Sean Meleady

Community section writer

sean meleady nr bio

Sean Meleady is a political activist and adult education lecturer based in Norfolk. He has experience teaching in the UK, Russia, Italy and Brazil. After studying journalism at News Associates in London, he has written for a number of publications, such as The New European and The South West Londoner, local newspaper the Eastern Daily Press, and more.


(31.10.21) – Universal Credit Lifeline Taken Away from 70000 Norfolk People

Thousands of people across Norfolk are facing financial struggle after the government cut the £20 a week uplift to the Universal Credit benefit in October. Although it was intended as a temporary measure to help with the economic effects of the lockdowns, it has become a lifeline for many

It is estimated that 14,907 people in Norwich have lost £1,040 of their income with around 40% of them in employment. In June 2021 69,895 people were on Universal Credit in Norfolk alone.


(12.06.21) – ‘Norwich Shows Solidarity with Palestine’

Norwich, like many cities and towns across Britain, has seen a number of Palestinian solidarity protests in recent weeks. These protests came in the wake of the latest series of aerial bombardments between Israel and Hamas-controlled Gaza, which resulted in the deaths of 256 Palestinians and 12 Israelis, according to UN figures. The spark for this recent escalation of violence occurred when an Israeli court greenlit eviction proceedings of Palestinian families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of East Jerusalem, and subsequent peaceful protests were brutally repressed, culminating in attacks by Israeli police on the holy site of Al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan, which elicited international condemnation.


(29.04.21) – ‘Norse Workers Poised to Strike’

Around 400 workers, previously employed by (Conservative-run) Norfolk County Council-owned company Norse, are threatening strike action due to a dispute about pay and conditions. Environmental service workers, responsible for street-cleaning and park maintenance, are due to transfer from Norse to an arms-lengths company run by Labour-controlled Norwich City Council.


(04.04.21) – ‘Forward Momentum’ or Continued Decline?

A group of left-wing Norfolk Labour activists have re-founded the Norfolk branch of the socialist pressure group Momentum. Originally they were affiliated to the pro-reform Forward Momentum faction, which argued that the group needed to change in a post-Corbyn era. Following the victory of Forward Momentum candidates in the Labour Party’s internal National Coordinating Group (NCG) elections, at the expense of the Momentum Renewal slate associated with Momentum founder Jon Lansman, they hope that the group can be revived locally. 


(17.03.21) – Pillars of the Community: Norwich Mosques Feed Hundreds

Mosques across Norwich have been working hard in recent years to develop understanding of the Islamic faith and culture, and to improve community relations. Starting with the establishment of the Ihsan Mosque near Chapelfield Gardens in 1977, there are also mosques in Dereham Road, Rose Lane and Aylsham Road, and a community centre in Sandy Lane. Not only is the local Muslim community small but it is geographically isolated from larger communities in Birmingham, London and Yorkshire.


(18.02.21) – Students Strike for Rent Reduction

With the announcement on 4 January of a third national lockdown, the majority of students at the UEA have been unable to return to the University following the end of the Christmas holidays. However, a campaign was set up several days before the lockdown announcement by a group of students calling for a rent strike at UEA.


(31.12.20) – Taking What’s Ours: ACORN Norwich’s Fight for Tenants’ Rights

ACORN Norwich, a community union which focuses particularly on tenants’ rights, has been dealing with member defence cases against two Norwich estate agents: abbotFox and Northwood.


(09.12.20) – ‘Build Back Better’: Green New Deal Norwich’s Project to Transform the City

Environmentalists and green activists in Norwich have been coming together to discuss ways in which the city could address climate breakdown, and how, in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the city could ‘build back better’. 


(25.11.20) – Norfolk Black History Month Highlights the County’s Forgotten Black History

Children in Norfolk schools are usually taught about Black history within the context of the American Civil Rights movement — predominantly through figures such as Martin Luther King Jnr. or Rosa Parks. However, despite there only being a relatively small community in the county, Norfolk has a rich Black history going back centuries, much of which has largely been forgotten.


(14.11.20) – UNISON’s Fight Against Proposed UEA Staff Pay Freeze

Due to the impact of Covid-19, the University of East Anglia faces an expected £35 million shortfall. One too often neglected aspect of the crisis is the impact it has had on non-academic staff, with UEA having proposed a blanket pay freeze for all its 3,712 staff, alongside offering optional voluntary redundancies and delaying incremental raises for long service.


(02.10.20) – Adat Yeshua Foodbank: On the Front Line of Pandemic Poverty

The Jewish community in Norwich has a rich history which goes back centuries. As the Covid-19 pandemic writes a new chapter in the history of the city, one Synagogue on Essex Street has helped set up a food bank in an area sharply divided by wealth disparity.


(16.09.20) – Fighting Climate Change on the Home Front – The Campaigns to Protect Norfolk’s Environment

Norfolk people are rightly proud of the beautiful countryside and unique habitats which attract many tourists to the county. However, Norfolk’s environment and ecological sustainability are threatened by two planned developments located just outside Norwich: the Norwich Western Link road and a proposed new housing development near Thorpe St Andrew which threatens three local woodlands.


(02.09.20) – Norwich School’s Culture of Racism

Norwich School has been caught up in a publicity storm this summer after a letter was sent to the school Governors from 264 former pupils and parents in June detailing numerous cases of racist behaviour by pupils and staff at the selective private school.


(13.08.20) – Norwich City Council Calls for Universal Basic Income Trial

Norwich City Council has backed calls for the government to support a pilot for Universal Basic Income (UBI), which would trial providing a monthly income to all residents of the city, following a recent debate at City Hall. City councillors argued that all residents should receive this fixed monthly amount regardless of employment status, wealth and marital status.


(29.07.20) – Solidarity Not Charity: Norfolk Against Holiday Hunger

While Marcus Rashford has been making headlines with the campaign that led to a government u-turn on free meals vouchers, community groups are working hard to make sure that free meals vouchers are provided to families that need them during every school holiday, not just while the Coronavirus pandemic is in the news.


(08.07.20) – Mutual Aid in Action: Norwich’s Community Response to COVID

In Norwich, as in many other parts of the country, mutual aid groups set up in local communities through Facebook and Whatsapp have been helping people through the Covid-19 crisis in Norwich. These groups have been particularly important for the elderly, vulnerable, single parents and those asked to shield themselves by staying at home.


(19.06.20) – Acorn Norwich – The Union Taking Dodgy on Landlords

Norwich may call itself a ‘fine city’, but this isn’t always the case for renters. Despite some positive stories, such as the Goldsmith Street social housing project, many tenants find life in the city tough.


(27.06.19) – Can School Strikes for Climate Change Government Inaction?

Extinction Rebellion may be getting the most headlines, but another grassroots movement is challenging government and global inaction on climate change. The School Strike for Climate – also known as Fridays for Future, Youth for Climate and Youth Strike for Climate – is a growing international movement of schoolchildren who go ‘on strike’ from school in protest against climate change.

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