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SALFORD VICTORY FOR DAY CARE PROTESTERS
 

Star date: 3rd February 2012

A Salford Star Exclusive

SALFORD COUNCIL CAVES IN OVER DAY CARE CLOSURES

"It is a great achievement for all those who believe that services for vulnerable people should be protected…" Steve North Salford City UNISON

Salford Council has done a major u-turn over withdrawing funding from Humphrey Booth and Craig Hall day care services following a campaign led by Salford City UNISON, carers, service users and community activists.

At 8pm tonight, Councillor John Warmisham, the Council's Lead Member for Adult Services, hoisted the white flag…and Salford Council Leader, John Merry, informed colleagues "We will not be proceeding with the changes in 2012/13…"

Full story here…


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.

Regards

John

* Photo shows protest outside Langworthy Cornerstone this afternoon

Photo by Gail Skelly


 

Mark Krantz wrote
at 22:16:37 on 05 February 2012
Great news. Union led mass campaigning wins. In Manchester the Sure Start provision has also been saved. @Paul Gerrard : Labour's claim reminds me of those who said that'Britian invented slavery so that after two hundred years they could claim the credit for abolishing it.'
 
Alice Searle Chair of Salford Pensioners wrote
at 17:42:26 on 05 February 2012
Congratulations to all those who went to the public meetings and made their feelings known about the possible withdrawal of funding from these homes. The u turn was the result of real 'people power' from concerned and caring people who were not going to accept the indifferent attitude of the Council. It was noticed that, at all the meetings, only one Councillor attended and he lived outside the area. However, the message got through because they were aware of the strong public feeling and I guess worried about how it would affect their votes in the local elections.It must be a warning to the Council that decisions must always be made on ethical grounds. I expect there will be future campaigns for the maintenance of other services. This victory should encourage the fight for what is morally right. Preserve our Wefare State. It is too important to lose!!
 
Paul Gerrard wrote
at 17:42:02 on 05 February 2012
The cynicism of the Labour Party knows no bounds. At 8.00 pm on Friday Cllr. Merry announces a reprieve, and the next morning a Labour Party leaflet arrives in Ordsall letter boxes praising the decision and claiming credit for those tribunes of the people, the Ordsall councillors. Did the policy of closures not come from the Labour group then, and were these councillors conveniently absent when it was decided? None of them attended any of the protest meetings - but Cllr Balkind (Kersal), who had the decency to do so, made it clear that while he opposed the closures he would have to vote for them 'if whipped'! Are the Ordsall councillors going to tell us what they would have done if the policy hadn't been withdrawn and they had been whipped? Everyone knows that the policy was withdrawn, not because of their astute intervention, but because of the extremely active, broad and vocal campaign against it. The Labour Party's sudden and uncharacteristic desire to communicate with the Ordsall electorate suggests that the party is feeling anything but confident about May's elections.
 
Joe Oneill wrote
at 17:41:27 on 05 February 2012
Strange i wonder how many more Uturns we will see from Cllr Merry? Election time is around the Corner and his job is up for grabs,the cold reality of Labours Policies only to be turned under the threat of a lost seat.I take nothing away from the council who face intense pressure from the Tory and Liberal Democrat cuts,but as any one ever thought of the millions lost over the years,the fat cat wages and none jobs or the people who sit in apathy allowing Labour to claim mandates with less than 25% of the public vote!are they to blame or us for allowing them to bring us to the dire situation we find our self in today?i dread what will be left of SALFORD if the same regime is allowed to carry on,Cllr Merrys cupboards lay bare the Job cuts will come with drastic cuts in services to follow after may they can sit through safe knowing next yearr they don't have to face the public,and mark my words in that period you will see centres close,jobs lost,and you will be able to do nothing to stop them,worried you should be.
 
Fadge wrote
at 17:39:13 on 05 February 2012
The motto of the city of salford .: SALUS POPULI SUPREMA LEX , translates as THE WELFARE OF THE PEOPLE IS THE HIGHEST LAW . Wonder if the Clown Hall Cretins understand this as they zealously implement the evil deeds of their rotton thatcherite torybastard masters ? Perhaps we should 'cascade this good news ' in their ears at every opportunity .
 
NOT IMPRESSED wrote
at 09:20:43 on 05 February 2012
So Mr Bungle is now sticking with his pledge to protect the most vulnerable in the city . Amazing . What about the damage already done ? And a desire to be mayor , despite opposing it ? Call me cynical , but the smell of bullshit is overwhelming .....NOT IMPRESSED . Only People Power got the right result , despite what this clouncil of shysters will have you believe .
 
Brian F Kirkham wrote
at 13:47:58 on 04 February 2012
whilst i applaud the efforts of the general population in saving the day care centre, Has anybody else seen the general release posted by Salford Labour this Morning? Applauding the "Respite" granted to Humphrey Booth? I'm sure our local councillors are "over the moon" (quoting Cllr Mashiter) - their phones would have left them with burning ears if this had gone through! And what happens after this year - Ordsall's Day Care users hit again? It's time our council/councillors came clean over their intentions for this area. Then again we don't see them till election time.
 
Jim Devine. wrote
at 13:46:32 on 04 February 2012
"Cascading the good news". Dont they make you sick at trying to get credit for something they clearly shouldnt have been doing in the first place. It would have been like the Yorkshire Ripper declaring "Go forth and spread the good news, I am no longer going to strangle anyone else".
 
Sandra Kearney wrote
at 08:01:57 on 04 February 2012
It is wonderful news. What a great reprieve. It shows what we can do when we unite together and also that the council will listen to us. Let spread this great news.
 
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