Monday, 31 January 2011

North Somerset Council Executive to approve £17.5 million of cuts

At 2 pm on 1st February North Somerset Council's Executive will meet to approve £17.5 million of cuts for 2011/12. The cuts involve the loss of at least 135 jobs and include cuts to services for some of the most vulnerable people in North Somerset, including children and young people, people with physical and learning disabilities, older people, people with mental health issues, refugees, people fleeing domestic abuse and homeless people.

Despite numerous requests from North Somerset UNISON the council have failed to complete equality impact assessments on their budget proposals before the Executive meet tomorrow - these won't be ready until the council votes on the budget on 22nd February. In our view this is too late.

North Somerset UNISON's Branch Secretary will be speaking at the Executive meeting tomorrow - the full version of the speech will be posted on this blog tomorrow evening.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Branch Secretary's speech to North Somerset Council's Health Overview and Scrutiny Panel against Proposal for NHS North Somerset Community Services to become a Social Enterprise

Below is my speech to North Somerset Council regarding a report on NHS North Somerset Community Services becoming a Social Enterprise. Councillors were asked to consider whether it constitutes a substantial change to healthcare provision. Councillors requested more information on monitoring and as a result the minutes should read along the lines of that as the report stood at the moment it did not constitute a substantial change. Anyway here's my speech:

Thanks for letting me speak. You might be surprised that I asked to address you today, but North Somerset UNISON not only represents council workers but also has members in the PCT and Weston Area Health Trust.

The government is pushing the health service toward a market-style system where a range of health providers will compete with each other for business. UNISON has serious concerns that the increase in social enterprises will lead to increased fragmentation of the NHS and to a situation where smaller organisations are taken over by profit-driven private companies, leading to a poorer service for patients.

Department of Health guidance states that:
“In developing the vision, values and mission for a social enterprise, it is important to involve staff, service users and other stakeholders. This should also involve the unions that represent staff and the Local Involvement Networks. Their buy in to this process and support will be key to success. Proposals for Social Enterprises will therefore need to test the extent to which staff involved in the social enterprise are supportive of the proposals going forward.”

It is interesting that the document you will be considering talks about a “staff led” social enterprise. It is my understanding that this is management led, and that staff themselves would prefer to remain working for the NHS. Although management were initially resistant to UNISON requests for all staff to be balloted on creating a Social Enterprise, a survey has now or is about to be sent out and it will be interesting to see the results.

You are being asked to consider whether the proposal constitutes a substantial variation or development, that is - does it constitute a proposed major change in healthcare provision? We think the question should actually be does this constitute an improvement in healthcare provision for North Somerset? Particularly given the fact that North Somerset has the widest social inequalities gap in the South West, and the 10th widest in England – gaps in health inequalities and life expectancy being linked to this.

We would argue that the neutral impacts listed for patients, carers, health inequalities and the local health community are not a good enough reason for it to become a Social Enterprise. In fact, in our view, in order for there to be good case for the move to Social Enterprise there should be a clear demonstration of the improvements that will be achieved.

The report argues there will be no services changes as a result of the move to Social Enterprise, but provides you with no evidence for this. The report goes on to set out the benefits of moving to a Social Enterprise – we would question whether (with one exception) these benefits are any different from the current service or from Community Services staying within the NHS.

The one benefit that seems to be different is the ability to bid for external funding to enable them to develop in other areas such as Home Care, services historically provided by Social Care, services currently provided by the Acute Trust, Out of hours services, and Services in other Geographical areas. But will a local social enterprise be strong enough to compete with other private sector organisations bidding for these contracts?

It is being argued in the report that the creation of a Social Enterprise does not constitute a major change, but in our opinion it begins the dismantling of the National Health Service, opening the health service up to the market, where after the initial 4 year contract award to the Social Enterprise, massive global healthcare providers will be bidding for contracts in North Somerset – a local Social Enterprise simply won’t be able to compete with them.

There remain unanswered questions about what happens when a social enterprise fails financially in mid-contract or fails to have its contract renewed. In terms of the bigger picture, there is no guaranteed sustainability for new types of organisations, particularly during the recession. Indeed, a 2008 report by Global Entrepreneurship Monitor found that social enterprise companies are twice as likely to fail as conventional ones. This then also raises the lurking threat of takeover by other companies with no social ethos. I am therefore urging you to consider this proposal over the long term.

We also question the rationale for creating a Social Enterprise. It is unclear to us why the preferred option to merge with Weston Area Health Trust cannot be completed before 1st April, and yet what is being described as a shadow organisation will be created on 1st April, because there won’t be time for a Social Enterprise to be created by then either.

Finally, Councillors should ask to see the Integrated Business Plan, along with the risks and how these will be managed. Councillors should also ask if an equality impact assessment been completed on these proposals and if so what was the result. If not, when will this be completed? As councillors are aware from my correspondence with them, as a local authority they have a legal duty to consider the impact on the 6 different equalities groups.

Thank you

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Protest at Budget Cuts - Weston Mercury article

Video of Protest at Budget Cuts Meeting

video

Crowds of protestors gather at council meeting

 


PROTESTORS clutching placards heckled North Somerset Councillors as they arrived at Weston Town Hall on Tuesday night.
Members of the Weston and North Somerset Anti-cuts Alliance attended the full council meeting, which had budget items listed on the agenda, and gathered around the entrance giving out leaflets of support while chanting.

The demonstration was in reaction to the news that North Somerset Council must make more than £45million worth of cuts over four years, with 17.4million of these reductions earmarked for this financial year.

Before the protest the ‘fuming’ and ‘worried’ residents gathered in Weston to discuss concerns and possible strike action in relation to the current public spending cuts.

Last week more than 50 people from the town and villages such as Congresbury, Wrington and Banwell attended the meeting organised by the alliance at the Salvation Army Hall.

Teachers, nurses, social workers, small business owners and parents all spoke vehemently about their concerns over the impending cuts that will see a lower level of services across the region.
Despite formerly being against strike action, many speakers said they could now be swayed if it would help raise awareness about fighting the cash-cuts.

Theatre nurse, Judy Massa, said: “It’s the vulnerable people that are most at risk here. “My big concern is patient care and patient dignity. As a theatre nurse I would never leave a patient on the table as that would not be ethical, but if strike action is what we need to make a stand then we should look at this.”

Speaking on behalf of the National Union of Teachers (NUT), Anne Lemon, criticised the idea of North Somerset schools, such as Wyvern Community School, changing into academies and said it was a ‘myth’ that this would benefit students.

Worle Community School teacher, Nancy Powell-Brace, said: “They are coming for your children and in education we are becoming barren and going back 20 years. We are going back to the dark ages.
“I never ever thought I would live to hear the day when I would take action but if it is going to make a difference then I would chain myself to railings.”

Yatton parent, Lesley Byron, said she would start a campaign to prevent her child’s school in Backwell from changing into an academy. The Rectory Way resident said: “I am absolutely fuming about it and astounded that this could happen.”

Weston library worker, John McLorinan, said it was a stressful time for staff due to job uncertainty and said money is driving policy as opposed to people. He said morale was low and ‘worried’ staff believe they will be replaced by self-service machines or will have to take a downgrading.

NUT member, Andy Prior, said that attendees had more than doubled since the first meeting and as confidence was growing a 24-hour public sector strike and a general strike could be the way forward.

The next alliance meeting will take place in Weston at the Blakehay Theatre in Wadham Street at 7.30pm on February 17.

Blog on UK wide Library Cuts

Follow this blog on cuts to library services throughout the UK

http://publiclibrariesnews.blogspot.com/

Protest at Budget Cuts - Evening Post article














Unions demonstrate outside Weston Town Hall at the start of yesterday's meeting. Protesters waving placards gathered outside the Town Hall in Weston-super-Mare to lobby against North Somerset Council’s budget cuts, which they say will impact on some of society’s most vulnerable people.

Dozens of people turned up at a council meeting on Tuesday evening to have their say on the authority’s draft budget.

The council faces making savings of £42.4 million over the next four years – with up to £15.8 million of cuts proposed in the first year.

The cutbacks follow a reduction in the funding the authority receives from central Government because of the austerity cuts.

So far millions of pounds worth of savings have already been identified, and although the council says it does not have to a choice but to make savings, protesters said they disagreed with the cuts.

National Union of Teachers representative Ann Lemon said: “Cuts to Children and Young People’s Services will have a huge effect on education, but one of the biggest hits will be to early years, which affects some of the most vulnerable children. “There will be no more School Improvement Teams, who go into schools and provide huge support in a number of roles, including supporting new teachers, new initiatives and who are experts in the community. “We are also very concerned that if these cuts continue, that more schools will be become academies.”

Eve Wilson has worked in social care and child care for the past 20 years. She said: “I am concerned about how services to the local community through social services will suffer, and the care impact on the elderly and disabled. “The cuts will prove costly to service users, and give them less choice. “It will impact on the community as a whole.”

Helen Thornton is the spokesperson for Weston and North Somerset Trades Union Council, which was lobbying outside the Town Hall.

Ms Thornton said: “We believe the council has a legal duty to ensure it has assessed the impact of its budget proposals on particular groups of people, including people of different ethnic origins. If a detrimental impact on a particular group is identified then revisions can be made in order to remove, lessen or mitigate that impact.

“We have seen little evidence that the council has undertaken equality impact assessments for its budget proposals, and we have also seen little evidence that it has consulted with service users. There are a number of proposals in the budget document which should be of particular concern to councillors, and the people of North Somerset, as they will impact on the most vulnerable groups in our society.

“These include many of the proposals for reducing services to children and young people, to people with physical and learning disabilities, to older people, and reductions to library services.”

The union is holding another meeting on February 17 at 7.30pm at the Blakehay Theatre in Weston- super-Mare ahead of the council’s budget setting on February 22, when members will also be lobbying.

http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/news/Protest-North-Somerset-Budget-cuts/article-3118302-detail/article.html

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Anti-Cuts Public Meeting - report in the Bristol Evening Post

We must resist 'savage' spending cuts, say unions in Weston-super-Mare

Support is growing in Weston-super-Mare over plans to lobby North Somerset Council over drastic cuts. In the comprehensive spending review last October the Government revealed a multi-billion pound reduction in spending was required in the UK. As a result North Somerset Council must make £47.2 million in cuts over four years, with £17.4 million in cuts in 2011 alone.

The Weston and North Somerset Trades Union Council met this week to find out how cuts are affecting people in the area. It urged supporters to lobby North Somerset Council's Full Council meeting on January 18, February 22 and attend a TUC march in London on March 26. Residents were also asked to write to councillors and MPs.

Nurses, social workers and teachers spoke of their anger at the cuts and said residents must make a stand. Toni Mayo, a social worker, warned the cuts would affect the safety of children. She said: "It's going to be difficult to keep children safe without health visitors and children's centres. "This is a national problem, which requires a national fight back. "We are what keeps this country going, we provide the services and we are in a strong position to fight back."

Nancy Powell-Brace, 51, a teacher at Worle Community School, said: "What is most worrying is they are coming for our children and in education we are becoming barren and going back 20-years. "I don't want to teach anymore and watch what's happening to teaching in schools; we are going back to the dark ages. "I never thought I would live to hear the day I would take action but if it is going to make a difference to the cuts then I would chain myself to railings."

The meeting heard how library services across the district will be affected. John McLorinan, library assistant at Weston library, said: "The mobile library has ceased its rounds in Weston. "Congresbury library is now manned by volunteers, Backwell library is gone and Banwell library is possibly going to close. "Now we are faced with these cuts and we think our jobs will be looked at we will be downgraded with less pay and eight to 10 jobs will have to go. "We will be replaced by self-service machines. "Now they are also introducing revised charges, up 2.5 per cent and there are now daily late charges on children's books of 10p per book. "We are working harder, stress levels are phenomenal and staff morale is very low. "We have got to get out and make a noise on the streets."

North Somerset Trades Union Council branch secretary Helen Thornton said the council could use its £7 million reserves if it chose to in order to avoid cuts. She said: "Vulnerable people are going to be at risk and we believe it is not possible to cut such a large amount of money without it having a major impact. "In the first year the council will lose 130 full-time jobs and the council's future intentions make it clear that they will be operating with a significantly reduced workforce – this could amount to losing 25 per cent of its workforce over the four years of cuts. "We are seriously concerned about the council's ability to deliver services with such a reduced workforce. "We believe that the Coalition Government's savage spending cuts will hit the poorest hardest, will slow down the economic recovery, and increase unemployment. "We believe that the cuts are not an economic necessity, but are politically motivated. "The majority of people in the country did not vote for such savage cuts delivered at such speed. "This is a weak government, and we the people, if we protest, can get them to change their minds, or even get rid of them. "We've done it before with the poll tax, we can do it again."

Monday, 17 January 2011

Coalition plans to dismantle our National Health Service

North Somerset UNISON members at the PCT are currently being consulted on transferring to a Social Enterprise. The closing date is 23rd February. Those managers pushing this move at the PCT have to demonstrate that staff support the move. Our members at the PCT must respond to the consultation and tell their managers they don't want to be part of plans to dismantle the National Health Service. Becoming a Social Enterprise is a privatisation, with all the dangers for our members that any other privatisation of public services involves. This includes:
  • Terms and conditions are only secure at the time of transfer
  • Losing rights to nationally agreed pay increases
  • New starters would not have access to NHS pensions
  • If the social enterprise goes bust there are no guarantees of re-employment in the NHS
All North Somerset UNISON members who live in North Somerset and are service users of the PCT also need to oppose this privatisation of the NHS. You can do this by writing to the newspapers, writing to your MP or writing to your councillor. You can also respond to the consultation by emailing your thoughts to: contact@nsomersetlink.co.uk and CommunityServicesFuture@nsomerset-pct.nhs.uk

Cuts to Disability Benefits and Social Care Blog

Checkout this blog. It's a blogswarm for stories and testimonials, building up to the end of the consultation on DLA on 14th February. For anyone who wants to find out more about the cuts to benefits and social care.

http://onemonthbeforeheartbreak.blogspot.com/

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Anti-Cuts Meeting Press Release

The Weston and North Somerset Trades Union Council held a public meeting against the public spending cuts at the Salvation Army Hall in Weston on 12th January. A spokesperson said: “The meeting was well attended by members of the public, representatives from trade unions, representatives from the voluntary sector, and members of various political parties. Teachers, council workers, social workers, library assistants and NHS workers spoke about the impact of the cuts on the services they provide. Members of the public spoke about the impact of the cuts on the services they receive, including a parent who wants to stop her child’s school from becoming an academy, and another parent who is terrified for the future of her disabled son.”

“At the meeting we agreed to form an Anti-Cuts Alliance, and to lobby North Somerset Council’s budget discussion meeting on 18th January at the Town Hall. Members of the Weston and North Somerset Trades Union Council will also be speaking at the council meeting. Amongst other things, we will be arguing that the council has a legal duty to ensure it has assessed the impact of its budget proposals on particular groups of people, including people of different ethnic origins, women and men, young and old people, disabled people, gay people, and people of different religions. If a detrimental impact on a particular group is identified then revisions can be made in order to remove, lessen or mitigate that impact. We have seen little evidence that the council has undertaken equality impact assessments for its budget proposals, and we have also seen little evidence that it has consulted with service users. There are a number of proposals in the budget document, which should be of particular concern to councillors, and the people of North Somerset, as they will impact on the most vulnerable groups in our society. These include many of the proposals for reducing services to children and young people, to people with physical and learning disabilities, to older people, and reductions to library services. Equality impact assessments must be undertaken for these proposals, otherwise the council may find themselves open to legal challenge.”

“We urge the people of North Somerset to make their views about the cuts known to their councillors by writing to them, and attending council meetings. We will also be holding another public meeting on 17th February at 7.30 pm at the Blakehay Theatre in Weston super Mare, ahead of the council’s budget setting meeting on 22nd February which we will also be lobbying.”

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Lobby of North Somerset Council Budget Debate - 18th January

Weston and North Somerset Anti-Cuts Alliance will be lobbying North Somerset Council’s budget discussion meeting on 18th January. Members of the Weston and North Somerset Trades Union Council will also be speaking at the meeting. We are inviting everyone living in North Somerset who wants to express their opinion on the council’s proposals to cut £17.5 million from their budget in 2011. Their proposals include cuts to services to people with physical and learning disablities, older people and children, as well as privatising Cultural and Leisure services, and cuts to libraries.

Meet at 5.30 pm on 18th January outside the Town Hall in Weston super Mare.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Anti-Cuts Meeting in Weston - really well attended!

The Anti-Cuts meeting held at the Salvation Army Hall in Weston was well attended tonight, and many of the attendees will also be coming to our lobbies of the council on 18th January and 22nd February. We will also be arranging another public meeting. For me the most moving speaker was a lady whose disabled adult son had been moved into care here from another county because it was cheaper. Her family then had to move here to be close to him and she is now really worried that he might be moved again because it might be cheaper somewhere else. This is the stark reality of the cuts.

The following is my speech to the meeting tonight:

I want to talk briefly about what North Somerset Council has proposed in order to implement the cuts for 2011. The Council have to make £17.5 million cuts in the first year of 4 years of cuts, amounting to a total of £47.3 million or 31% of their budget over those 4 years.

The Coalition government are claiming that frontline services will be protected, and in fact the council’s own initial budget document repeated the coalition mantra that “we are all in this together” but we must protect services for vulnerable adults and children. Since their budget situation worsened they are now saying that some of the most critical services for the vulnerable are at risk because central government have made some of the biggest cuts to these services. We believe it is just not possible to cut such a large amount of money without it impacting on the front line. By far the biggest budget cut to council services will be to Children’s and Young People’s services – including cuts to the team which is responsible for school improvements, cuts to Connexions and Aiming High for disabled children, withdrawing funding from the schools music service, reducing funding for extended services in schools, and reduced funding for services provided by the voluntary sector – so much for the Big Society! As the council’s budget position has turned out to be worse than they were expecting they are now proposing cuts to youth services, the early years workforce, children’s centres, and what they describe as positive activities for young people.

In Adult Social Services we are particularly worried by the proposals which will see £500,000 taken out of the budget for care packages for the elderly and people with physical and learning disabilities, a £1 million reduction in supporting people services, again impacting on the care and support of the most vulnerable, and reductions in home care and residential care. The Supporting people grant will also be reduced by another 14% over the next 4 years, impacting on disabled adults, and also those private sector organisations that currently are contracted to provide that care – again so much for the Big Society and the Coalition’s argument that the private sector will step in to create new jobs as public sector jobs go.

Our library service is also under threat. Staff in libraries will be reduced and replaced by self-service machines – there has been no consultation with service users on this plan. Local people will be asked to volunteer to run libraries. If volunteers fail to step forward then most of North Somerset’s rural libraries will eventually close. Cultural and leisure services are to be transferred to private companies – this includes the Winter Gardens, Playhouse, Tourist Information Centre, Churchill and Wyvern Sports Centres. The museum is to be transferred to the Town Council. There will be job losses in Regulatory services such as Environmental Health and Protection, Trading Standards, Food Safety, Licensing and Commercial Health & Safety, and as a result impacting on the health, safety and rights of the people of North Somerset.

As far as jobs are concerned, in the first year the council will lose 130 full time jobs. The council’s future intentions make it clear that they will be operating with a significantly reduced workforce – this could amount to losing 25% of its workforce over the 4 years of cuts, and that’s excluding those council employed staff who work in schools, for whom we currently have no estimate of job losses. We are seriously concerned about the council’s ability to deliver services with such a reduced workforce, and we are also worried about the knock-on effects for the North Somerset economy, given that the council is currently the largest local employer. Council staff are also on a 3 year pay freeze and the council intends to cut the payments it makes to staff for unsocial hours working, affecting the lowest paid staff, and impacting on the local economy.

As a public authority the council have what are called equalities duties and as part of these duties they have to assess every change they make to a service to make sure that it is not having a detrimental impact on particular groups of people – these include men and women, young and old people, ethnic minority groups, people with disabilities, gay people, and people of different religious beliefs. We have, so far, seen very little evidence that this has been done as part of their proposals to cut services, but the report going to council on 18th January states they are being completed. If they fail to complete impact assessments it may be possible for us to take legal action against them because of it.

We are constantly being told that the cuts to public spending are necessary in order to pay off the deficit. But this is simply not true. The deficit is the difference between what the country brings in, in the form of taxes, and what it pays out, in the form of spending on public services. The Coalition government has taken the decision that 80% of the deficit will be paid off with cuts, whereas 20% will be paid off with taxes and they have chosen the most unfair tax of all – a VAT rise – to do that.

We believe that the Coalition government’s savage spending cuts will hit the poorest hardest, will slow down the economic recovery, and increase unemployment. We believe that the cuts are not an economic necessity, but are politically motivated. The majority of people in the country did not vote for such savage cuts delivered at such speed.

We believe that there is an alternative to the cuts, and that those that caused the recession – the banks and other financial institutions – should pay for it through increased taxes and closing tax loop holes and tax havens. We heard only last week that top business leaders awarded themselves 55% salary increases in 2010, when most ordinary working people either had their pay frozen or were given well under inflation pay rises. The banks, including those banks which we as tax payers own, are about to dish out their bonuses. While in 2011 ordinary people will see their bills rise, will lose their benefits and services, and may even lose their jobs and homes.

So what can we do about this? For a start, every single person here can write to their councillor, MP and the media expressing their views – you can also get your friends and families to do the same. You can attend and even speak at the council meetings on 18th January and 22nd February when the budget will be set – we will be lobbying councillors from 5.30 pm on both days. The majority of North Somerset councillors are either Conservative or Liberal Democrat, and we need to get them to use their influence within their parties in central government to stop these cuts. The council also have £7 million in reserves, which they could use if they chose to

Finally we can all attend the TUC march for jobs, growth and justice in London on 26th March. This is a weak government, and we the people, if we protest, can get them to change their minds, or even get rid of them. We’ve done it before with the poll tax, we can do it again.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Anti Cuts Meeting in Weston - Letter to the Mercury

This letter was published in today's Weston Mercury

I am writing on behalf of Weston and North Somerset Trades Union Council to invite all readers of the Mercury and the North Somerset Times to an Anti-Cuts meeting at the Salvation Army Hall, Carlton Street, Weston super Mare on 12th January 2011 at 7 pm. The Weston and North Somerset Trades Union Council, is made up of a number of trade unions including public sector trade unions representing postal workers, civil servants, teachers, rail workers, local government, further education, housing and health workers. We want the people of Weston and North Somerset to join us in an Anti-Cuts alliance to fight the unnecessary cuts to public spending, which are being imposed by the Coalition government.

We are asking the people of Weston and North Somerset to attend the meeting to talk about how the public spending cuts are affecting jobs, families and communities in the area. We are asking people to attend who already are or will be affected by the cuts to the education maintenance allowance (EMA), the increase in student tuition fees, the changes to how pension and benefit increases are calculated, the VAT rise, housing benefit and disability benefit cuts, changes to child tax credits, cuts to the arts, cuts to the police, cuts to the NHS, cuts to library services, children’s services, and services for the elderly and disabled. Just before Christmas North Somerset Council announced that their financial position was worse than they had expected, and that they now have to make £17.4 million cuts in the first year of 4 years of cuts, now amounting to a total of £47.2 million or 31% of their budget. In our view it is just not possible to cut such a large amount of money without it impacting on front line services.

At the meeting people will be able to hear teachers, youth workers, library assistants, social workers and other public sector workers talk about how the cuts will affect the services they provide in North Somerset. We also want the people of North Somerset to tell us how the cuts are affecting them, and we will be discussing how we can create an alliance of groups and individuals who don’t want to see their public services decimated, and who are prepared to fight the cuts. Weston and North Somerset Trades Union Council believes that the Coalition government’s savage spending cuts will hit the poorest hardest, will slow down the economic recovery, and increase unemployment. We believe that the cuts are not an economic necessity, but are politically motivated. The majority of people in the country did not vote for such savage cuts delivered at such speed.

We believe that there is an alternative to the cuts, and that rather than slash funding for public services, the Coalition government could reduce the deficit by bringing in legislation to close tax loop holes and tax havens. There is potentially £100 billion per year out there in uncollected taxes. The Robin Hood tax, which is a tax on financial transactions could bring in £20 billion a year. Add in the £104 billion cost of Trident and the budget deficit of £175 billion would be more than wiped out. Quite simply we believe that the government ought to tax the banks and other financial institutions that caused the recession, instead of cutting public spending, which hits the poorest hardest. It seems very odd to us that we are constantly being told we’re all in this together, when it is also made abundantly clear on a daily basis that we are not. We ask the people of North Somerset to attend the public meeting on 12th January and join us in our fight against the cuts.

Helen Thornton
Weston and North Somerset Trades Union Council
3rd January 2011