Tameside Day Centre Users Protest Against Cuts

Carers, Friends (including Tony Booth!) and users of Gorse Hall day centre, Stalybridge, demonstrated at the Tameside town hall on 11 June against proposed cuts at their centre.

Elaine Healey Manchester

The council wants Gorse Hall to become a luncheon club, offering no help with personal care, such as going to the toilet and having a shower. At other day centres, such as Loxley House, the older disabled users have to pay extra for help with the shower as agency workers provide the personal care.

At Gorse Hall, there’s no charge and all the workers are fully trained. Tameside council want the day centre to run three days a week, staffed by volunteers from Age Concern but their manager can’t find enough volunteers to staff it!

People were queuing up to sign our petition – one woman said: “If it’s against the council, I’ll sign it!” A care worker said: “There aren’t enough care centres in Tameside, I can’t believe they’re doing this.” People were saying how frustrated they are that there’s no one else to vote for at election time.

Tamesiders I met on the day hadn’t a good word to say about the council and its leader, Roy Oldham – many regard him as a fat cat along with his wife who’s also on the cabinet.

A civil rights lawyer will represent ten of the users but we need to ensure that the campaign keeps putting the pressure on the council and another demo is planned.