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SALFORD COUNCIL BRANDED HEADLESS CHICKENS BY DISABLED CHILDREN PARENTS
 

Star date: 14th October 2013

NO SOLUTION IN SIGHT AS SALFORD COUNCIL JUGGLES WITH THE FUTURE OF THE GRANGE

Save The Grange campaigners turned up at the Salford Civic Centre this morning to lobby Mayor Ian Stewart, expecting him to make a decision on the future of The Grange as a short term respite centre for children with disabilities…only to be told that The Grange was not on any agenda.

As the Council acknowledges a massive list of problems with its own proposals to put 14 year olds in with adults, parent David Thornley says "They're running round like headless chickens because they've got no solution".

Full details here…


Save The Grange Lobby of the Mayor
click image to enlarge

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


 

Ed wrote
at 15:54:27 on 16 October 2013
Stewart being nasty shows his true nature . The 'caring' bullshitting , self-serving , greedy mayor should cower behind his 'spin doctor' , like he usually does . Another 3003 days until we get rid of Mayor Greedy , and not soon enough .
 
bob wrote
at 11:42:58 on 16 October 2013
I was there too Paul and heard Mr Stewart say it as well and he was nasty with the rep. Well it shows he has not clue whats going on and no integrity. I f you mean what you say then lets see you publish an open letter, not on salfords web site, as no one trusts whats reported on their, try here or the advertizer
 
margaret tunnacliffe wrote
at 07:59:17 on 15 October 2013
Well another day where the Mayor has not made a decision due to waiting on information to come to him.All this waiting is putting a lot of stress on myself and other parents as we have no idea as yet what is going to happen to our children.We were told children and adults WOULD NOT be sharing and the meeting we had with Ian Stewart,John Merry,Gani Martins and a lady from head of adult services told us that it was not possible to physically separate the building and could not offer block nights therefore both children and adults would be sharing the building all at the same time.We found out from another lady whose grand-daughter who uses Granville that she is sure that the other parent/carers of the adults using Granville don't know exactly how these proposals are going to effect their respite.In recent interviews the Mayor has given he goes on to say yet again we need to look after the most vulnerable so instead of just saying the words, mean them.
 
Paul Gerrard wrote
at 07:58:31 on 15 October 2013
This is what the Star accurately (I was there, and in earshot) reported on 4th September: As Stewart was about to answer, a UNISON rep shouted the answer that "It will be mixed"… and the Mayor rounded on him… "Did you just say it will be mixed?" he shouted "I'll tell you what, I shall check that out and if you're right I'll admit it openly but if it's not you're in trouble…" "It's in your own report" said the rep "It says there will be `a mix of age ranges'" "All of this is being made harder to deal with by people giving misinformation" Stewart added "The officers better tell me that the allegation that was made before is untrue because I'll be very, very angry if I find out that it's true." Well it's true and Ian Stewart must be really, really angry. We're still waiting for the 'open admission' and an apology. Somehow I don't think Stewart's anger will match that of the parents whose aspirations for their kids have been betrayed. They fight on.
 
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