Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

Posted on 1 August 2011 at 15:12 GMT

Steve North addressing a rally against the closure of Lancaster House, Salford, photo Hugh Caffrey

Steve North addressing a rally against the closure of Lancaster House, Salford, photo Hugh Caffrey   (Click to enlarge)

Marching to save supported accommodation in Salford

Lancaster House in Salford provides supported accommodation and rehab for hundreds of young men who otherwise would be homeless. It now faces closure.

This will affect hundreds of current and future residents, at least 150 every year. Lancaster House is owned by a private company but funded by the local authority.

Councillors are now trying to cut the funding, as they retail the 40 million spending cuts wholesaled onto Salford by the Tory-Liberal government.

Eight thousand supporters have backed the campaign online, with nearly 2,000 more signatures collected on paper petitions. Residents, staff and supporters including Unison members and Socialist Party members marched on Monday 1st August to lobby the council to keep Lancaster House open.

Before setting off, I spoke to David Allum, chair of the residents' Peer Group:

"It's a vital service for the people of Salford. The phrase I keep using is 'an injustice to democracy', the councillors are not listening, yet over 8,000 people support the campaign! That's a sizable number of people in Salford, but the council are still making decisions behind closed doors.

"We'd love to see the report the council have done, but they won't let us see it because it's got 'sensitive financial information'. We asked for a copy with the figures blacked-out, but they still haven't sent it us".

Salford council Unison branch secretary Steve North addressed the demonstration.

He slammed "this brutal and unnecessary cut", demanding the council "listen, think clearly, change their minds and reverse this cut." Steve reminded everyone how we have been here before and overturned so-called 'done deals':

"The council thought they'd made their decision when they cut Salford Women's Centre funding. But the women who used the centre, the kids and the community fought back and the centre stayed open.

"It's a privilege to address this demonstration and - on behalf of Salford Unison - we will support you as much as possible to make sure Lancaster House stays open".

Following today's decision by the 'lead member' responsible for the service, it will be referred to scrutiny by a panel of councillors, and then to the full council to decide.

David said the campaigners are going to fight it the whole way:

"We'll carry on the campaign all the way to the High Court. The council have breached the Disability Discrimination Act and we're looking to a judicial review.

"Just because the council say 'no more' doesn't mean we'll leave it there!"

Hugh Caffrey, North West region Socialist Party

Additional report written on 11th August 2011

Residents and campaigners fighting to save supported accommodation in Salford have slammed the council's "weeks of misinformation and misdirection" over the closure of Lancaster House.

The campaign is now preparing a High Court legal challenge for a judicial review, against the Labour council's "illegal and undemocratic" process.

In a statement to press, residents' peer group chair David Allum said:

"It has become blatantly apparent that the Labour Party hierarchy has leaned on members to support their Lead Member, our call to them today is it is now time to stand up and be recognized rather than being whipped into obedience... Every step of the way, Salford Council has tied both our hands behind our backs and continually moved the goalposts.

" This decision making process was never fair and it was blatantly clear that this decision was made long before the 'process' had begun."

The campaign is receiving mixed messages from councillors, including a number who have offered some support. "Save Lancaster House" is strongly supported by Salford UNISON and Salford Against The Cuts and has received widespread media coverage.

10,000 people have supported the campaign online or by signing petitions. Yet the council leadership seem prepared to run the service down as a step to closure, and spend 50,000 on a court case they are likely to lose.

David says: "For a council that is so concerned with saving money in this climate this does not make sense... The only reason the council leaders would not be willing to take part in this process [of council scrutiny committee debate]... is if they have got something to hide.

" Lancaster House has proof of this and it will become fully clear in the courts."

Socialist Party Salford fully supports the fight to save Lancaster House. We endorse David's call to end "the era of closed doors politics".

Through our campaigning round the year and at next year's council elections, we will seek the elementary democracy that residents of Lancaster House are rightly demanding: "proper transparency and full accountability of decision making."

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

Related links:


triangleSalford Socialist Party: 70 years since the partition of the Indian subcontinent

triangleSalford Socialist Party: Socialism, Pride and the fight for LGBT+ rights

triangleSalford Unison condemns pay cuts

triangleLabour mayor needs to stop all cuts

triangleSalford Socialist Party: A debate - High rise or low rise housing?


triangleSix months on - still no justice for Grenfell

triangleTories u-turn on social housing benefit cap and borrowing to build

triangleNo more fire deaths - ensure safety now!

triangleHomelessness and evictions soar under the Tories


triangleStop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

triangleBradford campaign to save children's services launched

triangleTwo in five 'right to buy' homes now for let


triangleRough sleeping crisis: make homes, not arrests

triangleThem & us

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns


Waltham Forest

Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents



Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell



Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos



Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts



Tory plan to hold dinner at coal mining museum defeated



Bradford campaign to save children's services launched


South London

South London health bosses' cover-up



Unite day of action against blacklisting



Brighton victory



Newham anti-academies strikes


Tamil Solidarity

Tamil Solidarity and Refugee Rights activists meeting



Support the Crossrail Woolwich walkout



Unite protest against blacklisting



Anti-DOO lobby of Liverpool's transport committee


Donald Trump

Mobilise to stop bigoted billionaire Donald Trump's state visit to Britain

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

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

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...

triangle13 Dec Labour 'purge' furore really just democracy

EU parliament, Strasbourg

triangle13 Dec Brexit deal no solution to Tory rifts

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



December 2017

November 2017

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