Star date: 22nd August 2017


To shouts of 'traitor' and 'shame', Paul Dennett, Salford's Jeremy Corbyn supporting City Mayor, this morning agreed to shut The Grange, the city's only care home for disabled children.

Dennett agreed to the closure after a unanimous vote of his Cabinet, but Rebecca Howarth, mother one of the children at The Grange, told the Salford Star that the fight isn't over... "We do have other options to explore; if the Council thinks this is the end they are sadly mistaken..."

Full details here...

Salford Labour Council shuts The Grange disabled children's home Salford Labour Council sguts The Grange disabled children's home Salford Labour Council shuts The Grange disabled children's home
Salford Labour Council shuts The Grange disabled children's home Paul Dennett, Lisa Stone, Charlotte Ramsden John Merry Paul Dennett Lisa Stone
click image to enlarge

This morning, after a meeting of his Cabinet, Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennett, rubber stamped the closure of The Grange, the city's only residential care home for disabled children.

As the unanimous Cabinet vote was announced, there were shouts of 'traitor' and 'shame' from the public gallery, directed at the Jeremy Corbyn supporting Mayor and his colleagues.

Earlier, Rebecca Howarth, mother of one of the children at The Grange, had addressed the meeting, telling councillors that every person who signed a 3,000 strong petition against the closure had been 'disgusted' and 'appalled'; while even Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham, had said that it was 'unacceptable'.

She added that the Council report into the closure was 'flawed' and 'disingenuous'; and asked: 'Can you say that there is no demand for The Grange in the future?'... Can you say that you have consulted properly?'...Have you given our children a voice?' She invited the Mayor to keep The Grange open and 'stand up for the vulnerable'...

He declined to do so.

Instead, Ameen Hadi, of Salford City UNISON, called the whole process of the closure a "sham...creating an illusion that there had been a consultation when the decision had already been made..."

Lisa Stone, Lead Member for Children's Services, responded that there was 'no demand in the foreseeable future' for full time care and that to keep The Grange open would be of detriment to other children in the city.

Charlotte Ramsden, the senior officer involved in the closure, said that her job was 'balancing the budget' but that the decision was 'based on needs'.

Meanwhile, the Mayor told of the 'horrific financial challenges' facing the Council due to Tory Government cuts... a "full frontal attack on local government" which had "consequences for jobs and services", including "awful decisions" like that taken to close The Grange...

After the meeting, UNISON's Ameen Hadi slated the stance... "They should be fighting with us against austerity rather than afflicting cuts on the poorest, especially when they haven't consulted properly and especially when they are going to be in dispute with this union" he said "It's not good enough from a Labour Council and we will use all our resources to fight the decision."

Rebecca Howarth added that the fight to Save The Grange is not over... "I'm massively disappointed that, despite all the evidence and arguments that we put forward, backed by the union, that the council have still taken what we see as the easy option and decided to go ahead and recommend the closure of The Grange.

"This part is done but that doesn't mean that our fight stops now" she added "We are going to continue and take it as far as we can. We do have other options to explore. If the Council thinks this is the end, they are sadly mistaken..."

See previous related Salford Star articles...

Salford UNISON Votes in favour of Strike Action Ballot to Save The Grange – click here

UNISON Accuses Salford Council of Lying Over The Grange – click here

Salford Mayor to Decide Whether Disabled Kids Kicked Out of City – click here

Cash Strapped Salford Council Hands out Almost £200,000 for Baby Opera, Classical Music and End of the World Party – click here

BB79 wrote
at 11:10:09 on 30 August 2017
I appreciate that everyone has an opinion on this situation but can you please stop making assumptions and jumping to conclusions about a family situation you know nothing about and a building that I'm guessing most of you have never visited and will be fortunate enough to never need. Spare a thought for those families who do need the kind of services the grange offers, that have now had that choice taken from them and any other families that may find themselves in a situation. Salford Council have shown that they are only interested in the bottom line and couldn't care less about the vulnerable in our community.
Ruth Malkin wrote
at 15:14:43 on 27 August 2017
I agree with Dennis Queen, the existence of segregated homes for disabled children is not an appropriate method of providing support for families with disabled children. Support in terms of accessible housing and full support with appropriate personal assistance, purchased with direct payments to the family (with financial support of a specialist broker service) in the home is required to keep families together. This model is also significantly cheaper than a segregated care home.
Steve H. wrote
at 10:00:36 on 26 August 2017
Simon, 350K per child annually. Your point? It shouldn't come down to cost. Salford does have the money, they just misdirect it without a clue of actual priorities. Dennis Queen. Your comment on lack of appropriate support in the family setting just confirms your total lack of knowledge on this subject. I know one family involved very well and if you had any idea what they have been through trying to give this support you so conveniently throw into the argument you should be ashamed and embarrassed. To those who dismiss this case as just a couple of kids costing money just try, for once, to imagine what these families are going through. It's so easy to make statements when it doesn't directly involve you or your family. If it does then I apologise but if you were affected directly you would, I'm sure, be in total support of the families.
LM Ava wrote
at 11:50:49 on 25 August 2017
Dennis Queen how dare you call these children's home a 'segregated institution ' the grange is a purpose built, very well equipped specialist house which caters for the young people who live there. It just received outstanding in safeguarding from ofsted. The young people are happy there and it is their home. Just like yours and mine. It's messy, full of toys, music blaring, laughter, singing, seeets, mixed up socks, cuddles, bedtime stories, and most of all homely. Because you don't know these children you can't comment on their care. So if you want to comment on the financials fine. But don't you dare comment on something you know nothing about......
norfolkandgood wrote
at 09:00:06 on 25 August 2017
Once again vulnerable people are at the mercy of cutbacks from an elected body of people who like my own council couldn't give a damn about the less fortunate who struggle from day to day. I work in education and have seen first hand how over subscribed special schools can have a detrimental impact on children and young people who have special educational needs. It is truly shocking that no one had a voice on the council too. One day it might bite you on the bum and a serious reality check will take hold and never let go!
ian mcbrias wrote
at 16:36:55 on 24 August 2017
Does this fella support Corbyn.......... surprised thy never mentioned it in the article
retired Socailst wrote
at 11:40:58 on 24 August 2017
Dennis Queen Strong views, perhaps you can take a scenario, perhaps you where married had you first child in the event normal, through no fault of your own perhaps an act of god something goes wrong the child a girl and brain damaged today after twenty years of love and devotion the child you hoped had a normal life and gave you grandchildren can't. You still love that child that never grew, you do every thing 24 hrs a day, is there something wrong in our society that offers respite ? the people in these units are trained professionals they give that chance for parents to recharge their batteries, what do you do lecture on the topic? people care people help, sadly there are some things we can't do.
Dennis Queen wrote
at 10:33:08 on 24 August 2017
It is a relic of the past. I totally support closure of this segregated institution and so would UK disabled people's movement in general. Children have a right not to be locked away in segregated institutions like this. Perhaps all these horrified people should consider doing something to help, such as volunteering to adopt, offer respite care, or foster a child to help guard against disabled children having to end up in places like this. They are only in there due to lack of appropriate support in the family setting
Felse wrote
at 22:35:33 on 23 August 2017
I demand the Labour Councillors resign. The future of Salford is in need of a new level of trust and hope that only fresh faces can bring. Do the decent thing and resign now.
Terry Burnett wrote
at 14:49:21 on 23 August 2017
Can anyone advise me what this Paul Dennett has achieved whilst in office apart from closing the Grange? What has it come to when a disabled children's home is closed in order to add a drop to the millions in loans given to a Rugby stadium. This man just promotes/involves himself in Westminster issues, lets remove him at the ballot box. He rarely responds to a contentious e mail at least Mayor Stewart answered an email and did his best to address local issues....and that's not saying much. Change the constitution and have Andy Burnham represent both Manchester and Salford.
Moved away best move wrote
at 12:25:33 on 23 August 2017
And still the sheep vote for them. How many times will you allow these Muppets to take the kids before you stand up. I moved away from Salford as so fed up with the apathy of the people of this city.
Paulo Rossi wrote
at 12:25:03 on 23 August 2017
How many times do you have to mention Corbyn?
Allergies To Sofa Surfers wrote
at 08:44:40 on 23 August 2017
So Mayor Dennett has gone from a Homeless Sofa Surfer to a person who closes a much needed disabled children's service. He, more than anyone else, should understand the hardships faced by the working classes who live in Salford. I am horrified by this decision. The Salford Council can afford to throw money at Developers, Stadiums and also find the money to build a new headquarters for the Salford Council, but have no money to keep vital disabled services open. I hope karma kicks Mayor Dennett up the backside.
down but not out wrote
at 08:44:09 on 23 August 2017
Sadly it does not surprise me one bit that Salford Council are determined to close the Grange. No wonder many of the population treat our vulnerable with contempt because that is exactly what Salford Council do. I am sick of hearing them say "we have consulted with the people" they dare not consult whenever they are cutting services because they know the decent people of Salford would want to keep services open and look after our vulnerable. Consultations are never completed in a meaningful and effective way like with the Transport for Disabled people and the petition that went missing!! With regard to 'horrific financial crises' all the more reason not to be giving our hard earned money out willy nilly to silly projects, look after the real people who need our help. Also look up the word 'Consultation' and see what it actually means and abide by it!
noreen bailey wrote
at 08:43:29 on 23 August 2017
it was just like history repeating itself ,why are they wanting to get rid of all our additional needs children and adults do they realise we as the parents are not going to go away even though they try to pretend that our sons and daughters don't exist. well let me tell you paul dennit you really need to take a look in the mirror because you are just walking in the last mayor ian stuarts shoes and I would be devastated to know that its what the people of Salford think about you ,I really thought we had a decent replacement but oh how wrong I was. you cant hide the fact that there is another generation up and coming with needs just as complex'd as the 2 young people you are about to take away the only place they are happy in how do you feel doing this , and please can you explain how one of your mayoral cronies came in 10 minutes before the judgement was allowed to ask questions and then bloody well vote how can you let this pass when he was not there to hear Rebecca's speech, also please ask your councillors not to go on there mobile phones when they come in late specially when its done under the table yes we did notice that well I really do hope you have a think of what you have done today after all it really was up to you to make that final decision. please carry on shelling money out to those that do not need it like the reds and building garden trying to make the keys something that its not because let me tell you you can take the person out of Salford but you cannnot take Salford out of the person
Retired Socalist wrote
at 08:43:18 on 23 August 2017
So Simon what do you think each child would cost to send out of the city? the cost to outsource is far greater I thought even you would understand that. and what of the usage it's like hospitals you want them there and you want the beds empty but the key point is if you want a service that works and is accessible there is a cost. How would you feel if your child was disabled and you read a comment like yours selfish? disability think what the child and these parents are going through it's not hard.
A thought wrote
at 08:42:40 on 23 August 2017
History appears to be repeating itself. If it's not the closure of a special school to save cash...it's shutting a disabled children's home...I suppose with all the schools turning themselves into trusts that avenue has been shut...I just hope the support is around for those service users who used that facility. If it isn't, there are senior officers who need to look at themselves hard in a mirror.
Linny loo wrote
at 20:28:40 on 22 August 2017
I speak to you John you are not getting the point, this is not about 2 children it is about a service lost forever. Salford council have not offered these beds as they have been working to close this home for the last 2 years according to the Assistant Diector of Childrens services. They waited for the other children to reach 18 as they then have to move to adult care. They then saw their chance do not offer these beds, deliberately block the take up them then argue under occupancy. Today this decision was taken with no right to appeal.!! What an eye opener all vulnerable groups in this city need to be on their guard and watch for the next loss of essential services. How do you stop these councillors that have been elected to serve the people. May be collect you ballot paper refuse to make a choice as these votes that have been defaced have to be counted. Salford will always have a labour council, these councillors have a job for life unlike all the members of the Union who the council continue to put their jobs at risk. Wake up Salford you are at the mercy of this council. You Mr Mayor are a disgrace you say the decision on this cut would be taken by you, but you just went with the flow. Don,t think this Mayor would support anyone if he had to go against other members of cabinet. The back office makes these decisions the council are just the nodding dogs
Mary ferrer wrote
at 20:28:32 on 22 August 2017
If I am right the powers that be stopped sending young people there. I understand it was because it was under threat of closing. Not because there wasn't people who needed the fercility. Looks better on paper if it is under used.
Simon wrote
at 20:28:23 on 22 August 2017
Each costing £350K per child per year
Joseph Oneill wrote
at 17:24:19 on 22 August 2017
Once again we see Salford Labour it's leaders, and Councillors disown those without a voice, again and again we see a party that promotes on it's leaflets the protection of the people is paramount to it's beliefs and yet cast them aside worthless and without hope. You can go on forever blaming the Tories and they are no better but the sad fact is we have a budget and we need to use it wisely to offer services and help to those in need, Labours choice is to promote Rugby and gardens in worsley. Cllr Merry hold his head in his hands, more than likely in shame the rest of the Labour cabinet should follow, I was proud once to represent this city if I sat in council today I would join john Merry and Mr Dennett and hold my head as close to the ground as possible.
Mary ferrer wrote
at 17:24:09 on 22 August 2017
I am not going to apologise for my language,what a lot of funking morons.They are letting the most needy within our city down.How can they justify closing the Grange , then loan themselves Money to keep the funking Stadium afloat. People would have respect for them if they held their hands up and adddmited the stadium was a drain on OUR finances.But no not that lot running our city.I hope the councillors who made this decision are name and shamed. Same old story,it's the government's cuts.yes they don't help.But Mr Mayor if you and the rest of your group of two faced bastards had been a little better with your housekeeping. We wouldn't be in the mess you have made of our city.You all piss in the same pot. Well if this is not a time for change,nothing is.You all remember this and all the other services that our Labour councillors have cut.Also remember all the loans they have taken out to top up stadiums.make gardens pay the council money to keep the stadium afloat. All loans have to be paid back,with interest.So what will generation to come have to look forward to. No history or heritage left and lots of debt to be paid back.Thank you Mr Mayor you should be so proud of the legacy you have left. Hope you or your family never have to go through what the families who use and have used the Grange are having to indure thanks to you and your small minded arseholes who pretend to care.
John wrote
at 17:24:01 on 22 August 2017
It's literally two kids who go there sorry
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