Paul Kershaw, Haringey and Enfield Socialist Party
Campaigners are demanding that Haringey’s Labour council halts its programme of privatisation and cuts. After the cuts, the Ermine Road day centre will be the only council-run day centre for adults with learning disabilities left in the borough and the council plans to privatise it.
The council leadership sing the praises of ‘alternative providers’ but are currently facing legal action by local government union Unison because a company contracted to provide care on behalf of the council stands accused of paying care staff less than the national minimum wage. This represents outrageous exploitation of the workforce and potentially undermines care to some of the most vulnerable people in the borough.
The local Socialist Party has been campaigning and collecting signatures calling for a halt to all privatisation plans.
A Socialist Party member and Haringey care worker says: “Jeremy Corbyn has attracted enthusiastic support by opposing austerity and privatisation – people want an alternative. Haringey council undermines this movement with ruthless cuts and further privatisations.”
Half of the current service users, mainly those in residential homes and ‘supported living’ accommodation – who tend to have the highest needs – will lose their council day centre places. Staff from their homes will be expected to provide their day service and their access into the community. Haringey council regard this as an expansion of day service provision!
Earlier in the year the council leadership disciplined Councillor Gideon Bull for speaking out. It’s time for the local Labour movement to speak out and stop the council leadership ramming through the most brutal austerity measures.