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FURY AT SALFORD COUNCIL SPECIAL NEEDS TRANSPORT CUTS
 

Star date: 11th February 2014

"THEY'RE DOING THIS TO PEOPLE LIKE US BECAUSE IT'S SO HARD FOR US TO FIGHT"

Parents. carers, drivers and escorts packed the Swinton Royal Legion last night to discuss the fightback against Salford Council plans to cut transport for people with special needs. Time and again during the meeting people were asking `Why?'

"Why are they not protecting the most needy in society…Why is the Council cutting jobs that protect my disabled daughter?" said a father. Salford Mayor, Ian Stewart, who had been invited to attend, didn't show up.

Full details here…


SAlford Council Special Needs Transport Cuts Meeting
click image to enlarge

Around eighty parents, carers, drivers and escorts attended a short-notice meeting at Swinton Royal Legion last night to find out more about Salford Council cuts to special needs transport and discuss how to stop them.

Salford Council currently has a proposal to axe £600,000 from its Passenger Transport Unit, slashing 24 jobs, including drivers and the escorts who accompany special needs people on journeys to places like day centres (for more details see previous Salford Star article – click here).

Despite the proposal not being policy until passed by a full meeting of Salford Council on 26th February, and then subject to a consultation, the meeting heard how people were already being taken off the buses through a process of `re-assessment' with much higher criteria applied.

Angry parents and carers railed at the implications for the transport cuts, which they believe will lead to the closure of the city's remaining day centres if people can't afford to use taxis to get there, or won't let their sons and daughters use already overstretched, budget-slashed services like Ring and Ride which doesn't provide escorts.

Overall, people just couldn't understand why the most vulnerable people in the city were being singled out for cuts that will have a major impact on their lives. Anger and disbelief were the themes of the meeting, relayed to Labour councillor Peter Wheeler who was the only representative from Salford Council.

"Why are they not protecting the most needy in society…Why is the Council cutting jobs that protect my disabled daughter?" asked one father, while a mother added "They're doing this to people like us because it's so hard for us to fight, life is hard enough…"

Salford Mayor, Ian Stewartwho pledged to protect the most vulnerable when first elected - had been invited to the Legion but chose not to attend, so it was agreed to demand a meeting with him so he could hear first hand about the impact of his decisions…

"I know the blame lies with the Government but also you Mr Stewart because you are not listening" said Noreen Bailey, a carer for three special needs adults, who had tried to contact the Mayor but her comments had been deleted from his Facebook page.

With support pledged from USUC (United Service Users Committee), Salford Against the Cuts and Salford City UNISON, the parents and carers agreed to `kick up a fuss', with petitions, face-to-face meetings with the councillors who will vote through the cuts and potential lobbies of the Council. And hopefully the wheels will come off this incredibly unfair transport cut…

To sign the Change.org petition against the transport and escort cuts – click here

Bus graphic by Jamie Reid

David Thornley wrote
at 05:28:15 on 12 February 2014
I've got first hand knowledge of the cuts because my son is 15 years old and is disabled. The question I'd like to ask is, when are Salford councillors going to stand up and be counted? We all know by now that the mayor is a waste of space,but surely our councillors can see that disabled people are being made scapegoats because they cost more. Do our councillors really want families with disabled children or disabled adults to lock them in a room and forget about them? Do they want us to be Seen as third world country? Where will these cuts take us in the future? My final question is, where is the council spending it's budget? Come on councillors take a look in the mirror and tell us if you like what you see.
 
margaret tunnacliffe wrote
at 19:03:05 on 11 February 2014
I am a parent who has already fought to save the Grange for children with special needs and lost that fight now myself and my husband have to fight to keep transport for our daughter. If there is no transport for the adults then my husband will have to take our daughter to and from school and when she has her overnight stays at Granville we are going to have for during the times school are closed because it will be pointless for her to go during school times as we wont get any respite and with our son now losing his stays at the grange and we refuse to let him go to granville for adults we will never get respite so we would lose it for both. Ian Stewart is a man with no heart and has no idea how important this transport is to us and our young and older adults.
 
susan alexander wrote
at 16:24:21 on 11 February 2014
my support is with you all good luck x
 
JANETTE ROBERTS wrote
at 16:24:15 on 11 February 2014
WE NEED TO SAVE TRANSPORT FOR VUNERABLE ADULTS AND SAVE OUR JOBS
 
the end wrote
at 16:23:45 on 11 February 2014
no doubt we will have the usual blame the condems response from Stewart. Can he actually tell us where they will actually spend money, They still have a large budget but where is it actually going?
 
Anthea Darlington wrote
at 12:06:59 on 11 February 2014
Ian Stewart was very supportive of Springwood School when it first opened and he was MP for Eccles: can't understand his change of attitude towards people with disabilities. It's such a small amount of money in the scheme of things.
 
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