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SALFORD MENTAL HEALTH CUTS MEETING DRAWS BIG CROWD
 

Star date: 2nd October 2012

PETITIONS, LOBBIES, DEMOS – SALFORD COUNCIL TO FACE WRATH OF USUC!

Last night's public meeting against Salford Council cuts to mental health services drew well over a hundred people as both speakers and people in the audience vented their anger at the harm it will inflict on some of the most vulnerable people in society.

The meeting agreed  a series of actions, beginning tomorrow night (Wed) with a lobby of Councillor Peter Connor, the Assistant Mayor whose decision it is to enforce the cuts.

Full story here…


SAVE OUR SERVICES PETITION
click image to enlarge

To huge cheers, Vee Ball, chair of the newly formed and well titled United Service Users CommitteeUSUC – told the audience at last night's public meeting… "I'm just a housewife from Salford. Yet last Saturday I got to have a cup of tea with Ed Miliband. If I can do that, you lot can move mountains!"

In the recent past, Vee was a Health and Safety officer but had to give up her job to become a full time carer for her husband who has a mental health disorder. The drop-in groups run at Cromwell House were a lifeline for both her husband and herself. And then came the cuts, inspiring her to join other carers and service users to speak out against the injustice of hitting the most vulnerable people in society.

A couple of weeks ago it was Salford Mayor, Ian Stewart, who got his ears gently bashed by Vee and co (see here), and this week it was Ed Miliband's turn (see here). A housewife and some brave, brave service users who have gone public with their concerns about mental health service cuts are now beginning to seriously ruffle some very serious political feathers. Because this is a Labour Council doing the cutting.

Well over a hundred people attended last night's meeting, including Councillor Wheeler, from Eccles showing his support for the campaign. He heard how the Salford group, USUC, had joined up with the Manchester Users Network, and its representative, UNISON's Caroline Ridgeway, told how Manchester had suffered even more draconian cuts than Salford – closure of a mental health ward at MRI, a 20% cut to the service and crisis teams seeing 10-20% more people.

Meanwhile, speakers from the floor explained the devastating affect the cuts would have on their lives as service users and carers.

The meeting voted to continue the pressure on Salford Council by lobbying the Labour Group meetings and, for tomorrow night (Wednesday), lobbying the surgery of Councillor Peter Connor, Salford's Assistant Mayor with responsibility for Adult Social Services.

People who attended the meeting came away well impressed…

"The mix of people who came - users, carers, staff, union, as well as the joint working with the campaign in Manchester, showed what a strong campaign it is and what's already been done in such a short space of time" said one member of the public "People's contributions were also incredibly powerful and moving…"

"Service users at this time have enough to contend with, with ATOS, medicals and the threat of having their benefits stopped" added a service user "This savage cut to the City of Salford's most vulnerable is, to me as a member of the Labour Party, staggering. Councillor Connor says no groups have been stopped but he should ask the Cromwell House service users about that and check out what happened to the women's group and the woodwork group."

The campaign against cuts to mental health services just keeps growing and growing. 

Lobby Councillor Connor's surgery - Wednesday 3rd September 6pm St Aidan Church, Littleton Road, Lower Kersal

Petition The Council! Petitions available from Salford City UNISON office 443 Chorley Road, Swinton or e-mail info@salfordstar.com and we'll send you a jpg petition to print out.

See previous Salford Star articles on the mental health cuts – click here

Sammyjay wrote
at 08:42:08 on 05 October 2012
Thank goodness Salford people are showing their concerns for service users. As one myself I can tell you that these cuts will put added pressure on a part of our community that need all the support we can get. These drop inns are a lifeline to many who might so easily become isolated and susceptable to severe mental illness.
 
yvette wrote
at 09:56:40 on 04 October 2012
Peter conner doesn't know what how much these drop in's means to us all, I ave been a service user at cromell house for 6 months I ave CPN and a support worker there and I ave made loads of new friends, I attend the drop in the days that they are open to get me out of the house and if decides to close it down I will be back to the way I was, sitting in the house, being on my own and going out and I would also be at A&E because I ave ended doing something to myself, so let's keep fighting all the way and hopefully we can fight to keep everything open
 
concerned wrote
at 21:07:06 on 03 October 2012
This is not the only mental health problem in Salford there appears to be no counselling services
 
not happy wrote
at 09:12:01 on 03 October 2012
Councillor Conner has'nt got a clue what's going on in Salford; if he did he would'nt be asking what's happening about the mental heath groups that's been lost at Cromwell House and other Drop in's;; In the last Four years at Cromwell House they have lost, Computor Groups, wood work & furniture renovatoin class, jewlery groups, art groups, womens groups, Now thay are going to lose the Foootball Group Thats been to Europe and won troughy's and also spreading the word of well being of mental heath from UK to Europe.So Mr Mayor and Mr Conner so get your heads out of each others backsides and get out into the the community and find out whats going on. cos lets face you haven got a clue, Like i have said before an other four years of this, to put up with OMG.
 
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