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SALFORD MAYOR TO DECIDE WHETHER DISABLED CHILDREN KICKED OUT OF THE CITY
 

Star date: 1st August 2017

THE GRANGE FUTURE IN DENNETT'S HANDS

Salford's Jeremy Corbyn supporting Mayor, Paul Dennett, will decide next week whether to close The Grange, the city's only residential home for disabled children.

There's been protests and petitions signed by over 3,000 people against the closure but Salford Council officers are still determined to axe the home, which will see disabled children kicked out of the city. Now Mayor Dennett is poised to make the final decision.

Full details here...


Save The Grange May Day protest Bexley Square Salford 'Jeremy Corbyn' joins fight to Save The Grange
click image to enlarge

Imagine for a minute if Salford had a Tory Council. And that Tory Council wanted to close the city's only residential home for disabled children. Imagine the outcry from the Labour Party opposition. Socialist councillors would be frothing with indignation...

Now imagine a Tory Salford Council that proposed to shut the disabled children's home while spending £19million on a posh garden in Worsley and £200million on luxury office blocks. Imagine the fury...

Then imagine a Tory Salford Council that guaranteed non-disabled children a place in a residential home in the city but not disabled children. The Labour Party opposition would be off the Richter Scale...

Then imagine a Tory Salford City Mayor who would personally make that decision to close the disabled children's home at the peak of the summer when everyone's on their holidays, hoping that no-one will notice. Imagine the outcry...

Now, come back to reality and find a ruling Labour Party Salford Council and a Jeremy Corbyn supporting Mayor doing all these unimaginable things.

Next week, at the peak of the summer holidays, Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennett, will personally be making a decision on the future of The Grange, the city's only residential home for disabled children.

Council officers and Lisa Stone, the Lead Member for Children's Services, are proposing to shut The Grange and, in the words of Lynda Barton, grandmother of one of the young people at the home, 'run these most vulnerable children out of the city'...

Over 3,000 people have signed a petition against the closure, including fans of Salford Red Devils and Salford City FC. The Red Devils team and mascot have even posed for photos with petitions, while Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham, has stated that it would 'unacceptable' to move the disabled children out of Salford.

Yet Salford Council is proposing to do exactly that. An impact report on The Grange, to be considered by Paul Dennett at his Cabinet meeting, states that "children may in the future receive specialist residential care from outside of the city"...

Another report going to the Cabinet understates that "The closure of any children's home is a delicate and sensitive issue. In most circumstances it impacts directly on the children living in the home, the staff working at the home and those young people who have left care and occasionally return to visit their past carers. Any decision to close a children's home must be mindful of this impact."

Before the impact on the most vulnerable children in the city, however, comes the bottom line...

The Grange has five bedrooms and at the moment there are only two children resident there, a 40% occupancy level, acceptable, apparently, at other non-disabled homes in the city but not here.

Meanwhile, Salford City UNISON, which represents staff at The Grange who would be at risk of redundancy, has disputed Salford Council's commitment to the home, arguing that children with complex needs have not been offered rooms there recently, thus maintaining the low occupancy level and justifying the cut.

The union and families of the children at The Grange also argue that their fight to keep the home open is not just about the current occupants, it's about young people in the future who may need the facility. Once it's gone, it's gone forever.

The Council states that shutting The Grange will save an 'estimated' £300,000... "The overall running cost of the Grange, whilst vastly under occupied, is very difficult to justify at this time" the report sniffs.

After listening to Salford and Eccles MP Rebecca Long-Bailey, and Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennett, speaking at the May Day rally at Bexley Square this year about protecting vulnerable people in the city from cuts, Lynda Barton told the Salford Star...

"If you can get more vulnerable than disabled children I would like to see that because they've got to be at least at the top of that list...I said to the Mayor that he and Jeremy Corbyn are all saying they can support vulnerable people but we need to see it..."

Next week, if the proposal to close The Grange goes ahead, it will be the City Mayor's name on the decision notice...

Update: 9:30pm 2nd August- SALFORD COUNCIL DEFERS THE GRANGE DECISION

Salford Council has deferred its decision to close The Grange. A letter from Councillor Lisa Stone to parents this afternoon stated, "The reason the report has been withdrawn is due to an administrative error. Some documentation was not provided to all the parties. In the interests of fairness we have therefore deferred the report and will inform you of the new date as soon as possible..."


For a full background see previous Salford Star articles on The Grange...

Salford May Day Sees Protests Against Disabled Children's Home Closure - click here

Families Fight To Save Salford's Only Disabled Children's Home - click here

Andy Burnham Supports Fight To Save The Grange - click here

Salford Council Puts Street Cleaning Before Disabled Children - click here

3,000 People Say 'Save The Grange' - click here

'Jeremy Corbyn' Joins Fight To Save The Grange - click here

Marc wrote
at 08:55:05 on 09 August 2017
I don't want MY council tax bill increasing to pay for a couple of kids that can be looked after elsewhere. Close it down and save the money. £300,000.00!!! People posting on here don't REALLY care about the two or three kids at the Grange, they just want any excuse to have a go at the council! (If this was Facebook I would insert some LOL 😂 😂😂 emojis at everyone's fake outrage).

Paul Delve wrote
at 19:15:26 on 04 August 2017
I am sorry but whilst the people Keep on voting in Labour they will keep on cutting and blaming the Tories!..Or whoever is in government you only have to look at the Grenfell tower disaster..Labour Council and they blame everyone except themselves!..Get rid of Labour!..

Robert Cole wrote
at 07:40:16 on 04 August 2017
Salford Children Services under Mike Kelly is a disaster a ship without a captain I have been pursuing the recovery of my children and the corruption is extensive in public funded organisation s

Linny loo wrote
at 19:58:19 on 02 August 2017
Just an updat on the Council meeting on the 8th of August. The report regarding the Grange has been removed, From the agenda so will not be discussed

Linny loo wrote
at 17:00:05 on 02 August 2017
Following the above comments I'd like to inform you the council will hold a public meeting from 9am on Tuesday 8th August where anyone can attend, but only the main petitioner is allowed to speak and put her case for a period of just 5 minutes. How's that for democracy

What wrote
at 13:11:57 on 02 August 2017
It's literally two children

Pete Wild wrote
at 07:44:15 on 02 August 2017
Incredibly insightful and challenging article... "imagine if a Tory council..." ... provocative stuff and I can only hope the Salford Mayor reads it... and my next hope would be for the Salford Star to cross the Irwell and and set up a Manchester version to expose, challenge and hold the powerful's feet to the fire here too

down but not out wrote
at 07:43:53 on 02 August 2017
While apparently there is no money tree to be shaken, I cannot believe that they are considering closing this facility. This could be a centre of excellence for our young people with different abilities. It has been run to the ground like many other services so that it justifies being closed. I worked for years bringing people back into Salford after years of living in institutions and other places with only a yearly review.These services only contained people, with little quality of life. They also cost a fortune per person. People belong in their Community why should they be pushed out to save money? Use this facility to enhance the lives of our most vulnerable, look at ways of making it work, it's too easy to just close somewhere. Show you care for our young people with a passion do not let us go back to shifting youngsters out of the Community, they are our responsibility take care of them as if they were your own!

Mary ferrer wrote
at 07:42:57 on 02 August 2017
Take it will be decided behind closed doors.we need to look after our most vulnerable and how is it going to save money sending our children out of the city.They are our childern.this is what happens when we don't have a strong opposition. Hope people remember this and all the other crap they are doing to OUR City when they next ask for our vote.where is their compassion

Retired Socailst wrote
at 19:02:54 on 01 August 2017
What ever you say the people of this city have only their selves to blame you vote out local opposition parties and what do you have left? nothing Norman Owen in is day at least held them to account they were am opposition to Labour that was middle of the road, nether left nor right and had some good people, ok they would never formulate a ruling group but at least they kicked labours arse. What opposition do we have today the Worsley action group no more. He will close it because he as no one to fear if he does only the apathy found at Salfords ballot box.

Neil wrote
at 19:02:41 on 01 August 2017
Like the article says, the mayor has got posh offices and a garden to pay for. No doubt these are 'premier' projects that will enhance the city's reputation (yeah sure). Are we still sponsoring the orchestra? Yet Salford will never vote anything but Labour.

Bob wrote
at 15:59:18 on 01 August 2017
My Grandad was always a Labour man. Not politicaly minded , but a staunch Labour man.He was born 132 years ago and had seen all the hard times. He was a clever man, a highly skilled toolmaker, who had he been educated better, and not been forced to leave school at 14 could have gone on to do better still.He though would have said ,enough is enough with this lot. His Labour principles were not the ones of this lot. The people of this city get the crap they vote for. So ,vote for Dennet and his crew, this is what you get. What do the Salford Torys say about this. Tell you what, lets all vote tory.Then we can really have a tory council.If we have a Tory council, and still get the same shit, then it we can blame it all on the Torys, just like Dennet and his mates do now. We can all get together with dennet and his mates and sing the red flag. Oh! the thought of it, brotherly solidarity with that gang of shit.

Paul Gerrard wrote
at 11:59:40 on 01 August 2017
Thanks to the Star for alerting us to the imminent decision about the Grange. The Star is quite right to point to the outrage there would be if the political parties here were reversed and the Tories were contemplating closing the Grange. Will Paul Dennett go down as a Corbyn supporting Mayor who nevertheless backs austerity?? Even at the cost of places in Salford for disabled children?? What a legacy that would be, and what a kick in the guts for the thousands who have joined Labour precisely to get rid of austerity.

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