PROMS AND ICE RINK GONE… INCREASE IN BURIAL FEES…NO MORE FREE COMMUNITY SKIPS…3 RANGERS JOBS GONE…LESS STREET CLEANING AND RECYCLING…YOUTH SERVICE SLASHED
Officially, 662.8 jobs are to go at Salford City Council, plus 76 non-council voluntary sector jobs funded by the Council, as a result of £42million worth of cuts announced today.
No department is spared from the axe. And the cuts, imposed by the ConDem Government, will hit the old, the young, the vulnerable and the deprived really hard, as revealed by Salford Star last week (see here).
Nearly £488,000 is being slashed from the Welfare Rights and Debt Advice service with twenty job losses, while the £2.083million Government cut in the Supporting People grant will lead to a family homeless hostel closing plus reductions in services for those with learning difficulties, housing problems, and mental health problems – the grant currently funds 203 services managed by 53 organisations and supports over five and a half thousand people in Salford.
Meanwhile, the Drugs and Alcohol Team will be reduced by 25%, there's a 30% reduction in schemes that target Anti Social Behaviour, Drug and Alcohol dependency and the Witness Support programme which the Council says "will impact on our actions to tackle crime, disorder and associated health issues".
Little Hulton is getting hammered as part of a £764,000 cut to `customer contact centres' and its One Stop Shop is set to close.
Adult Social Care cuts will see six social workers jobs go, increased charges for services used by the elderly, and there will be 100 less care places in residential homes – the elderly to be supported instead by having remote Telecare and Telehealth technology in their homes. But Intensive Homecare Support is being slashed by £340,000 with 12 posts being `deleted'.
Meanwhile the budget for Adult Care Services bought from the voluntary sector is being slashed by 8% for Mental Health, Learning Difficulties, Older People, and Physical and Sensory Disability groups. And the Supported Employment Service, which helps people with Mental Health problems and Learning Difficulties, is getting a £340,000 cut with the loss of three jobs.
The Children's Fund and Positive Action for Young People programmes which provide out of school activities for young people are losing £700,000 of their budget with the loss of 76 non Council jobs. Salford's schools music service is being vastly reduced, 14-19 Grants are being cut by £95,000 and Council support for the Extended School Services is being scrapped to save £361,000 with ten jobs removed. Meanwhile, 43.5 jobs are going from support in schools to save £1.155million.
The Behaviour and Improvement Programme funding will cease, as will funding for speech and language services for kids with Special Educational Needs, and funding for Positive Parenting. The Special Education Needs team is being reduced by 20% meaning it will take longer to assess potential SEN cases.
Connexions is being cut by 46% (see here) and the Youth Service and Youth Offending Service is being `restructured' to save £1.710million. Overall, the Children's Services department is being hammered with £5.640million of cuts with the loss of 109 jobs.
Elsewhere, Charlestown Library will close, Hope Library will be `co-located' with Salford Royal Hospital, Ordsall Library will be re-located to Fit City Ordsall and Cadishead and Irlam libraries will have their opening hours slashed but there will be a "new library for families and children" opening in December at Fit City Irlam. The Workign Class Movement Library is to have its grant cut by £10,000 - £4,000 this year.
Fit City Cadishead will have its ownership transferred to a `voluntary sector sports organisation', as will Fit City Broughton, although "some activities can be transferred to Fit City Broughton Pool".
Volunteers will be brought in to help run Salford Museum and Art Gallery, the newly re-opened Ordsall Hall and The Lowry, and pay and display parking will be introduced to raise finance at Ordsall Hall and the Museum.
Community, Health and Social Care buildings will have a 30% reduction in repairs and maintenance; devolved community budgets will be reduced by 10% and all voluntary sector organisations funded by the Council will get a 15% reduction in their grants.
BBC employees moving to Salford will find that second home discounts on council tax are being slashed from 50% to 10%, as are the same discounts to empty properties.
The Ice Rink and Proms in the Park are being stopped as part of a £1.6million cut to the Council's Marketing and Communication budget, although, for the time being, LIFE magazine is not being cut.
The new Gateway Centres in Pendleton, Eccles and Walkden will have reduced opening hours, registrar charges will be increased and anyone paying council tax via credit card will see a fee of 1.4% added.
The street cleaning team will be reduced by 14%, one of the city's graffiti teams is being cut, and Salford's air quality lab is closing. Car park charges are rising by 30%.
Nine jobs are going in parks and cemeteries and there's a 30% reduction in the budget for maintenance in these places. Burial fees are going up by 10% with cremation fees rising by 5%, while the city's Bereavement Service is being cut by 15%. Three of the city's rangers are being made redundant.
The Environmental Protection Team is being reduced by 14%, one Environmental Health officer post is going and three Trading Standard jobs are being deleted, meaning only high risk cases will be prioritised.
The cuts come in at around £42million and will be ratified by the full Council on March 2nd. There will also be demonstration by Salford Against The Cuts outside the Civic Centre at midday.
"As terrible as these cuts look on paper their true impact will only be felt if the Council is able to implement them" says Steve North of Salford Against The Cuts "We are committed to standing with anybody or group that is opposed to these cuts in our city and is prepared to defend jobs and vital services."
You can see all the cuts by clicking here…
Salford Star interview with John Merry to follow...