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SALFORD COMMUNITY THREE WEEKS TO SAVE DAY CARE CENTRES
 

Star date: 31st January 2012

THREE WEEKS TO PROTECT MOST VULNERABLE PEOPLE IN SALFORD   

Salford's community has exactly three weeks left to save the day care centre services that Salford City Council is threatening to shut. The decision is being made by Councillor John Warmisham, the Council's Lead Member for Adult Services on February 20th and there's all sorts of demos, actions and protests planned before this date.

The latest meeting to discuss action took place last Saturday in Ordsall with Labour councillor, Howard Balkind storming out at one point…

Full story here…


`I support you but I'll have to vote to cut day care services…'

St Clement's Church in Ordsall was the venue for last Saturday's meeting to discuss Salford Council's potential cuts to day care services at Craig Hall in Irlam, St George's in Charlestown and Humphrey Booth in Ordsall.

Since the campaign to save the centres was kicked off the previous week with a large meeting in Swinton (see here), ruling Labour councillors have begun to support opposition to the closures.

Rev Sandra Kearney, chairing the meeting, read out a statement of support from Ordsall Councillor Peter Dobbs who said he opposed the withdrawal of funding from the centres and had e-mailed John Warmisham, the Lead Member for Adult Services who will make the final decision on the centres' future on February 20th.

However it is the Labour Group meeting on 13th February that decides policy for all the ruling Labour councillors in Salford, and Councillor Howard Balkind (Swinton South),  the only councillor in attendance at Ordsall, said he would "voice an opinion" at the Group meeting that he "supports the principle that funding should remain"…

…Incredibly, in the next breath, Balkind added that "we are whipped". Which means that if the Labour Group meeting decides to go ahead with the cuts to day care services he would vote to withdraw funding from them.

As speaker Paul Kelly questioned Balkind's morality, the councillor stormed out of the meeting, only to return minutes later to hear another speaker, George Tapp, say that the closures were a question of "life and death" and "human rights".

Indeed the ex manager of Humphrey Booth said that since last October when the social members were stopped from using the centre, three of them had died.

She went on to question why so much money had been spent refurbishing Humphrey Booth - which she estimated to be up to £1million – only to shut the service down. The expensive work, she added, was carried out so that people who used the closed Broughton day care centre could come to Humphrey Booth in Ordsall… "Now they are going to put those people through it all again and move them somewhere else, I can't understand it."

As Councillor Balkind shuffled awkwardly in his seat, he heard Paul Gerrard from Salford Against the Cuts say that "John Merry promised he would help Salford's vulnerable people, now he's coming for them…"

The full extent of the cuts to day care centres in Salford come with two options…

Option 1 will see two day care centres closed - Craig Hall in Irlam and Humphrey Booth in Ordsall, with the loss of 40 jobs and 200 service users `removed by reassessment'.

Option 2 will see the closure of three day care centres - Craig Hall in Irlam and Humphrey Booth in Ordsall, plus St George's in Charlestown, with the loss of 60 jobs and 300 service users `removed by reassessment'.

A speaker called Walter explained from personal experienced just how these `reassessments' work as he spoke of a lady in her nineties who had been going to the Brierley House centre in Little Hulton for years for a bath… "She can't go any more because she was `re-assessed' and she can walk to the kitchen to make a sandwich…"

It is against this backdrop that Labour councillors have to decide whether they have a spine to vote against the forthcoming budget which will see these potential cuts, or whether their morals speak louder than political whips.

Over the next few weeks, the Defend Our Day Care Centres campaign will be helping to persuade them to listen to their hearts rather than their political careers. And Councillor John Warmisham in particular will be taagetted as it is he who can make the final decision to scrap the cuts to services for Salford's most vulnerable people.

The Ordsall protest decided at this meeting was to have an Ordsall Day of Action on 9th February 5pm starting outside Humphrey Booth Day Care Centre (top of Guy Fawkes Street at the back of Ordsall Hall) and moving around the block.

People are asked to bring fluorescent bracelets or sparklers to light up the procession as well as banners or posters showing their feelings about the possible closure. Further info on this e-mail rev.sandra@sky.com

DEFEND OUR DAY CARE CENTRES!

9th   February – Vigil outside Craig Hall 4:30-6:30pm
11th February – Community Fun Day outside Civic Centre, Swinton
13th February – Lobby of Labour Group meeting
15th February – Protest at Full Council Meeting, Civic Centre
20th February – Protest as Councillor John Warmisham decides on the future of Day Care Services.

Further details on these actions and copies of petitions can be obtained from Salford City UNISON, 443 Chorley Rd, Swinton 0161 794 7425/793 3126
office@salfordcityunison.org.uk

 

Sukhdeep wrote
at 11:39:42 on 22 February 2012
I agree in thorey but as soon as you start to accept cut off points to the universial welfare state you begin to slowly erode it away and give future politicans chances to go futher and stronger!
 
Dudley Doorite wrote
at 09:23:06 on 02 February 2012
Hi Sally . I greatly admire your plans of action . However , as all previous vigils , protests and lobbies have been ignored by the vicious , traitorous scum at Salford clowncil , I am more for insurrection to smash these traitors back into the cesspit they crawled from . Who will join me ?
 
sally wrote
at 20:58:21 on 01 February 2012
great comments - please come along to the events planned to show our outrage at these proposed cuts
 
Serves them right wrote
at 12:03:00 on 01 February 2012
Perhaps he should get a job at BURY Clown Hall . They might have some SUDDEN vacancies . Ha ha ha .
 
caroline wrote
at 00:40:31 on 01 February 2012
so John Merry were do you go now?
 
wrote
at 18:25:13 on 31 January 2012
With reference to Mr Balkind - Sorry - Councillor Balkind - who is his electorate ? The people of Salford or Salford Labour? These Cuts are the quickest and the cruelest of the lot, whereas an adjustment of business rates in the city would solve most of the councils financial woes in a stroke. still most of em will be hitting 60 soon - hope they visit these centres before they close.
 
Labour , my arse wrote
at 16:54:07 on 31 January 2012
People must bombard this useless , inept clowncil of traitorous scum with Emails demanding these day care centres stay open . Write to them , phone the clowncil , also Email Grinning Rat blears ,so she understands the level of disgust at this latest obscenity being perpetrated by the Town Hall Traitors. The bastards can make savingS at council level by abolishing all the non-jobs , turfing spicer, who wont be needed when the Mayor is elected , and cutting back on councillors . The waste in that place is an obscenity . Further this clowcil must Stop throwing OUR money at big business chums . This inept council have wrecked this city , they can pay for it .
 
Dudley Doorite wrote
at 12:42:09 on 31 January 2012
Corporate-pocket career politicians make me puke . No different to career criminals . But at least Al Capone did have a conscience.
 
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