Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/321/9648

From The Socialist newspaper, 1 November 2003

Victory For Gorse Hall Campaigners

Tameside council backs down over day centre closure

TAMESIDE COUNCIL'S decision to discontinue the service for high dependency elderly people at Gorse Hall day centre, Stalybridge, was taken over 12 months ago without consulting with service users or the consultation groups which the council had set up.

Elaine Healey

The council wanted Gorse Hall to become a luncheon club, offering no help with personal care and staffed by Age Concern volunteers. The people currently using the centre were being transferred to the private sector and I was determined to make them regret this blatant privatisation. Also I'm one of 12 carers who volunteer time to attend meetings with Tameside council so they can consult with us on carers' issues.

We were never consulted on Gorse Hall. When I broached the subject at the next Joint Strategy meeting a senior Social Services manager said it's not on the agenda so we're not discussing it. I stood my ground but they didn't like it. They sent a letter to every member of the carers' council about my 'behaviour'.

During National Carers' Week the council held a big event at the Town Hall, with speakers from the council telling us what THEY had done for carers in Tameside.

I demonstrated outside with the "friends of Gorse Hall" before the meeting. Two of the Gorse Hall people voiced their disgust at the way the council had treated the elderly of Gorse Hall. Tony Booth had come as my guest and a television crew had filmed us outside, which didn't make me any more friends within the council.

The letter also brought up this "episode", apparently my be-haviour was becoming a concern. In fact my behaviour became an agenda item at the next carers' council meeting. They tried to turn my colleagues against me but failed. I am still not allowed to bring up Gorse Hall! But I still do!

I printed a petition on my PC and passed it around the people of Gorse Hall. The "friends of Gorse Hall" became very active: we all collected hundreds of signatures. We demonstrated and protested at every opportunity. We went to district assemblies, wrote letters and even enrolled a human rights lawyer.

The council played a dirty game, they had closed meetings at the centre with the elderly disabled people aged between 65-92 and tried to pick them off one by one. But the elderly people stood their ground.

Some needed to go to the toilet but the staff had been sent out of the room, some elderly ladies were crying but they were ignored. The staff voiced their concerns at leaving the people they cared for, they were very angry and some refused to leave the room but they were threatened with disciplinary procedures. The union was nowhere to be seen.

The council have now backed down and have decided to let the high dependency elderly disabled day care users stay until the end of their days. But no more high dependency people will be referred to Gorse Hall. This service will be discontinued. It's a shame that no more people will experience the fantastic care given at Gorse Hall.

The staff are the cream of the crop and in an ageing population we should be building more day care centres exactly like this one. It's a fantastic place, if a 92 year-old disabled woman is willing to fight for it then so should we!

I have been thanked again and again for what I've done for them, but the phone call I received recently will stay in my mind forever. It was from Mrs Holden, whose husband attends Gorse Hall. She said: "If you hadn't motivated us to fight back we wouldn't have stood up to the council. I just wanted to say thank you".

We all need to get motivated and get behind the grass root campaigns in our local areas. Often people want to fight back but don't know how or think it won't do any good.

We need to show them that we have won, and can win again! I won because I had the Socialist Party behind me and the Manchester comrades at my side.

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


In The Socialist 1 November 2003:

Join The Protests

Iraq Occupation: Grim Reality Hits US Leaders

Support The Postal Workers

London Underground: Strike Back Against Privatisation

Lessons of the Firefighters' dispute

Firefighters Take Action

Network Rail: Not renationalisation as we know it

Fighting low pay

Tameside council backs down over day centre closure

Wealth gap widens The Low Pay Scandal Exposed

Tories - The Infighting Goes On

Bolivia: Uprising By Workers And Poor Forces Out President

Italy: Battle Is Joined Over Pensions 'Reform'

Where Now After Galloway's Expulsion?


 

Home   |   The Socialist 1 November 2003   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Council:

triangleBradford campaign to save children's services launched

triangleSix months on - still no justice for Grenfell

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

triangleLabour 'purge' furore really just democracy

triangleRough sleeping crisis: make homes, not arrests

Tameside:

triangleTameside library closures - "Get used to it" says councillor

Elderly:

triangle'Freedom riders' lobby against violent policing

triangle900 carers quit a day - nationalise social care now

triangleAristocrats to hold byelection for one of their 92 reps

Carers:

triangleEnd poverty pay for sleep-in care workers

triangleThe Socialist inbox

US:

triangleTrump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

13/12/17

Woolwich

Support the Crossrail Woolwich walkout

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

Housing

Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

13/12/17

Fracking

Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

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

7/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite protest against blacklisting

7/12/17

RMT

Anti-DOO lobby of Liverpool's transport committee

6/12/17

Donald Trump

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

6/12/17

Transport

Arriva bus strikers stand firm

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


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

triangle13 Dec Support the Crossrail Woolwich walkout

triangle8 Dec Local government pay: fight for the 5% claim, fully funded

triangle6 Dec Strikers rally in Liverpool

triangle6 Dec Corbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

triangle5 Dec Victory at Glenfield shows people power can save our NHS

triangle5 Dec Labour council Blairites deselected

triangle30 Nov Victory: Glenfield Children's Heart Centre saved!

More ...

triangle14 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Universal Credit - the Tories' latest assault on the poor

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

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