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SALFORD COUNCIL RECRUITS VOLUNTEERS FOR PUBLIC SERVICES
 

Star date: 25th October 2010  

A Salford Star Exclusive 

SALFORD COUNCIL TO GET VOLUNTEERS TO DELIVER PUBLIC SERVICES FOR FREE IN BIG SOCIETY?

As Salford Council prepares to face 21% cuts in Government funding, Council Leader, John Merry, wrote in The Guardian last Friday "How do we prepare to minimise the loss of jobs and effect on people services?"

We think we've found the answer. A document to be discussed by Salford Council's Cabinet tomorrow includes a section on lining up volunteers to run public services.

Full details here


Tomorrow, Tuesday 26th October, Salford City Council's Cabinet is set to discuss the Salford Volunteering Strategy "To consider how the city wished to position itself in relation to the Government's Big Society initiative"

With a 14% cut in Government local authority funding, followed by a 7% cut the year after, Salford inevitably faces job losses, as John Merry himself states in his article in The Guardian (see here). But is Salford preparing to fill those roles with unpaid volunteers?

A Draft Action Plan on the Salford Volunteering Strategy, that's being discussed by the Cabinet tomorrow, lists an action to "increase the range of volunteering opportunities" and another action "To seek the commitment of partner organisations to include voluntary targets in annual service plans".

The outcome of all this would be a "Growth in volunteering opportunities" and "improved awareness of volunteering to delivery of public services".

It seems quite clear to us that the aim is to recruit unpaid people to deliver services that are currently being supplied by paid professionals.

If this is so, then John Merry's assertion in a national newspaper that "The council has been trying to offer a helping hand to those in trouble by ensuring that people are prepared for the job market and have the best opportunities" looks a bit tame...

What, by having them work for nothing? And delivering public services unpaid, while sacking those who might dare want a wage for doing the same skilled work?

We'd love to hear the trades unions reaction to this!

Stop Press: 26th October

Ray Walker of Unison has just sent us the trade union's response...

"It is indeed worrying that the City Council may be embarking on a project to replace council workers who could face the axe as a result of the ConDem Cuts with unpaid volunteers. There would be a myriad of issues not just the morality of this but the risks to the public of having inexperienced volunteers replacing vastly experienced council workers, depending on the types of work they would be given. It will do nothing to stimulate the local economy and do a great deal of harm within our communities. UNISON would welcome a discussion with the Council about this very soon."
 

 

jim devine wrote
at 19:41:37 on 03 November 2010
There was a post on here Steve about the CEO of Warrington Council helping to fund the towns Rugby League clubs new stadium. He is now chairman of the same club and his ego is being rewarded big style. There may well be a clue in this. How can that sort of thing be possible ? How can you personally benefit so dramatically by using public money.The story was covered on the philtheone website. "An injustice somewhere threatens justice everywhere".

Steve Middleton wrote
at 17:36:08 on 03 November 2010
Well said Mary! Unlike Labour, we Lib Dems aren't whipped to follow the party line. We're allowed to express our opinion, which (shock, horror), not everyone in our party might agree with. I doubt everyone in the Liberal Democrats agree with Mary's stadium comments. However, I *do* happen to agree with Mary (and others) on this one. I don't see why Salford Council are supporting a millionaire with such generous financial incentives. The council has been asked to find savings - it would have been a whole lot easier to fund them if we weren't building a stadium and getting involved in dodgy land deals (re: the car park at the willows). Don't get me started on the ice rink...

Jim Devine wrote
at 21:24:28 on 01 November 2010
"I love the country but I cant stand the scene, Im neither left or right I am just staying home tonight getting lost in my hopeless little screen ". Name that tune ? And how right it is.

mary ferrer wrote
at 05:57:55 on 01 November 2010
I hope you don't mind,but I understand Mr Merry has questioned my comment on this issue, he asked was I making my comments as a Lib Dem. In answer to his question, NO these are my feelings as a resident and community activist. We still have freedom of speech and I can have my own ideas no matter what ever party I support. I stand by what I have said, we need as a city to look at how we spend/waste/ lend/ give away OUR money. Sit back and ask do we need/want/benifit before we spend. So NO Mr Merry,sorry this is just little old ME on my own.

Jim Devine wrote
at 20:57:52 on 30 October 2010
Karen, you can hold your head high and to me thats what the Salford Star represents. As for Salford Council they cant in my humble opinion. Take their leader for example he used to post on here but he had such a confrontational chippy attitude and when he was confronted with intelligent argument he disappeared in a huff. Now I accept some people might have thought his presence on this site was welcome (he certainly thought we should be glad of it) but I personally feel that the Star is a better place without him. He once had a go at people who cant spell and in the same sentence managed to misspell. I personally welcome everybody on any site and I particularly admire people who cannot spell but raise the courage to air their views. Again Karen, very well done and dont let the feckers grind you down !!!!

Karen wrote
at 08:14:44 on 30 October 2010
As someone who has run a community art gallery on a voluntary basis for 18 months and now been slapped with a 9000 business rates bill for the pleasure of it I think I would advise anyone to look long and hard before volunteering to do anything for this council. You might think you are doing something for free, but find it costs you dear!

mary ferrer wrote
at 06:16:25 on 27 October 2010
If given the chance I am sure I could make some savings. 22 million on a stadium. At this moment in time we could do without it.look at this in a few years. 20 Million on BBC orchestra. 4 Million on consultants/agency staff this year 195.000 on proms in the park (this year) x 3 years 165.000 ice rink x 3 years 1 million load over 3 years to Salford Reds Buying back leases on land. Not sure of the amount 2/3 million write offs this year X by god knows how many years. I will leave it at that for now, but I am sure we could save jobs if we sat down and looked at the waste,bad investments outstanding loans and the amount of people at the top earning 100.000 plus and they still bring in consultants to do their work. But we all know that won't happen,don't we.

sa joke? wrote
at 06:08:28 on 26 October 2010
We are all in this together? This lot have been peeing money away for years and now Merry and crew will be getting ready to cry "It,s the Tories", forgetting who were in power nationally for 13 years. We are paying for the council mistakes. The 20,000,000 (wot a lot of noughts!) for the bbc orchestra is looking more stupid each month. Anyone for a pink ice rink? We can throw in a few copies of "life" magazine as well.

Gruffy wrote
at 21:29:26 on 25 October 2010
Sounds like a Tory policy. May I assume that our councillors will be volunteering to work in their positions for free (without expenses) and save the tax payer money, and also at the same time showing us plebeians an example that we are all in this together. Would it not also be prudent to shelve the plans for the new super school in Swinton (that goes against all academic logic and studies) for the foreseeable, especially as contracts signed with the builders etc will be based on prices that are not competitive in todays market?

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