Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

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:


triangle'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future

triangleStriking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni

triangleUniversity of Leeds workers walk out

triangleLeeds Socialist Students marks 'International Safe Abortion Day'

triangleWhy I joined: I wanted to change things


triangleNorth London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

triangleNo cuts - hands off King George A&E!

triangleYoung people being strangled by debts

triangleTories scrap the NHS pay cap: now fight for real-terms pay rises!


triangleSheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

triangleUnite local government sector plans strike ballot

triangleSchools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now


triangleObesity epidemic: end food market anarchy

triangleNHS meltdown - fight the Tory cuts

Mental health:

triangleTories wreck our NHS

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns


North West

Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay


Democratic rights

Conference on state spies: who's watching who?



Striking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni


Royal Mail

Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers



Balloting members on the pay cap



'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future



Sheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison


South West Wales

Hundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP



Uprising to save the NHS!



Can you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?


East London

No cuts - hands off King George A&E!


North London

North London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses



Nationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems



Schools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now



Socialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

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

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle18 Oct Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangle18 Oct Balloting members on the pay cap

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party out the Tories

More ...

triangle21 Oct Birmingham: NSSN Solidarity Forum

triangle23 Oct Chesterfield Socialist Party: The continuing struggle for abortion rights

triangle24 Oct Liverpool Socialist Party: The October Russian Revolution 100 years ago to the day

triangle25 Oct Salford Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian revolution

More ...

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



October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017





















Platform setting: = No platform choice