Thursday, 16 February 2012

Demonstrate Against Cuts in Salford

Tuesday 21st February, 8:30am, 
Salford Civic Centre

 Salford Council will be setting its budget for 2012-13 on Tuesday 21st February. We have called this Demo because we are opposed to the cuts and we want the Council to know that they will continue to face opposition if they pass them and then seek to enforce them.

 We understand that the Government and the bankers they support are ultimately to blame, but we are still of the view that Salford Council is not doing enough to stand up to the Government and demand the investment Salford needs if we are to avoid another round of attacks on jobs and services.

If the many Local Authorities that claim to oppose these cuts (Salford being one of them) are not prepared to stand up to the Government then it is up to the unions, service users and the public to do so. If in doing that we have to challenge those authorities then so be it.

Two weeks ago we heard that plans to close at least two day centres for elderly people and those with learning disabilities were shelved for at least 12 months because of the anger ordinary people showed in opposing that attack on services for the most vulnerable. This shows what can be achieved.

However, the day centres are not safe forever and other services stand to be hit hard by this budget. Some examples:

·        £500k from Transport that is currently provided to help Children with Special Educational Needs get to school in the morning

·        Another £1m from Youth Services (something Councillor Merry told us he would seek to defend following last year’s riots)

·        Approximately £400k from Welfare Rights and Debt Advice Services at a time when more and more people are being forced out of work

·        Nearly £500k from the privatisation of homecare services

·        …and a massive £2m more from Adult Social Care under the auspices of “personalisation”.

At the same time more and more money goes to support the BBC and Peel Holdings…………..

We need to stand together and let the Council know that we will not simply stand by and allow these cuts to happen. At the same time our actions should send a message to the Government that we will fight their program of prosperity for the 1% and austerity for the 99% as long as we have to.

Please pass this message on and please reply to say if you can attend as we want to make sure we have enough placards, tabards etc.

I hope to see you there.

Thanks, Steve

Steven North
Secretary, Salford Against the Cuts

Sunday, 12 February 2012

30 day centre campaigners celebrated victory at Swinton British Legion on Saturday 11th February.  It was a great result but campaigners are all too aware that the centres are only reprieved for a year and there is concern that new and expensive arangements for transport may reduce visits to the centres.
The campaign ha started to save SEN school transport, and everyone took a SAC newsletter and copies of a letter to Cllr. Merry.  A resolution of support was passed for Homecare workers who are campaigning against privatisation of their service.  There was also a suggestion that successful day centre campaigners link up with local youth centres as the Youth Service faces massive but unspecified cuts.
There was a call for everyone to attend the lobby of the Labour group on Monday 13th February at the Civic Centre, 5.00 pm, and the demo at the full council on Wednesday 15th February, from 8.00 am.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Newsletter February 2012 (No. 6)

Here is the sixth issue of our newsletter.  If you would like copies to distribute to friends, at work, church or in the pub call or text 07817434240, e-mail, via facebook 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 26th March, by e-mail or to Salford Against the Cuts, c/o Salford UNISON Offices, 445 Chorley Road, Swinton, M27 9UQ.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Protest wins reprieve for Day Centres

In the face of vigorous protests Salford council has announced that it will not close threatened Day Centres this year. We should all be pleased with this result, but aware that this is only a 12-month stay-of-execution. We need to clarify the council's review process and keep up the pressure to make sure that there is no cut to services for the most vulnerable people in Salford next year. The council issued the statement below at the end of last week.

The planned protest at Humphrey Booth in Ordsall has been cancelled, but the protest at Craig Hall in Irlam will go ahead as a celebration and demonstration that we will continue to push for better services in Salford, not cuts. We will also be holding a "Victory Party" at Swinton Royal British Legion, on Saturday 11th February from 1pm--3pm with live band; and protests on Monday 13th Feb., at the Civic Centre, Chorley Road, Swinton for the Labour Group meeting and Wednesday 15th Feb. at the Civic Centre for the council annual budget meeting, when we plan to deliver the petition. Please return signed petitions to George Tapp (2 Troy Walk, Salford M53DF) by Saturday.

Statement from the Council

"Following consideration of the proposal and in discussion with the Lead Member for Adult Social Care and Health, I have come to the conclusion that some further work must be done before we go any further.

"This work will take some months so we will not be proceeding with the changes in 2012/13. Any future reconfiguration of these services must be done in the light of the following:-

"1. Further work to make sure that the multi- use of all centres can be developed
"2. That we can be assured that the needs of vulnerable people in the city can be met by undertaking individual reviews of the 490 people who use our day services
"3. Demonstrate that we have more locally available alternatives for people to choose from as part of our personalisation changes
"4. Fully consider the views that came back from the 700+ people who participated in the consultation process

"In the light of the work that needs to be undertaken, I will now ask the Lead Member to review the timescale for the proposals, and make sure that all of the above is concluded before any further consideration is given to this matter.

"This will make sure that I stick with my pledge of protecting the most vulnerable in the City."