Monday 10 December 2012

Glasgow Personalisation Network Campaign meeting 10 Dec 2012

10 Dec 2012

Carers and campaigners called for Glasgow's day care closure plan to be halted today at  the Glasgow Personalisation Network Campaign meeting held at UNISON's branch office in Bell Street.

L-R Ian Hood, Learning Disability Alliance Scotland; Brian Smith, Glasgow UNISON branch secretary; Tommy Gorman, carer; Grace Harrigan, carer. More pictures at UNISON Scotland Picasa gallery Glasgow Personalisation Network meeting 10 Dec 2012

The meeting was chaired by Brian Smith, branch secretary of Glasgow UNISON, and addressed by carers Tommy Gorman (pictured speaking) and Grace Harrigan, and Ian Hood of Learning Disability Alliance Scotland. Numerous press and media were in attendance.

Tommy Gorman told the meeting that his daughter attends the Summerston day care centre, one of the three which would close under the plan.

He said:
"You can have a consultation, and you can have a fair consultation but you can't have a fair consultation done by Glagow city Council.
"If you're a Glasgow MSP and you don't have a view on the day care closures then you need to ask yourself some questions
"The Scottish Parliament was put in place to make a difference. We're calling on them to step in and investigate
"If this isn't a bogus consultation, if it isn't just about budget cuts, then Glasgow City Council should have nothing to fear from it being looked into.
"The closure of three out of the seven centres leaves provision for the most vulnerable at a very low level - not just now but for decades into the future.
"We're pushing for an independent review of the closure of these day care centres."

Grace Harrigan, a carer who belongs to the East Carers group, said:
"We feel the council wants to absolve itself of its responsibility. We believe they intend to hand this (provision) over to private and thrid sector organisations whose staff are on very low pay.
"The reform is being done by money and not by the assessed needs of the learning disabled people.
"Councillor Matt Kerr (Glasgow City Council social care spokesperson) has said personalisation and self directed support does not mean that carers will be doing any more caring - when every carer is shouting from the rooftops that is does mean exactly that.

Ian Hood, Learning Disability Alliance Scotland (LDAS) called for the Care Inspectorate to investigate the Glasgow consultation and closure plan.

He said:
"The consultation which Glasgow City Council is doing is a crime - and not just in a moral sense. There is law about how to go about consultation. Councillors don't have to consult - they can just decide to do things - but if they do they have to do it properly and legally.
"Amongst other things they must give plenty of time. And people with disabilities need to be involved in a substantial way.
"An 8 week consultation with 4 weeks out over Christmas is not acceptable.
"Glasgow City Council set up the consultation from the start off to get the answer they wanted - and to justify the closure of the day centres.
"We should challenge this consultation legally - we are working with families in Dundee who face the same problem.
"But legal challenges take a long time.
"This is a job for the Care Inspectorate.
"18 months ago ago they gave Glasgow City Council a damning report in a number of aspects. What has Glasgow City Council done about it? Nothing.
"We pay billions of pounds - across the whole country - to make sure our most vulnerable citizens are cared for. The Care Inspectorate is there to ensure this happens."

Carers and user made contributions from the floor about the reality of the plans to cut day care in Glasgow.

See also:
Sam McCartney, Glasgow UNISON on council proposals to cut day care services - 13 Nov 2012

Learning Disability Alliance Scotland


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