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From The Socialist newspaper, 6 October 2010

Labour councillor's contempt for care centre users

On 30 September Ealing Labour councillor and adult social services portfolio holder Jasbir Anand was invited to the Albert Dane Centre (ADC). The service user committee and staff wanted to ask her questions on the proposed closure of the centre. The ADC is a day centre for adults with a physical disability or sensory impairment.

Lydia Dalton, Ealing Unison children and adult services convenor (personal capacity)

Councillor Anand was greeted at the centre's gates by service users holding up banners. They had been instructed not to place them on council property. They chanted slogans including "hands off our centre" and "no cuts to frontline services".

Service users, carers, staff and independent people from the community packed the hall to question and listen to Councillor Anand. Service user group chairperson Val Garrard read out a series of questions that other users had asked her to put forward. Anand was attacked for ducking several questions.

Anand said that the: "Private and voluntary sector would do a better job of providing the service they require than ADC staff." This was met by gasps from the staff who stood at the back of the room.

The local pastor put forward a financial proposal to keep the centre open. He spoke of the myth that the voluntary sector would have capacity to cope with the demand and said that the councillor needed to be more honest. To this Councillor Anand shouted at him and said: "Don't you dare call me a liar. You have attended my surgeries in the past. I have tried to help you out. I won't help you anymore."

Anand's aggressive behaviour was met by a tirade of anger from users who spoke passionately about their need for the service.

Having had my hand up for 40 minutes, service users forced the council official who was chairing to let me speak. However, Anand heckled and said "I'm not interested in talking to the unions" while refusing to answer my question.

Councillor Anand's apparent contempt for staff, users and carers didn't end there. She was unfazed by the hostile reaction from the crowd and defiantly replied: "I own half of Southall. I'm very popular. I got voted in so at least a few people must like me."

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In The Socialist 6 October 2010:

Defend Child Benefits

Tories turn clock back

Socialist Students

Students must fight back

Campaigning Socialist Students win support

YFJ and PCS unite against cuts in Leeds

Socialist Party editorial

National Shop Stewards Network and the struggle against Con-Dem attacks

National conference called against cuts in jobs and services

Anti-cuts campaign

No excuses for not fighting cuts

Thousands tell Tories: 'No cuts'

Paying below the minimum

Bristol MPs fail to answer young workers' anger at PCS debate

Meetings and protests against the cuts

Labour councillor's contempt for care centre users

Save Buttercups nursery

Protests on October 23 to fight the government's spending review axe

News in brief

Socialist Party workplace news

Solid strike by Tube workers

Time to strengthen RMT's fighting leadership

Support TSG strike

Health and Safety

Warning: this government could seriously damage your safety

Europe: fighting the cuts

Spain: workers demonstrate their strength

Ireland: a socialist alternative to the crisis

Portuguese workers win the promise of a general strike

Internationalism against austerity: 100,000 demonstrate in Belgium

Socialism 2010

Why you should come to Socialism 2010

Socialism 2010 - a weekend of discussion and debate

International socialist analysis

Chávez wins majority but right-wing gains ground

Socialist Party review

Made in Dagenham


Nuneaton: community must organise against racism

Leicester: action needed against EDL

Campaign defeats BNP in Stroud


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