Coventry City Council plan more cuts – vital services and 140 jobs under threat!
It has been announced today that Coventry City Council are planning more huge cuts, this time to adult social care. The £6 million of cuts will affect some of the most vulnerable in our city – and see care workers, many of them female, lose their jobs.
According to the Coventry Telegraph (published on their website) the proposals include the following
* Closing the council’s Aylesford residential care home, Primrose Hill Street, Hillfields, used for 26 people needing post-hospital care.
* Privatising the council’s “home support short-term service” for 850 people a year, where carers visit the elderly and disabled in their homes.
* Closing either Jack Ball House in Potters Green, or George Rowley House, Canley. They are “housing with care” bedsit-style schemes for 23 long-term residents each with “critical” or “substantial” care needs.
* Ending elderly day care services at Frank Walsh House, Hillfields, and Risen Christ, Wyken Croft, and moving users to Gilbert Richards Centre in Earlsdon, described as a “better facility”.
* Ending two day services for adults with learning difficulties – at Curriers Close, Canley; and Whatcombe Close, Henley Green – with services moved to Frank Walsh House.
* Reducing dementia day services at Maymorn Centre, Holbrooks, from seven to five days a week.
* Cutting council on-site housing wardens, grants for community alarms, and other “housing-related support” to external providers of sheltered or private accommodation, where elderly or disabled people are deemed to have lower-level social care needs.
* Cutting grants to charities – such as Coventry Carers Centre, Age UK, Alzheimer’s Society – which provide information and support.
* Cutting subsidised transport to day centres.
* Selling the previously planned new Broad Lane site for the council-run Eric Williams House for dementia patients, which would remain at Brookside Avenue, Whoberley
Labour leader of the Council Ann Lucas has stated that they are carrying out the Tory government’s cuts with ‘a heavy heart’ and this theme was repeated by Cllr Alison Gingell in a radio interview. However this is unlikely to be of any consolation to those bearing the brunt of these cuts and who face a very uncertain future.
Labour could fight the cuts – but have chosen not to
The Labour Council are in position, with a big majority, to rally support across the city for a fightback against both these cuts to adult social care and the cuts in general. As a Unison representative correctly pointed out on local radio this evening, they should be demanding more money from central government. Of course the government is not just going to say ‘Ok then, here is more money.’ It will take a battle and a fight. We might not win. However it is surely better than passing on this Tory brutality to the people of Coventry.
A consultation will be starting shortly. The people of Coventry must make their views known. However, the likelihood is that the Council will plough ahead with these attacks – so the three council trade unions, Unison, Unite and GMB need to start discussing with members about the sort of course that we will need to take. This should include putting on the agenda the very real possibility and neccessity of industrial action.
There also needs to be a political response. Again and again Labour are attacking our union members and the most vulnerable. There needs to be debate in all of the three unions about why we continue to fund a Labour Party that is so willing to carry out the bidding of the Tories and whether they deserve the support of unions in the local elections next year.
We will carry further comment and reports as we receive them.
A Unison steward from Whitley Depot calls for rejection of the 1 per cent pay offer
Pickets at the Depot from N30, 2011
Why should we reject the pay offer? I feel it is an insult to council workers and the working class people of this country. In reality this is not a pay rise as we have had many years of a pay freeze. This so called pay rise would increase my wages by about £200 per year, before tax. After having our wages frozen, all they want to offer us is 1 per cent? In the current times where politicians are voting themselves a pay increase this is ridiculous. With the state of the economy families are losing their homes and visiting food banks to survive.
The government and the bankers have caused this mess but it’s the working people of this country that have to pay the price for their mess. The city council have has already refused to pay us our £250 one off payment that we should have had (and they budgeted for this so where has it gone?)
This latest pay offer is a complete and utter joke. If the Unison national leadership believes this is the best deal they have gotten for its members then maybe they should look in the mirror and ask themselves how they could attempt to sell us short again. This is not the first time the national union have attempted to sell us short.
When it comes to vote for the Unison general secretary position, its time that every member and activist takes a stand and votes for someone that will do what is right for the members and not be in the back pocket of the Labour Party like Dave Prentis is.
Vote to reject the offer!
Written by a Unison steward
Up and down the country, including here in Coventry, Councillors have said they have no choice but to implement the cuts. The Socialist Party has consistently argued that this is not the case. Rather Councillors, particularly those from the Labour Party, who after all are funded by the trade unions, should resist the diktats of the Tory government and lead a fightback.
Southampton Socialist Party have produced a pamphlet entitled ‘Don’t vote for cuts – Councillors have a choice’ to show why, and importantly how, a mass campaign of resistance could be built.
It will be of particularly interest to union members and activists who have come up against a brick wall when calling on Coventry Labour Councillors to draw a line in the sand, and vote against the cuts.
The pamphlet is 32 pages, A5 and glossy. If you would like a copy please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or order via Leftbooks by clicking here