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SALFORD AGAINST CUTS LOBBY COUNCILLORS
 

Star date: 18th January 2011 

SALFORD COUNCILLORS TOLD NOT TO CUT JOBS AND SERVICES

"…it inevitably means that front line staff are going to lose their jobs and young people are going to suffer." Connexions worker

Last night outside Swinton Civic Centre, the fightback against the cuts in Salford began as trade unions, activists and staff from Connexions facing cuts of almost 50% handed out questionnaires and leaflets, and lobbied the city's ruling Labour councillors, urging them not to make horrific cuts. 

Full report here…


SALFORD AGAINST THE CUTS SALFORD AGAINST THE CUTS SALFORD AGAINST THE CUTS
click image to enlarge

Outside Swinton Civic Centre it's almost 6pm and there's a healthy turnout for this lobby of the ruling Labour group who are on their way inside for a meeting to discuss their position on the ConDem Government imposed cuts.

They are handed leaflets by Connexions workers, faced with cuts of 46.5%, asking if they want Salford's young people to suffer, and a detailed questionnaire by Salford Against The Cuts supporters urging them to answer…

• What is your view of Council sponsorship of the BBC Philharmonic and the loaning of £22million to Peel Holdings for the new Salford Reds stadium?
• Has the Council carried out a Community Impact Assessment, highlighting how £45million worth of cuts will impact on the people of Salford?
• What is your view on the salaries of senior Council officers, including the Chief Executive?

And there's more questions, lots more, canvassing councillors' views on reforms to housing benefits, Hope Hospital's maternity closure, welfare rights, security of tenure for council tenants and their own expenses.

On the steps of the Town Hall, through a megaphone, speakers are also urging councillors to oppose cuts brought on by the ConDem Government and bankers. And staff at the sharp end of those cuts are angry, not just about the possible loss of their own jobs but also about the affects on Salford's community.

"Our offices are packed all the time with young people who have a massive variety of issues – young people who are pregnant, homeless, have problems with drugs and alcohol, mental health problems, learning problems, those dealing with domestic abuse and violence - the most vulnerable young people in Salford" says Connexions UNISON rep Sarah Scanlan "And potentially they are not going to get he support that they need."

After originally going for a cut of 33%, the Council came back and asked for a whopping 46.5% cut in Connexions' services with the possible loss of 28 staff. 

"We take young people to job interviews, homeless hostels, we take them pretty much anywhere they need to go and give them all the support to help make a transition, and in Salford they really, really, really need the support" adds Louise Mustchin "The NEET [Not in Employment or Education] figures in Salford have never been so low, but this is going to mean potentially more college drop out rates because young people will not be getting the right advice and guidance from schools and colleges. This will potentially reverse all the good work."

The Connexions staff say that they cannot cope on such huge reductions.

"We were trying to get our heads around trying to deliver on a 33% cut, to try and make savings as best we could" explains Francine Purcell "but when faced with almost 50% it inevitably means that front line staff are going to lose their jobs and therefore young people are going to suffer."

Tony Calderwood, convenor for UNITE the union at Salford Council's Environmental Services is also at the lobby with a contingent of workers.

"We've come down to protest at the cuts and to gauge the feeling from people from other trade unions" he says "A few of the councillors have taken the information we've passed to them and hopefully they'll be good enough to discuss it inside

"If there are cuts they've got to be looking at £20million for BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, £22million for the rugby stadium which they'll never fill, thousands on things like Proms in the Park and the Ice Skating which lose money every single year" he adds "Stopping things like that, although hard on the people of Salford, will save jobs and services in the long run."

As things stand, the unions are looking at major job losses

"We've no real idea where they will be yet but we  just know there's going to be some job losses and, more than likely, some compulsory redundancies" he says "And it's going to be right across the board – it's not if they come, it's when they come."

The next big protest against Salford Council's proposed cuts is outside the full Council meeting at the Civic Centre in Swinton this Wednesday, 19th January, at noon.

See also Salford Proposes Massive Cuts - click here.

John Merry on the cuts - see here

 

 

wrote
at 12:15:19 PM on Tuesday, January 18, 2011
....and to add insult to injury SCC are asking the people of the city to support financing (to the tune of almost 3/4 of a million quid) the relocation of the 2 obsolete cranes left on the docks to the roundabout area on the juntion of Trafford Rd and Regent Rd.It would seem that the cities marvellous planning committee approved permission to build the metro link and other developments all around these cranes and now there is no room to even maintain them in situ. How do these planners get away with such a massive oversight? Imagine how many front line jobs could be saved with...and before anyone cries its a heritage thing-the cranes are not that old. If you ask any of the proud old dockers who worked damn hard to keep their jobs what their priority would be-save frontline jobs and get the babby fed with that 3/4 million or save two bits of rusty iron,we all know what the answer would be.
 
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