When Salford Council Leader, John Merry, announced to Labour Party colleagues (see here) the decision to u-turn on withdrawing funding to the city's day care services, he wrote of "cascading the good news around your areas".
Unfortunately, with the day centres merely having a 12 month reprieve, the "good news", while welcome, didn't "cascade" too heavily in the Irlam area, where campaigners trying to save the Craig Hall centre went ahead with their protest last Thursday evening.
Craig Hall specialises in day care for those who have learning difficulties and cannot be replicated anywhere else. A worker there told the packed Defend Our Day Centres meeting at Swinton British Legion a few weeks ago (see here) that "Those who go to day centres, go for a life. Without them they don't have a life."
And her sentiments were echoed by Bridget, a carer who spoke passionately about her brother… "Craig Hall is his life" she explained "I get more from there than social services. He wants Craig Hall – I think we should fight for it!"
And campaigners are still fighting for the long term future of Craig Hall, despite its short term reprieve. The demo drew many people together from the campaign who mounted a roadside early evening protest drawing huge honks of support from passing motorists.
The Irlam demo was followed up with a Victory Party last Saturday for everyone who took part in the Defend Our Day Centres campaign – as everyone agreed, the battle is won – now for the war!
THE CAMPAIGN CONTINUES...
Protest outside Labour Group Meeting, 5pm, Monday 13th February – Salford Civic Centre
Protest outside Full Council Meeting, 8:30am, Wednesday 21st February – Salford Civic Centre
"These protests will be taking place due to the fact that Salford Council is still proposing huge cuts to services that support vulnerable people and is only not seemingly prepared to offer long-term guarantees around the future of Day Services." says Steve North Branch Secretary of Salford City UNISON
MORE CUTS TO FIGHT...
* £500k from Transport that is currently provided to help Children with Special Educational Needs get to school in the morning
* Another £1m from Youth Services
* Approximately £400k from Welfare Rights and Debt Advice Services at a time when more and more people are being forced out of work
* Nearly £500k from the privatisation of homecare services
*…and a massive £2m more from Adult Social Care under the auspices of "personalisation".
For details on all the cuts - click here
Photos by Phil Hamer