Following large campaign meetings over the last few weeks, and a protest this afternoon at Councillor John Warmisham's surgery in the Langworthy Cornerstone, the Lead Member for Adult Services tonight u-turned on plans to withdraw funding for day care services for some of Salford's most vulnerable people.
The cuts would have meant that at least two day care services at Humphrey Booth in Ordsall and Craig Hall in Irlam would have been shut with service users turned away and many jobs lost (see here). After large campaign meetings in Ordsall and Swinton – and with more big protests planned over the next few weeks – Salford Council Leader John Merry tonight informed his council colleagues that there would be a reprieve for the services, which won't be closed during the next financial year 2012/13, while there is a review…
"This is fantastic news and vindicates the work of all those workers, service users, carers, families and ordinary members of the community who have fought to keep the day centres at Craig Hall and Humphrey Booth open" says Steve North Branch Secretary of Salford City UNISON which led the campaign
"It is a great achievement for all those who believe that services for vulnerable people should be protected" he adds "We are still looking for longer-term guarantees around the future of day services for the elderly and those with learning disabilities and those active in the campaign intend to meet as planned on Tuesday night. But we will enjoy this moment."
The full message from John Merry to his colleagues reads…
Following consideration of the proposal and in discussion with the Lead Member for Adult Social Care and Health, I have come to the conclusion that some further work must be done before we go any further.
This work will take some months so we will not be proceeding with the changes in 2012/13. Any future reconfiguration of these services must be done in the light of the following:-
1. Further work to make sure that the multi-use of all centres can be developed
2. That we can be assured that the needs of vulnerable people in the city can be met by undertaking individual reviews of the 490 people who use our day services
3. Demonstrate that we have more locally available alternatives for people to choose from as part of our personalisation changes
4. Fully consider the views that came back from the 700+ people who participated in the consultation process
In the light of the work that needs to be undertaken, I will now ask the Lead Member to review the timescale for the proposals, and make sure that all of the above is concluded before any further consideration is given to this matter.
This will make sure that I stick with my pledge of protecting the most vulnerable in the City.
I know that this has been a difficult time and I am sure that you will be cascading the good news around your areas.
* Photo shows protest outside Langworthy Cornerstone this afternoon
Photo by Gail Skelly