First Mayor Ian Stewart branded the parents of children with disabilities "rent-a-crowd" for daring to fight for the future of their short term respite centre The Grange (see previous Salford Star article – click here).
Now parents have branded Salford Council and its Mayor "headless chickens", as the authority tries to find a solution to its self-made safeguarding problem of lumping children as young as 14 in with adults in a different facility at Granville.
"Some of the parents from The Grange have actually been to Granville and found out that all 12 bedrooms that service users use are on one floor" says parent David Thornley "To me this is one of the biggest issues - will you have adults and children sleeping next door to each other? What are you going to do - have care workers in with every child? Lock doors?
"At the moment we've heard they're talking about lifts to different floors and corridors being put in, and all these different solutions but they can't find one" he adds "The Mayor, John Merry and David Lancaster have been running round there, all with their own ideas about how they are going to solve the problems of these adults and children being next to each other.
"By the same token the Head of Adult Services has told us that there's no way it can be worked that adults and children go in separately, so basically they're all going to be in at the same time" he explains "The communal areas, the dining room is going to be adults and children, and they're going to be mixed which, originally, they told us would never happen – the Mayor told us that was an absolute lie.
"They're determined to push this through and save their money, but it's like trying to fit square pegs into round holes. In the meantime they're running round like headless chickens because they've got no solution."
Parents heading the Save The Grange campaign and supporters turned up in the bitter cold to lobby the Mayor this morning outside Salford Civic Centre, only to be told that The Grange was not on any agenda and no decision was to be made today…despite one of the parents having a letter stating the contrary.
"We got in touch with the Mayor's secretary and told her to pass on the message that we're still unhappy that we haven't been part of the process which is what he promised us" says David "Now, hopefully, he will give us more information about when the decision is going to be made and if we're going to be involved in that decision."
Meanwhile, as The Grange parents lobby against their children being lumped in with adults at Granville, parents and carers of adults that go to Granville are anxious that the changes will impact their loved ones too.
Today, a lady whose grand-daughter attends Granville joined the lobby of the Mayor… "As far as I know my daughter was never told about this" she said "I knew the 14 year olds were being put in Granville, and I wrote to MP Barbara Keeley about it, but I don't think a lot of the adults' carers and parents know about it. I think it needs putting out there that if they close The Grange it will have an impact on adult respite care."
There is an ongoing series of coffee mornings at Granville to discuss concerns. The Mayor and the Council might just be facing another assault on its proposals from the rearguard.
As the potential squeeze on places for respite stalls and squirms, the Salford Star understands that cases of children and adults needing such care is forecast to rise by up to 20% in the near future. This morning, parents carried placards reading `Mr Mayor, there's no shame in changing your mind'
See previous Salford Star articles on The Grange…
Salford Mayor Embarrassed as he Backtracks on The Grange Decision - click here
Parents Flabbergasted as John Merry Recommends The Grange Cut - click here
Sign the Save The Grange Petition - click here