"Lancaster House Under Threat - Please Show YOUR Support & Sign this petition - Thank You so much! On the 17th of June, Positive Lifestyles received news that Supporting People were recommending to Salford City Council that funding should be withdrawn for Lancaster House. Salford Council will be making its decision in the afternoon of Monday 1st August. There will be a March and Demo on that day. Please come along and join in. If this decision is put through the council, Lancaster House will close on the 30th September resulting in 38 Service Users back out into uncertainty and 14 members of staff out of work. The service users have begun the campaign to save our home and are working non-stop not just to save the roof over our heads but a safe place for future generations of Salford residents. This has involved speaking to the press and also lobbying MP's and Councillors. We will not stop until we have firm guarantees from the council that our home is safe and that this vital service will remain open to us and also to the people of Salford. If you wish to support the campaign or hear the latest news we would love to hear from you, you can join our Twitter or Facebook pages or please e-mail me firstname.lastname@example.org. We will save our home and we will save this successful service."
David Allum Chairman - Lancaster House Peer Group & Service User
Since the Council passed £42 million worth of cuts in March, things have been a bit quieter than perhaps many of us expected. We have seen hundreds of Council workers take voluntary redundancy, we've seen the devastating loss of Connexions services and we've seen service reductions in some areas. However, many are surprised that things haven't been worse.
SAC supporters and officers are keeping a regular eye on the newspapers, the internet and most importantly the records of Council meetings and while we accept that things haven't been as bad as we expected, we are regrettably confident that will change in the coming months. The simple explanation for this is that the Council is struggling to save the money it needs to save through the "softer" options it has tried to implement. The language of the Council leaders about the possibility of compulsory redundancies is changing all the time. While they were confident in the first instance that compulsory redundancies could be avoided, a few months on they seem a lot less sure. We also know that further service cuts will be proposed. Those who have read Thursday 30th June's Advertiser will have seen that there are plans to close Lancaster House, a hostel for homeless people that currently shelters up to 40 vulnerable men. This proposed closure comes at a time when housing benefit is being slashed and people are losing their jobs in a city that already suffers a severe lack of affordable housing. We have already written to Lancaster House to offer our support in fighting the proposed closure.
We have to remain vigilant because until this rotten Government is kicked out - in fact for many of us, until this rotten system is overturned - the cuts will carry on coming. SAC will be using the summer to build on the community work we have already done. We're proud Salfordians and we believe that proper public services are the best way to ensure that vital needs are met, and that's why we'll be ready to fight for any of those services when they are threatened. If you would like to help us, please get in touch.
Last December saw unprecedented movements of young people up and down the country, against the withdrawal of Educational Maintenance Awards and the tripling of students fees.
Salford against Cuts activists are very concerned about the impact of government cuts on young people in Salford, 3500 of whom are currently dependent on the EMA which for many will disappear in September or be drastically reduced.
We intend to explore sporting and musical events to raise awareness, and perhaps also a media project for young people to document the effect of the cuts on them.
Here is the third issue of our newsletter. If you would like copies to distribute to friends, at work, church or in the pub call 07817434240, email email@example.com or print copies yourself (click on each page and select Print...). If you would like to contribute something for the next issue send before Monday 29th August by email or to 1 Lynwood Avenue, Eccles, M300UH.
On 30th June, teachers, lecturers and civil servants across Salford took industrial action to defend their pension schemes, their jobs and the services they provide. Nationally, the PCS, UCU, NUT and ATL staged the widest industrial action to have faced the ConDem Government yet. Across the country 6,000 schools were closed for the day, with another 5,000 only partially open. Salford Against the Cuts was proud to support them. As we explained in last month's newsletter, we see the trade unions as having a key role in challenging this Government's cuts agenda. The ultimate power of any worker is their ability to withdraw their labour. When we don't work nothing gets done and the Government - and more importantly, we ourselves - are reminded of who this country depends upon the most. For 364 days of the year, these workers are disregarded, told they don't matter and expected to live on less money with worse terms and conditions. Yet, when they strike they are accused of holding the country to ransom by preventing the delivery of "vital services". Well if these services are so "vital" why not reward those who provide them properly. Would any of us really notice if stock brokers went on strike for a day??
Of course, we do not believe that unions should simply focus on issues that directly affect their members - we believe they have a valuable role to play in standing up for services and working class communities. The trade unionists we spoke to felt the same way. One PCS worker, we met on the picket line, told us "we will not be ashamed of ourselves because we are prepared to fight for a decent retirement, free from poverty, but we see this action as about more than that. It is about saying to the Government that ordinary people should not be forced to pay for a crisis we didn't create. We should not have to see our pensions cut, but nor should we have to see our libraries, our youth centres or our care homes close. We fought to get those things in the past and now we have to fight to keep them."
Many SAC supporters visited the picket lines before work and attended the 5000 strong Strike Rally in Manchester City Centre in the early afternoon. In the evening we jointly hosted a Fundraiser with Salford Trades Council at Saffron Restaurant on Cheetham Hill Road to raise awareness of the dispute, raise some cash and provide everybody, particularly those who had been on strike with a good evening.
We began the evening with a few speeches from those who had taken action on the day. Jane Warburton, PCS member with HM Revenue & Customs and Chair of PCS North West Young Members Network rightly explained how the Government were misleading the public about the cost of public sector pensions. As PCS General Secretary, Mark Serwotka had been explaining on the news all day, public sector pensions are set to get more affordable than they are now, not more expensive. Once again, we were seeing the ConDems confusing their own selfish ideology with economic facts. Roy Wilkes, NUT Rep at Prestwich Arts College talked of the need to broaden the action so that the Government is faced with even more workers resisting their attacks in Autumn. Finally, Clayton Doyle of the Anti-Academies Alliance talked of the need to link industrial action with the fight against the privatisation of education.
We then ate some of Saffron's wonderful food and were treated to a fantastic performance from Mississippi Soulman Malcolm McBride. Everybody had a fantastic evening and we were able to raise £150 to split between SAC and Street Meet, a charity that provides food and support to homeless people in Manchester. Special thanks go to Saffron owner Adeeb for allowing us to use his lovely restaurant for the evening and for not making a penny out of the whole event!
SAC will continue to support anybody or any group that is committed to fighting the cuts. The next time the workers feel they need to take to the picket lines we'll be with them!