Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/11739

Posted on 9 April 2011 at 11:19 GMT

Fight continues to save Leeds day centres

Local mental health service users and mental health workers came together with representatives from Leeds Trades Council, Leeds Against the Cuts and two major public sector unions to lobby Leeds City Council in opposition to its plans to close mental health day centres across the city.

Dave Younger, Leeds City Socialist Party


At present Unison is pursuing a legal challenge to these closures. The Labour-controlled council has taken the decision to close the day centres without a serious consultation with workers and service users, which is a legal requirement.

Angry opposition from local campaigners and trade unionists has meant the council has had to repeatedly push back planned closure dates while seeking legal advice over their plans.


The chairperson of the city-wide Mental Health Service Users' Involvement Group, Norman Forsythe, told Socialist Party members that the council's executive board had not consulted anyone over any detail of the planned cuts and had only set up a committee on the matter after being pressured by the campaign to consult people.

He said he felt the council had not been listening to local people's concerns and was not even questioning the need for drastic spending cuts, so the campaign was necessary to force councillors to begin to listen to people whom they would otherwise have ignored.


When asked about what effects the closures would have on local people with mental health problems, Norman pointed out that there has already been an increase in reports of attempted suicide and self-harm by service users since the announcement of the plans to cut the day centres.


These centres are essential to the wellbeing of extremely vulnerable people in the community who would otherwise have nowhere else to go where they can feel safe and comfortable and receive much needed support.

Whether or not the centres remain open is literally a matter of life or death for some service users. As well as the potential cost of lives, which is obviously immeasurable, Norman pointed out that the planned cuts do not make financial sense.

People who attend the centres have their confidence built up and learn new skills, which they can use when seeking jobs.
Closing the centres, however, means that they will get less support, their health could deteriorate and they could end up in hospital or living on incapacity benefit.

The long-term cost for the local community, both financially and socially, will far out-weigh any savings that could be made by these cuts, and in fact the council has admitted that this particular cut will not make any budget savings in real terms.


We discussed the possibility of Labour councillors refusing to implement Tory cuts and instead setting a 'needs budget' like the Militant-led Liverpool City Council did in the 1980s.

Norman agreed that this would be a possibility, but also that it would only work if Labour councillors had the will to oppose cuts in the council chamber, which is clearly not the case in Leeds.

Leeds Labour councillors have been all too happy to wield the Con-Dems' axe since being elected last May and passing a savage austerity budget.

"These are Labour cuts here in Leeds", Norman pointed out, whilst also stating that local cuts are part of an overall attempt by the Tory-Liberal central government to "hammer the working people" for ideological reasons.


The fight to save the day centres continues and Leeds District Socialist Party will continue to work with local service users, mental health workers and trade unionists to oppose ALL cuts to public services, whatever party implements them, and to propose a programme for a real alternative to making working people pay for the capitalist crisis.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.






Related links:

Leeds:

triangleUnite day of action against blacklisting

triangleSocialist Students day of action demands free education

triangleLeeds college workers protest poor pay rises

triangleLeeds Socialist Party: Perspectives for struggle around the world

triangleLeeds Socialist Party: Religion and Socialism

Cuts:

triangleBradford campaign to save children's services launched

triangleSouth London health bosses' cover-up

triangleTotnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

triangleUni market 'failure', two-year degrees - end cuts, scrap fees!

Council:

triangleBlairite council 'all ears' to rich property developers

triangleStop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

triangleSix months on - still no justice for Grenfell

Health:

triangleSave our NHS

triangleGlenfield victory shows people power can save our NHS

Mental health:

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

16/12/17

Haringey

Blairite council 'all ears' to rich property developers

16/12/17

North West

Arriva bus drivers' action wins pay rise

14/12/17

Waltham Forest

Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

13/12/17

London

Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

13/12/17

Fracking

Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

13/12/17

Devon

Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

13/12/17

Miners

Tory plan to hold dinner at coal mining museum defeated

13/12/17

Bradford

Bradford campaign to save children's services launched

13/12/17

South London

South London health bosses' cover-up

13/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite day of action against blacklisting

13/12/17

Brighton

Brighton victory

13/12/17

Newham

Newham anti-academies strikes

13/12/17

Tamil Solidarity

Tamil Solidarity and Refugee Rights activists meeting

12/12/17

Woolwich

Support the Crossrail Woolwich walkout

7/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite protest against blacklisting

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle16 Dec Blairite council 'all ears' to rich property developers

triangle16 Dec Arriva bus drivers' action wins pay rise

triangle14 Dec Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

triangle13 Dec Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

triangle13 Dec Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

triangle13 Dec Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

triangle13 Dec Trump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian...

More ...

triangle18 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Religion and Socialism

triangle19 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas social

triangle21 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Socialists and the National Question

triangle6 Jan Socialist Party national women's meeting

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2