"Members have been clear that at the heart of these proposals, it would seek to protect the most vulnerable who live in the City…" Salford Council report
Next Tuesday, 21st February, a full meeting of Salford Council will ratify another £24million of cuts in 2012-13, on top of £40million cuts last financial year and, as the official Council report to the meeting states, "potentially a further £38m will be required over the following two years".
This amounts to a total of £102million cuts to services and jobs in Salford in just four years.
While the Salford Star accepts that the financial cuts have been imposed by the ConDem Government, Salford Council has a choice in priorities for funding services. And time, after time, after time we see millions of pounds being diverted to prestige projects like the Chapel Street mess, underwriting rents at the Ugly Sisters buildings in Greengate, `aspirational walkways' in Ordsall, the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and anything by Peel Holdings - Port Salford, MediaCityUK, Bridgewater Canal, Salford City Stadium etc…
Meanwhile, shock-horror protests from the community have forced Salford Council into last minute u-turns that have `reprieved' for 12 months the closure of day care services and hostels for some of Salford's most vulnerable people.
While cutting another £24million next week Salford Council states in its report to councillors that "Members have been clear that at the heart of these proposals, it would seek to protect the most vulnerable who live in the City…"
On the very next page of that report it lists…cuts to services for the most vulnerable people in Salford. Don't take our word for it, here's the official list, cut and pasted…
A further reduction of £1.3m in addition to the £1.7m reduction in 2011/12 in respect of our services to the youth in the City which will lead to reduced provision in localities and significant reductions in careers and employment advice to over 6,000 young people at such a difficult time
A reduction of £200k in direct support to the voluntary sector in providing services to tackle family poverty
A reduction of £479k in transport for special needs children, focussing service on the most vulnerable (!, ed)
A reduction of £350k in support to welfare rights and debt advice to citizens
Impact upon the local economy through the removal of approximately 360 posts in addition to the 600 posts lost in 2011/12, which will have impacts upon the local economy
A further reduction of £850k in addition to the £1.2m reduction in 2011/12 in the Skills and Work service, which has successfully helped some 2,800 local residents to find and be skilled for work or into jobs in the Salford economy in the past twelve months at such a difficult economic time
A further reduction of £624k in addition to the £2m reduction in 2011/12 in the Supporting People programme which gives support to over 5,500 vulnerable people
A reduction in support to the voluntary sector which may lead to the demise of many organisations providing vital services to residents and will result in loss of service from those which survive.
Later, the report adds… "2012/13 will see a further reduction of £779,000 with less funding available to housing support services for learning difficulty, mental health, and sheltered accommodation and homeless clients. This will reduce funding for sheltered accommodation by 13%, homelessness accommodation and floating support by 5% and learning difficulties and mental health by almost 5%. These savings will result from changes made to service delivery leading to a reduced number of people supported or a reduction in the level of support provided…"
Did someone mention `vulnerable' people?
Next Tuesday Salford Against the Cuts has called for a demonstration against the cuts, and the way the cuts are being implemented…
"We have called this Demo because we are opposed to the cuts and we want the Council to know that they will continue to face opposition if they pass them and then seek to enforce them" states a spokesperson for the campaign "We understand that the Government and the bankers they support are ultimately to blame, but we are still of the view that Salford Council is not doing enough to stand up to the Government and demand the investment Salford needs if we are to avoid another round of attacks on jobs and services.
"If the many Local Authorities that claim to oppose these cuts -Salford being one of them - are not prepared to stand up to the Government then it is up to the unions, service users and the public to do so. If, in doing that, we have to challenge those authorities then so be it…
"We need to stand together and let the Council know that we will not simply stand by and allow these cuts to happen" he adds "At the same time our actions should send a message to the Government that we will fight their programme of prosperity for the 1% and austerity for the 99% as long as we have to…"
Salford is increasingly becoming a tale of two cities – one for the prosperous, and one for the rest...
Demonstrate Against Cuts In Salford
Tuesday 21st February 8:30am
Salford Civic Centre, Chorley Rd, Swinton
See previous Salford Star articles...
* Peel Holdings to get almost £2million towards its canal - click here (with links to Feed The Rich award and MediaCityUK info)
* Salford Community Gets Hammered By Council Cuts - click here