Category: Greater Manchester


Granada News Report, on cuts in the NorthWest, featuring @BendyGirl talking about her fears about DLA cuts.

From Manchester Evening News. 11th September 2010

Councillors have stepped into a row over plans to close a mental health unit.

At a heated meeting, they quizzed health bosses about access to the services and said there had not been enough consultation.

Manchester Mental Health Trust chiefs want to shut Edale House, near Manchester Royal Infirmary.

They plan to move the unit’s 82 beds to the Park House unit, near North Manchester General, to save £1.7m a year.

Trust bosses told a Manchester council meeting that combining the two units was a straightforward relocation of services, which would save money, improve services and safeguard staff numbers.

But councillors asked whether the changes constitute a ‘substantial variation’ of health services – which requires a 12-week formal consultation.

They agreed to meet again next month to decide what further consultation should take place.

Stuart Hatton, the trust’s chief operating officer, said: “The consultation process has been a fully inclusive one.

“We have responded to the issues patients and carers have raised.

“This is the single biggest item available to us to deliver the most savings through one quality-improving change.”

But councillors complained they had not had enough time to review the proposal before the meeting.

Coun Damien O’Connor said: “I’m appalled that it’s come out like this.

“It is quite clearly a cost cutting exercise.

“I’m very concerned that people in central Manchester have not been properly consulted.”

Angela Young, from patient watchdog Link, said there needed to be further consultation but the group was still debating whether it ought to be a formal 12-week process.

She said: “There is no question this is adifficult issue – it’s probably the first of many.

“It’s particularly tough because when mental health services are difficult to get to it aggravates the situation for the patients, their families and the people who love them.”

A delegation from health union Unison and the Manchester Users’ Network also attended the meeting and called for more discussion on the plans.”

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From WiganToday.net. 26th August 2010.

Metrolite Industries of Ince has more than 60 staff making environmentally-friendly gates, benches and golf club furniture.

Cash-strapped Wigan Council, which puts £200,000 each year into supporting employment at the centre, has confirmed is future is under review.

Director of children and adult services Bernard Walker said that consultation was underway with staff but no decision had been taken.

Metrolite was set up to enable people with disabilities to participate fully in employment, rather than as a training scheme.

But the council, which is facing £55m budget cuts which could mean up to 800 redundancies, say it is having to review all spending.

Social services chief Mr Walker said today: “The council makes a contribution to Metrolite of £200,000 per annum which was agreed several years ago when they were previously operating at a loss.

“We have shared this information with the workforce with a specific suggestion that they explore whether there is any possibility of Metrolite becoming a social enterprise, with the support of colleagues in regeneration.

“No decision has been made at this point about the future of Metrolite, rather the meeting with staff has been one aspect of the work underway to investigate the options available to the council.”

In an open letter to the council which has also been sent to the Observer. Metrolite staff urge them to keep up their support.

It says: “Metrolite employs vulnerable adults with varying degrees of disabilities, including visual and hearing impaired, learning difficulties, paralysis and epilepsy.

“It provides a safe, stable atmosphere in which these people can learn, thrive and help to contribute to the economy, the borough and society in general. If they were to lose their jobs they would never find gainful employment.

“We are aware that cuts have to be made due to the state of the public finances and we accept that, but Metrolite can have a valuable role to play within the borough and local society with the proper support, backing and reasonable funding.”

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From Children and Young People Now. 7th September 2010.

Bolton Council has launched a consultation over plans to slash £150,000 from its services for children with disabilities budget.

“The cuts involve a reduction in overtime, training and equipment budgets as well as recruitment and buying in additional specialist support.The move is part of council-wide cuts, with councillors looking to slash its total budget by 40 per cent over the next four years.

Councillor Ebrahim Adia, Bolton’s executive member for children’s services, said: “Due to the global recession and the government’s plans to reduce the budget deficit outlined in the emergency budget, we anticipate that the grants we receive from the government will significantly reduce.

“We are determined to continue to provide a good service for the borough’s children with disabilities, and to make sure that our carers are supported in their roles.”

Among those to be consulted will be children with disabilities and their families, staff and unions.

Every Disabled Child Matters is due to launch a report next week on the effect of government cuts on children’s disabilities services.

Laura Courtney, campaign manager at Every Disabled Child Matters, says that cuts to disability services for children are happening across the UK.

She added: “What we are finding is that too often these cuts are being made without consultation and in anticipation of government cuts that have not yet happened and may not happen.””

From The Bolton News. 31st August 2010.

“SOME of Bolton’s most vulnerable people will be among the casualties if proposals to shut disability day centres go ahead as part of the wave of spending cuts.

Parents and carers have made a heartfelt plea to Bolton Council chiefs to retain the under-threat service, earmarked for possible closure in a review of the council’s adult services.

But a council spokesman said: “Absolutely no decisions have been made at this stage about closing any day care centres or any other adult social care services in Bolton.

“Due to the need to achieve savings, we are having to consider all the options and we are talking to people about all the possibilities, and getting their views.

“We need to undertake this review because, as more people use their personal budgets differently and decide to use alternatives to traditional day services, we need to make sure money is being spent where people want it.

“We will consider all options over the next three months and will report back with firmer proposals by the end of 2010.”

Bolton Carers Forum — made up of parents of disabled adults who use the facilities — is launching a campaign against proposals to close the centres, which provide training and care for adults who have learning and physical disabilities.

Treasurer Brian Kenny, aged 72, whose son, Shaun, attends the Jubilee Centre in Halliwell, said: “He knows there is something going on and is very upset by it.”

Mr Kenny, of Little Lever, added: “The centres provide respite care for us. The average age of parents is 60-plus and it is a social forum for service users who take part in activities and go out on day trips.”

Some parents are too worried to tell their children about the proposals.

Rita Farrington, aged 66, of Horwich, has a son Andrew, aged 42, who attends Heaton Fold Centre. She said: “It is his life. I can’t tell him — it will affect his health.”…”

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From the Children and Young People Bulletin. 7th September 2010.

“Bolton Council has launched a consultation over plans to slash £150,000 from its services for children with disabilities budget.

The cuts involve a reduction in overtime, training and equipment budgets as well as recruitment and buying in additional specialist support.

The move is part of council-wide cuts, with councillors looking to slash its total budget by 40 per cent over the next four years.

Councillor Ebrahim Adia, Bolton’s executive member for children’s services, said: “Due to the global recession and the government’s plans to reduce the budget deficit outlined in the emergency budget, we anticipate that the grants we receive from the government will significantly reduce.

“We are determined to continue to provide a good service for the borough’s children with disabilities, and to make sure that our carers are supported in their roles.”

Among those to be consulted will be children with disabilities and their families, staff and unions……”

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