Thursday, 7 July 2011

All Quiet on the Salford Front?

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.

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