Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Carers, celebrities & campaigners rally for learning disability services and day care centres

22 January 2013

Carers and service users will unite with trade unionists, campaigners and celebrities including author(s) Alasdair Gray (and James Kelman) at a rally in George Square tomorrow – Wednesday 23 January from 12.30pm - to call for an immediate halt to cuts and an independent review into Glasgow’s learning disability services.

Sam Macartney, of Glasgow UNISON branch, welcomed the postponement of the council’s decision on cuts to learning disability services, closure of three vital day care centres and job losses.

Sam Macartney, Convener of Daycare Services, said:

“Glasgow City Council has put off the vote planned for Thursday (24 January) on the proposed cuts in learning disability day centres and services. This is of course entirely down to the pressure exerted on the council by those who use the services and their families, their supporters in the various campaigning groups including the Defend Glasgow Services Campaign and the trade unions.

“However, there are still no changes to the proposals and we must keep up the pressure on the council.

“We are calling for:

An independent review to be carried out into learning disability services and day care centres in Glasgow – as called for by Glasgow City Council’s own Carers Champion, Chris Mason

A halt to all changes and cuts – including cuts to services, jobs or closures of centres – while the review is carried out

Glasgow City Council Social Work Services to hold an open all-Glasgow meeting for all carers

And vitally - an increase – not a cut - in the money available to the total learning disability services pot, to make individual personalised budgets higher, because the cuts to personalised budgets are at the root of most of the problem.

“The protest planned for Wednesday 23 January at 12.30pm outside the City Chambers goes ahead. Let’s step up our efforts to defeat these proposals to cut vital services to the most vulnerable in our community.”

Rally details
Wednesday 23 January 2013
12.30pm in George Square, Glasgow
Speakers include those who use the services and their families, elected representatives including councillors and MSPs, prominent authors and academics, trade unionists and disability rights campaigners.
Confirmed speakers:
  • Tommy Gorman, carer
  • Grace Harrigan, carer
  • Ian Hood, Learning Disability Alliance Scotland
  • Dave Moxham, Deputy General Secretary, STUC 
  • Alasdair Gray, author and artist – who also brings a message of support from writer James Kelman

Other speakers to be confirmed
Note for editors
Glasgow City Council’s controversial plans for personalisation of care services includes a proposal to close three day centres that accommodate about 130 people each on weekdays. Around 136 jobs are also under threat.

Direct and highly emotional personal evidence of why this is not a good plan was provided at a well-attended conference at UNISON’s Glasgow City branch office on 10 December 2012 called by the Defend Glasgow Services Personalisation Network – a network of carers, service users, campaigners and trade unions planning to defend these key services.

See our blog post on the 12 December event here:

and a useful STV news report here:

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