - CPI at 4.4%, RPI at 5.5%

Inflation keeps going up - which devalues not just your pay packet, but your pension if you can't get a pay rise to match it. Make sure that someone with a bit of savvy looks at your company's annual report before you allow yourself to be fobbed off with a soft sob story about how hard things are. Look at "Exceptional Items" in the losses, which means "one off" losses (such as writing off bad debts that shouldn't happen next year etc.) to get an idea of how well or badly the business is doing.

Another good marker is EBITDA - Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation. This is the basic assessment of the income versus expenditure part of the accounts, before all the other stuff starts to complicate the accounts. This should always show a steady plus. If it doesn't then your boss is genuinely in trouble. Also take a peek at the Directors' earnings and how their wages are going up and what bonuses they're paying themselves. What's good for the goose is good tfor the gander, as they say.

22nd March 2011

Fact of the Day - Much of the money raised by the governments cuts to services will go to pay for a 4% cut in corporation tax for Britain's most profitable companies

    HLC meets with UK Uncut

This evening, Paco and Jon from the HLC met with "Tony Smith" - better known as the spokesperson for UK Uncut who appeared on Newsnight in January. "Tony" invited the HLC and other sympathisers from Heathrow to join his group on the afternoon of March 26th, following the march in London.

We cannot give details of the event that UK Uncut are planning, for obvious reasons. On the basis of past events that they have organised, we could see the Bank of England turned into a creche or George Osbourne's house in Downing Street becoming a day centre for the elderly. Who knows?

The HLC is meeting at 10.00 at Covent Garden and will give out more details then. We will be moving off to join the main march on Victoria Embankment at 10.30. Please have emough bottled water and sandwiches with you to last until the evening, as popping into the pub for a ploughmans may not be an option. For those of you who missed "Tony"'s appearance on Newsnight, follow the link below.

Find out more about UK Uncut at

21st March 2011

Guardian reports Osbourne to slash H&S protections in budget

The Guardian reports that Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osbourne will abolish some key Health and Safety protections in his budget this week to "reduce the burden on business". The reporting of workplace accidents has already been attacked. Now HSE inspections will be hugely reduced, with a focus on "high risk" industries. However, "high risk" is likely to mean "high profile" such as nuclear power stations rather that, for example construction, which has a high fatality rate, or baggage handling, which has 5 times the average number of back injuries.

The Tory's loyalties to the owners of the "dark satanic mills" rather than the workers is well known, but this action is utterly insensitive to the estimated 50,000 people who lose their lives in the UK through industrial disease, and over 300 who die as a result of accidents. These figures do not include those who lose limbs or have life changing strain and spinal injuries. These changes are just a licence for cowboy employers. We encourage HLC members to write to the national newspapers to complain about these proposals and make every effort to highlight the flaws in these plans on Workers' Memorial Day (April 28th).

21st March 2011

Tory MP desribes Lansley NHS reforms as like "tossing a grenade into the health service"

Heathrow Liaison Committee facebook page

Last night I set up a Facebook page for the Heathrow Liaison Committee. Please help us to keep it up to date with airport stories and comments or suggestions about how activists could do a better job of protecting job and conditions. Any Unite members with a Heathrow association who are prepared to make a little effort for the common good are welcome. Please visit us at -

20th March 2011

BASSA video - The Cabin Crew Lament (posted by "Enough is enough")

Even the right wing Sunday Telegraph is against the ConDems crazy plans for the NHS

Having been criticised by just about everyone else for their promise breaking plans for the NHS, Cameron and Lansley will be dismayed that one of the Tory's most loyal supporters has attacked their proposals. The Conservatives would ignore the opinion of this newspaper at their own peril. So David, are you going to take the Margaret Thatcher position of "no u-turns" or are you going to start listening to the people who elected you?

20th March 2011

BA claims tenfold price hike to book flights out of Tokyo after disaster was due to "error"

Government accused of "burying" report showing record levels of patient satisfaction

Tories to slash rights of 3.8 million workers

Laing O'Rourke awarded £77 million contract for 1,340 space car park at Terminal 2

Muslim airport worker accuses airline of racial discrimination

An article in Skyport on how with exactly the same C.V. calling yourself Ian instead of Salim might mean the difference between getting a job interview or not.

19th March 2011

Even Boris attacks Cameron's lack of support for aviation industry

IAG seeking to make purchase into an Indian airline

Fact of the Day - Despite Conservative attacks on high earners in the public sector, of the 8 highest earning executives on local councils, 6 are Conservative, 1 is LibDem and only 1 Labour

Government makes u-turn on election pledge for passenger duty tax

Only 34% of Britons still believe that public service cuts are necessary to repair deficit

BMA overwhelmingly votes for NHS reform bill to be withdrawn for major review

The British Medical Association, which had called its first emergency meeting for nearly 20 years has voted overwhelmingly in favour of a motion that the coalition withdraw the Health Reform Bill and that it be that it be completely reviewed and amended. However, the other two motions put to the BMA were not carried - the vote of no confidence in Health Secretary Andrew Lansley and for outright rejection of the Health Reform Bill.

Whilst Downing Street has claimed that there will be no major changes to its bill, it seems unlikely that it will be able to pass this bill through parliament in its current form, with the LibDems and Britain's doctors opposing it. That does not mean that it won't be presented with amendments or rear its ugly head at some later stage.

Meanwhile, for those who believe that privatisation may actually mean that a better service can be provided at a lower cost, it has been revealed that the cost of train and coach fares have risen by over 50% in real terms since the early 80's. We must surely ask if privatisation of public services actually brings  any benefits whatsoever to the end user.

Doctors tell Lansley "Stop this bill" - Left Foot Forward report

15th March 2011

Virgin Atlantic pays damages to former masseuses

Fact of the Day - Minister for Women and Equality Theresa May opposed the 2010 Equality Act, opposed equalising the age of consent for homosexuals and opposed equal adoption rights for homosexual couples

TUC Risks newsletter for Health and Safety Reps

CAA conduct survey of passengers whose journeys were disrupted by snow

Were your air travel plans disrupted by the snow in December 2010? The CAA is conducting a survey and would like to hear from you. Please follow the link below to take part.

Iberia to build 100 million euro cargo terminal in Madrid

Skyport reports that Iberia is to build Europe's largest terminal for freight movements to and from Latin America. While the facility, which is due to enter operations in 2015 will create 400 direct jobs and up to 1,000 indirect jobs, there will be concerns that this terminal will be used in preference to BA's facility at Heathrow. Since Iberia and BA merged to form IAG (international Airlines Group) employees of both subsidiaries have been watching to see if "efficiencies" of the combined operation present a threat to their job security. Only time will tell.

Meanwhile, accountancy firm KPMG has said there are likely to be a rapid rise in the numbers of mergers and acquisitions in the aviation industry, confirming predictions made by the HLC in 2010. The smaller number of airlines in the industry will reduce choice for the passenger and result in job losses. They are in no one's interest apart from the shareholders.

15th March 2011

Downing Steet rejects LibDem calls for major changes to NHS Reform Bill

The BBC reports that Number 10 Downing Street has stated that the LibDems motion for substantial amendments to the Health Reform Bill will not result in significant changes to its plans. The statement is likely to be seen by many LibDems as a snub to their role in the coalition. Whilst Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has publicly supported the Tories, the LibDems spring conference saw an overwhelming demand for the party to oppose the NHS bill unless there are major changes.

As opposition to David Cameron's shake up of our health services increases, his popularity has fallen. Latest YouGov polls showed Labour 44%, Conservatives 33%,LibDems 10% and worryingly UKIP 7%. The LibDems are desperate to restore their credibility with the publc and likely to stand their ground on this issue. As it stands they are predicted to lose three quarters of their seats in the Scottish parliament in elections in May.

14th March 2011

Fact of the Day - The richest 400 Americans have as much wealth as the poorest 155,000,000 (half the population of the US) It's not much better in the UK either

BA shamefully stops pay of pregnant cabin crew

BAA boss gets £150,000 pay rise (or not, as the case may be)

Skyport reports that BAA's Chief Executive, Colin Matthews recieved an 18% pay rise in 2010, equivalent to an additional £151,000. His salary rose from £820,000 in 2009 to £971,000 in 2010.

This inflation busting figure aside, Mr. Matthews should receive some credit for announcing that he would give up his bonus for 2010 (believed to be nearly half a million pounds) after 6cm of smow led to chaos shortly before Christmas. However, he may yet benefit from a long term benefit scheme if performance figures are achieved over the period to 2012.

Mr. Matthews responded to this report by stating that he had only had a 3.6% pay rise. He said that the bulk of the £151,000 difference in figures between 2009 and 2010 was probably because money that had previously been paid into his pension fund was now paid to him directly.

13th March 2011

LibDems vote "No" to NHS reforms unless there are substantial amendments to Bill

General Strike of 1 million or more public sector workers likely after pension change proposal

Qatar Airways seeking to buy share of a European Airline to expand network of routes

Terminal 5 partially evacuated over suspect package

Terminal 5 was partially evacuated earlier today after armed police stopped a man carrying a suspect package. Early reports claimed that a man was in a stand off with police and threatening to blow himself up, but these were later dismissed as unfounded. Heathrow police issued a statement that a man was detained, but not arrested, then later released.

10th March 2011

Fact of the Day - The tax that Vodafone dodged (around £4.5 billion) could have paid to avoid every single cut made by the government to Britain's charities

Government looking to make u-turn on election promise on air passenger duty

Channel 4 reports that the coalition looks likely ton break yet another one of its election promises by  sticking with taxing the passenger rather than the plane. The news will be a relief for cargo operations and avoid a significant increase in the prices of goods carried by air. The change wouls also have meant that passengers flying short haul could have paid around twice the duty that is currently levied.

10th March 2011

New British Airways boss asks for fresh start in relations with cabin crew union

Skyport reports that the new Chief Executive of British Airways, Keith Williams is hoping to draw a line under the bitter relationship that developed between cabin crew in BASSA (Unite) and his predessessor Willie Walsh. He said that he wanted "a positive relationship with all cabin crew, whether in Unite or not".His comments are set against the background of a ballot for industrial action, which runs until the 28th of March. Many people believe that the current dispute and the poor industrial relations between BA and Unite in the cabin crew section are substantially due to the way that Mr. Walsh handled the grievances of his employees.

10th March 2011

European Parliament supports plans for "Robin Hood Tax"

Walmart faces world's biggest ever sex discrimination claim from 1.6 million women

On International Womens Day - Guardian profile of Shirin Ebadi - Nobel Prize winner

On the 100th anniversary of International Womens Day, the Guardian tells the remakable tale of Shirin Ebadi, Iran's first female judge, founder of the Human Rights Defenders Centre and the first Muslim Woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

To highlight the continuing inequalities between men and women, James Bond actor Daniel Craig and Judy Dench recorded this video. In the 100 years since International Womens Day first took place in Germany, there have been many significant achievments, but there remains much left to be done before we can claim that society has given women a level playing field. Follow the link below to watch the video.

Daniel Craig dresses up for International Womens Day

To quote Caroline Lucas MP, Green Party leader "Globally women do 66% work, earn 10% income & own 1% property - still much to be done".

8th March 2011

Barclays boss gets £6.5 million bonus

Airside penalty points - what's happening in your area?

The HLC was recently made aware of changes made to the airside driving penalty points scheme, which was originally introduced some years back. In late 2009 there was an attempt to introduce a new scheme on airside safety, which penalised the worker rather than the employer and had no automatic right of appeal. The HLC vigorously opposed this scheme and it seemed to more or less be put into limbo.

However, it seems that the original airside driving penalty ponts scheme seems to have been revised, entirely without consultation with the people who could lose their jobs if reported for driving infringements. Can you please let us know what documents have been circulated by your employers and what dicussions have taken place with your management? We will write to BAA and ask the basis for their changes and why the TUs have not been involved. If we don't get a satisfactory reply, it might be time to think about another petition and march up to the compass centre.

Overweight baggage - have you been injured in your work from handling it?

On March 22nd a sub group of the European Parliament (EULAR) will be discussing joint injuries and disease. The HLC has again been asked to sent a representative. If you have been injured or are a union rep who has had to support a member who has been injured, we would like to hear your story.

The EU need to understand how strain injuries from handling overweight baggage can destroy careers and lives. A legal restriction on the weight of hold baggage to 23kg or lower could prevent many of these injuries happening and save workers and their employers much unnecessary sickness and suffering. Send your reports to -

A century of struggle against inequality - International Womens Day 100th anniversary

BA could raise fuel surcharge again

Let's hope that they don't conspire with other airlines and get hit with £hundreds of millions of fines again

Fact of the day - Paymaster General Francis Maude while promoting the "big society" telling people to volunteer to do charity work was forced to admit that he didn't do any volunteer work at all

Only 3 weeks until the big TUC march on the 26th of March - Are you ready for it?

As the government cuts strt to bite deeper and we begin to see the complete destruction of the welfare state as we know it, the one hope we have is that the people of Britain can force the coalition to change its plans by showing our disapproval. We can only do this by making our voices heard. If you think that David Cameron should be spending our money on the poor, the sick, the old, the young and the vulnerable rather than giving tax breaks to the rich, you need to be doing something NOW, or it will be too late.

  • Write to your local newspaper to complain about the cuts to council services
  • Write to the national papers to complain about the cuts to council funding, health services, education and the rest
  • Stop buying Tory newspapers (like the Sun) and write to the editor to say you're fed up with them sucking up to DC
  • Get involved in protests. There is probably a demo scheduled for your next council meeting within the next week or two
  • Get involved in more protests. There are events to protect libraries, day care centres, job centres, social services etc. etc.
  • If you're up for it, UK Uncut has been making headlines by occupying the premises of the worst tax avoiders
  • Most newspapers publish online. Many articles allow you to comment or reply. Get your opinions heard.
  • Go on the big march on the 26th of March and bring as many other people as you can

There are coaches being organised from the Unite office in New Road (just off the A4, next to the Marriot Hotel, north of Heathrow). Unite members can get transport from there or make there own way into London.

The HLC are assembling at Covent Garden (outside the tube station) at 10.00. We'll be heading off towards the main group at 10.30. Bring flags and placards. We also recommend that you bring enough food and water for the day, as it may be difficult to buy things. Make sure that your clothing is warm enough and that you've got good walking shoes. Make sure that your mobile phone is fully charged and has plenty of credit and that you have the numbers of the other members of your group in case you get deparated.

This march is not just about trade unions. It's about ordinary people and protecting the services that the vulnerable rely on. Don't wait until you become ill to protest at the sell off of the NHS. Don't wait until you're old before demanding that pensions and sheltered housing for the elderly are protected. Don't wait until your children need to go to college before you stand up to demand that education should not be a priviledge of the rich.

This march may be the most important event for the rights of ordinary people for a generation.  BE THERE or leave your future in the hands of the millionaires in the coalition's cabinet. You have been warned!

5th March 2011

RMT wins important Court of Appeal ruling on right to strike

The Court of Appeal has ruled in RMT's favour and thrown out an injunction from January declaring that a ballot for industrial action was not legal due to disputed accuracy of the union's membership list. Interpretation of the judgement will be for lawyers of employers and unions.

However, the judge in this case appears to have concluded that international law protects the right to strike and that any injunction issued on the grounds of inaccurate membership lists must be due to more than trivial errors. This judgement is likely to have a major bearing on the current BA dispute, where management has relied on injunctions rather than negotiation. It is possible that this ruling may make it much harder for employers to gain an injunction against a union that has made all reasonable efforts to keep its membership lists up to date.

4th March 2011

Fact of the Day - The Bank of America announced profits of @ $20 billion for 2009. The corporation tax it paid was ... not a cent. Apparently US banks are even better at dodging tax than our own.

HLC meeting - March 3rd 2011

The HLC met today for it's regular 4 to 6 weekly GC. Guest speakers included Ami Jackson and Sarah Cook from Dont Break Britain and Enrique Carmona from the European Transport Workers Federation (ETF).Items discussed included -

TUC March for the Alternative - Jobs, Growth and Justice (26th March)

Workers Memorial Day Benefit Dinner & Dance (22nd April)

Workers Memorial Day Garden & Plaque at Unite office, New Road

Workers Memorial Day event at Heathrow Cargo Area (28th April)

EU Parliament proposal for revised Directive for Ground Handling & ETF response

Visit by Hounslow and Ealing MPs and councillors to BA engineering on 1st March

BAA introduction of revised driver penalty ponts system (currently in 3 month "soft" launch period)

Newsletter delivery (confimed for week commencing 7th March)

3rd March 2011

Fact of the day - Health Secretary Andrew Lansley once blogged that one of the "good things" about a recession was that people get to spend more time with their families

The coalition's broken promises on the NHS

A Daily Mirror report

3rd March 2011

Events and protests for your diary

HLC general meeting - 10.00 - 14.00 Thursday 3rd of March 2011, Unite office, New Road, Heathrow

Save the NHS protest - 16.00 - 18.00 7th of March 2011, Liverpool Street Station

Save the NHS march in the City - 17.00 - 20.00 9th of March 2011, London Hospital (Whitechapel)

TUC March for the Alternative - All day? 26th of March 2011, London (check TUC for details)

If you've got a Facebook account, you can check for events at the link below

The battle for US trade union rights expands to Ohio. Protests increase

Following on from Wisconsin's Republican governor passing a bill to deprive public sector unions of their collective bargaining rights, Ohio has put in motion an attempt to do something similar. This may be a grave error, considering the results in the first state it was attempted. News stations quickly pointed out that Republicans were probably more interested in depriving the Democrats of campaign contributions from the unions than they were in reducing budget deficits.

Wisconsin's bill from Governor Walker sparked at mass sit in at the state capitol. When he ordered police to evict the protestors, they joined them in their protest. When he asked state troopers to do the same, they told him that they weren't his palace guards. There are now protests in all 50 state capitals against the treatment of workers and unions.

A group called US Uncut has followed the British model and is organising sit ins in commercial locations demanding that they pay their fair share of the deficit in taxes. For example, the Bank of America made a $20 billion profit in 2009 and paid corporation tax!

2nd March 2011

Fact of the day - Transport Secretary Phillip Hammond's wealth is about £8 million

Socialist Worker - 26 reasons to join the TUC march for the alternative on March 26th


Save the NHS - Day of Action announced

The first day of direct protest action against David Cameron's complete overhaul and privvatisation of the NHS has been annouhced. Protestors will assemble on the 7th of March at Liverpool Street station in London for an event that will last betwwen 16.00 and 18.00. This is likely to be the first of many events across the country that doctors, nurses and concerned members of the public will take part in to ensure the future of health services in Britain.

A list of which services are legally protected and which can be scrapped

Your local council has legal obligations to maintain certain services, though it can change them to "improve efficiency". See which ones are protected and make sure your council isn't breaking the law in a drive to make savings.

Fact of the day - Nick Clegg owns around £2 million and is the great grandson of a Russian Baroness

UK Uncut and US Uncut hold bail-ins in 90 banks

Nearly a hundred banks in the UK and the US were targeted by the Uncut protest groups, which is also starting to organise in other countries such as Canada. A report claims that every single Central London branch of Lloyds, RBS and Nat West were forced to close early today (26th February) by bail-ins organised by UK Uncut and their supporters. But just in case Barclays were thinking that UK Uncut had forgotten about them, a number of protestors found time to pay them a visit in branches around Britain. Mr. Cameron, has the public got your attention yet and are you prepared to consider an alternative and fairer way of closing the treasury's deficit?

Read the UK Uncut Press Release to find out what the banks have been up to

BA’s former cabin crew in Hong Kong can sue airline

Fact of the Day - George Osbourne is the son of a Baronet and has a personal fortune of around £4 million, but still (according to the LibDems) overclaimed £55,000 for 2nd home expenses