Sunday, 29 January 2012

Defend Day Centres: what you can do

Sign the petition and get as many other people to sign it as you can. (If you need a copy call 07817434240, email or print copies yourself.)

Write to your councillors (, and to Councillor Warmisham and Councillor Merry. You can use the following text if you don't want to write your own.

I am writing to you out of concern.
I have recently become aware that the Council is proposing to withdraw funding from two of the Day Centres that provide support for Elderly People and those with Learning Disabilities.
Last February Council Leader John Merry declared that the Council would do all it can to protect the most vulnerable from cuts.
I believe this proposal if implemented would go directly against that statement.
I would ask you to use your influence to try and ensure that these proposals are not implemented.
Please could you respond to this letter by contacting me directly at the address above.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Yours sincerely,

Next campaign meeting: Tuesday 7th Feb  7pm Pendleton Bowling Club, 13 Eccles Old Road, Salford, M6 7DE

Come to the protests:

Thurs 9th Feb.  4.30pm – 6.30pm  Craig Hall M44 5XB or 5pm, Humphrey Booth, Taylerson St, Ordsall M53EX

Saturday 11th February

13th Feb., at the Labour Group meeting

15th Feb. at the Civic Centre for the council annual budget meeting

20th Feb. when counc. Warmisham makes the final decision.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Defend Day Centres -- Public Meeting

Saturday 28th January, 12-2 PM
St. Clement’s Church, Grove Avenue (Off Westcraven Drive) Ordsall, M5 3LQ

Monday, 23 January 2012

Defend Day Centres -- Organising Meeting

Thursday January 26th, 7-9pm
Pendleton Bowling Club, 
13 Eccles Old Road, Salford, M6 7DE

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Day Centres' Protest

Forty people attended a protest meeting at St Clement's Church, Ordsall on Sat. 14th January, despite short notice.

Steve North, UNISON Secretary, explained the background to the Council's plans to stop funding two day centres, Humphrey Booth in Ordsall and Craig Hall in Irlam.  Ameen Hadi, UNISON Treasurer and shop steward for the workers involved, explained the council's cuts-driven strategy - 'Get a life not a service!'

There were lively and moving contributions from the floor, as people spoke about how valuable the support from the Humphrey Booth Centre had been for them.

Pensioners' representatives George Tapp and Alice Searle appealed to everyone to fight for their services.  George stressed that we must not allow ourselves to be divided - to stormy applause he declared: 'we fight for all the centres'.

There was a very generous offer from Richard Griffiths too - free coach transport from Humphrey Booth to the large protest meeting in Swinton on 21st!

A big thank you to Rev Sandra Kearney for the use of her church and for getting the message out.

St George's Consultation Meeting, 16th January

Salford City Council are going through the motions of consulting the public about the cuts to day centres.  SAC Vice Chair Paul Gerrard attended the meeting at St George's, Cromwell Road, a centre for people with learning difficulties:

'We sat through a whole hour of Powerpoints, full of management speak and slogans.  I found the 'Get a life not a service' soundbite particularly patronising and offensive, suggesting that clients are too dependent and should sort themselves out.  The presenter seemed to think pensioners would jump at the chance of a tea-dance at the Lowry Outlet Centre for £8 - there were a few raised eye-brows at this.

They want five centres with 'multiple client groups' i.e. all centres deal with everyone's needs.  How can they possibly?  Real expertise, such as in work with Alzheimer's clients at Craig Hall, will be lost or diluted.  They freely admitted they need to 'move on' 200 service users i.e. they need them to disappear and start using private facilities.  How can we trust the council to make a proper assessment of people's needs if they already have a target of people they need to get off their books?  Everyone needs company, you don't need a tick box assessment to know that, and that is (part of) what the centres offer.

A further hour was spent in workshops.  An elderly couple on my table who had a 50 year old son with learning difficulties pointed out that there was already much less on offer at the centre than there used to be; another man whose mother died last week came to praise the work that the Humphrey Booth Centre had done for his mother, his wife had insisted he come to pay tribute to a centre the council has written off.

Two of us leafletted afterwards for the Swinton protest on 21st when the consultation meetings will all have been held.  People I spoke to afterwards were divided.  Some had been taken in by the 'new vision', others felt it was all cut and dried, but several were up for fighting and promised to come on the 21st.'

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Protect the most vulnerable!


Saturday 21st January, 12 – 2PM
Swinton Royal British Legion, Cheetham Road, Swinton, M27 4UQ

These meetings have been called in response to Council proposals to withdraw funding for at least two of the seven day centres in the city that provide support for elderly people and those with learning difficulties. Such cuts will hit the most vulnerable hardest – something the Authority pledged not to do when the budget was set last March. One of the centres due for potential closure Humphrey Booth in Ordsall underwent an expensive refurbishment only 18 months ago.

If we link this to possible further cuts in youth services, intermediate home care and welfare rights services, we can see that the Council is now looking firmly at cuts in frontline services that directly support Salford’s most vulnerable. This is despite continued funding for Media City, Chapel Street regeneration and other prestige projects.

This is also despite Council Leader John Merry declaring when considering the Budget only last February that, “When coming up with these proposals, we have done all we can to protect the most vulnerable living in the city.”

This campaign is already attracting a significant layer of community support and media coverage - including from the Vicar of St. Clement's Church in Ordsall where the first meeting is being held. I would ask you to try and come along.