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UNISON ACCUSES SALFORD COUNCIL OF LYING TO JUSTIFY SHUTTING DISABLED KIDS HOME
 

Star date: 15th August 2017

'INACCURACIES' AND 'LIES' IN COUNCIL ATTEMPT TO SHUT THE GRANGE AS STRIKE BALLOT LOOMS

Next week, Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennett, will make a decision on whether or not to shut The Grange, Salford's only residential care home for disabled children.

The Council report recommending the closure has been slated in new counter reports from both the families of children at The Grange and Salford UNISON, which accuses the Council of 'inaccuracies', including over unfilled places... "The so-called lack of demand for The Grange is a lie to justify a cut" it states. The report adds that UNISON members "are willing to consider industrial action in defence of their jobs".

Full details here...


Save The Grange Save The Grange Salford Mayor faces Save The Grange campaigners on May Day
Graphic by Jamie Reid for Suburban Press
click image to enlarge

Last week, Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennett, was due to make a decision on whether to close The Grange, the city's only residential care home for disabled children.*

That was postponed after trade union, Salford City UNISON, which represents workers at The Grange, objected that information it had requested had not been provided. The Mayor will now make his decision at the Council Cabinet meeting next Tuesday, 22nd August, amidst growing fury from both the families of children currently at The Grange and Salford UNISON.

While the Council report recommending the closure is exactly the same as previously tabled, both the families and UNISON have submitted counter reports slating the official report that Jeremy Corbyn supporting Dennett will consider.

"The so called lack of demand for The Grange is a lie to justify a cut, and even worse the privatisation of all residential care for disabled children from Salford" states the UNISON report, seen by the Salford Star.

Council officers claim that, as there are only two children at The Grange currently, it could save 300,000 by closing the facility and finding the children "alternative placements" which would be outside of Salford. UNISON counters that this "conveniently hides the fact that Children Services management have refused to place any child at The Grange since last year because the resource is at risk of closure!"

The Council also claims that it held an open day to see if there was demand from other local authorities for beds at The Grange but "Disappointingly, only one representative... attended the open day and no further inquiries have been made to purchase a bed(s) at The Grange".

The UNISON report counters "In contradiction to feedback given by Council Management, a local authority did respond and in recent months have twice tried to refer young people to The Grange and have been refused because the facility 'is to be closed'....

"We are also aware of other children where social workers, parents and other professionals have recommend placement at The Grange, and, again, staff have been told this is not an option as The Grange 'is due to be closed'" it adds.

The UNISON report also states that, from Council figures, there are currently 25 disabled children placed in out of borough private provision, and that the figure is higher if those placed in residential schools are included... "There is a demand for this service..." the report insists.

"So, if there is a demand for residential services for disabled children why does Children Services Management wish to close this resource?" the union asks "It can only leave one conclusion - it is cheaper to place children with disabilities in privatised care."

The UNISON report also warns of a potential ballot for strikes at Salford Council, as, "it is clear from consultations with staff that the closure of The Grange would place a number of staff at risk of compulsory redundancy...As such our members at The Grange, across the residential sector and our wider Council membership, are willing to consider industrial action in defence of their jobs."

UNISON concludes that "The report to be presented to the Mayor is full of inaccuracies and fails to consider powerful arguments why it is in the interests of the children, residential services and the people of Salford that this resource is not lost."

Meanwhile the families of the children at The Grange have also produced their own counter report, challenging the Council's assertion that they have been consulted on the closure... "There has been no consultation with the families of the two residents" they state, adding that "The Council have failed to supply information that has been requested by the families via email."

Of more worry to the families is the affect of the closure on their children, and any children who would need the facility in the future...

"The two residents are doing extremely well, and continue to improve as can be seen from their six monthly review documents" the families state "This facility should remain open to prevent catastrophic effect on these children, their parents and their families.

"To remove the children from their home, school and health professionals will set them back years" they conclude.

There are also numerous questions raised by the families which, they say, the Council has not answered, like how the children's needs would be met in a new placement...

"No new placement has been identified" Lynda Barton, one of the children's grandparents, told the Salford Star "This is extremely worrying as the Mayor is being asked to close The Grange with no knowledge of the future of these vulnerable children.

"The people of Salford are being told that the Mayor and the Labour Council will support and protect the most vulnerable in society" she added "Now is the time to prove it, keep to your word and Save The Grange from closure..."


The Save The Grange campaign has called a lobby of the Mayor and Cabinet members for next Tuesday, 22nd August, from 9am, outside Salford Civic Centre. It is being supported by Salford City UNISON and all those who don't agree with the cuts are urged to attend.

For further details see the Facebook event page Lobby The Council to Save The Grange from Closure click here

The Cabinet meeting which decides the future of The Grange is open to the public and begins at 10am in the Salford Suite within Salford Civic Centre


* For a full background see previous Salford Star article - Salford Mayor To Decide Whether Disabled Children Kicked out of the City click here.



hedley hopper wrote
at 3:10:36 AM on Thursday, August 17, 2017
Well done, UNISON, for casting off your associations with Salford Labour Councillors and denouncing their actions and priorities! AND revealing as naked their incompetence and vanity! Loans to minor Rugby Clubs such as Swinton and major clubs such as Salford Reds Stadium Management Committee make my blood boil when facilities are being closed that benefit the residents of Salford for whom the Council owes a duty of care. And then the Councillors make crocodile tears, so that they can "keep in" with those whom they perceive as "shakers and movers"! GRRRR!

Linny loo wrote
at 8:41:47 AM on Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Who can you trust these days. The councillors elected by the people should be, transparent ask questions and research into the cases they are to vote on especially when the lives and futures of vulnerable people especially children It seems to me that no councillor wants to challenge their parties proposal They are doing what they like there doesn't appear to be any accountability for their actions I understand from the council the only way the public can find out about any public meeting is to trawl through the Coty of Salford wen site. Why should we be surprised that they are not being truthful with their statements when Councillor Merry can do deal behind closed doors what else is going on in secret and how many of them are involved

Margaret tunnacliffe wrote
at 6:46:51 AM on Wednesday, August 16, 2017
So they're doing and saying exactly what they said when The Grange was used for children fir respite. It's under used,it's not visible for what they are paying to rn it..they say that only 2 children are currently using it,we'll when it was used for children's respite it was full all the time. They are doing what we said they would do,gone through the consultation or what they call consultation and have already they're going to do.

Salford solutions wrote
at 3:32:10 AM on Wednesday, August 16, 2017
I'm sure some behind closed doors council meeting went something like this. "I know, why don't we close down all the services for the disabled, the homeless, children and any community that is trying to improve things and GIVE the money to Peel Holdings,the BBC, Fred Done and all those other really deserving causes?"

Mary ferrer wrote
at 1:44:20 AM on Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Im not good with figures. But here goes.25 disabled children are being cared for outside the city. Say it costs 500 per child,per week.That is 50.000 per month.and 600.00 per year.Remember 2000 when we had to sell,close the family silver. That was caused by sending OUR children who were being cared for by the City outside the city.Bad housekeeping or something? ??

Mary ferrer wrote
at 1:44:03 AM on Wednesday, August 16, 2017
My last comment should have said 600.000

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