Further Somerset County Council budget cuts meeting at Somerset College

Further Somerset County Council budget cuts meeting at Somerset College

Further Somerset County Council budget cuts meeting at Somerset College

First published in News by

THE impact of the cuts to the people of Somerset will be discussed this morning (January 31) at a second scrutiny meeting.

Tuesday’s meeting concentrated on policies with infrastructure and places but issues surrounding children’s centres, home care, sheltered housing services and mental health, and their effects on individuals will be discussed tomorrow.

In the proposals as part of Somerset County Council’s medium-term financial plan, they plan to cut £3.6million over the next three years from home care, residential care and nursing care.

About half the 3,800 households supported by Somerset County Council in sheltered housing could lose out under plans to save £500,000.

The authority is looking at pulling assistance for people with “lower and medium support needs” and only keeping the most vulnerable on its books as it cuts the current £1.5million budget.

Funding will no longer be directed at anyone who is “very independent and requires little or no support or care” as the council concentrates on “people with higher level support needs”.

Sheltered housing consists of two elements – accommodation equipped with an interactive alarm system and support in the form of welfare checks and sometimes basic household chores.

Fears have been expressed that people who lose out could be “adversely affected” – in a survey of service users, there were claims it could lead to a loss of independence, people being “totally abandoned” and vulnerable people being “more isolated”.

The council says the change will give people an improvement in the range of choices available to them, enabling increased independence.

The Adult and Health commissioning budget is set to be slashed by 57% over a two-year period while housing-related support services are also planned to be cut by 58% with the council saying it will develop a more efficient service to be introduced.

As part of the cuts, around 100 jobs will be lost as the council says it needs fewer support staff to provide the range of finance, legal, governance and performance roles and functions.

The job losses will save the council around £2.5million over a four-year period and they stress that people who currently use services ‘should not be affected’.

The proposals are being discussed by the scrutiny committee tomorrow (Friday) before going to full council.

n THE meeting is in Taunton Conference Centre auditorium at Somerset College and will start at 9.30am.

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1:24pm Fri 31 Jan 14

Somerset:SocialistParty says...

Recovery? More Tory Lies!
Strike back against endless cuts"

How can you tell when a Tory is lying? Their lips are moving. It's an old joke but it surely rings true.

What have we heard over the last week? Incomes are rising. We're in a recovery. In fact the opposite is true - we face billions of pounds more cuts and seemingly endless downward pressure on our wages, working conditions and benefits.

Councils of all shades are announcing yet more cuts as they carry through Con-Dem austerity. Getting angry is a rational response but that alone won't stop the onslaught. Here are reports on how two groups of workers are organising effective resistance.

Glasgow

There is a growing confrontation between the Labour administration of Glasgow council - prepared to attack its own workforce and the services it provides - and a fighting trade union branch opposed to all cuts.

Hundreds of Glasgow residential care workers finished a second 48-hour strike on 28 January. Up to 200 of the overwhelmingly female workforce are facing cuts in wages of £1,500 a year.

As Unison steward Maggie Smith commented: "We didn't want to strike but we've been left with no choice. We don't deserve these cuts to our wages and increased shifts."

Social Work Services (SWS) bosses are demanding workers go onto 12-hour shifts and have insisted on other changes to terms and conditions.

This group of workers, who have not taken action before, were forced to sign the new contracts following threats from management.

Brian Smith, Glasgow City Unison branch secretary, explained: "Senior SWS management still refuse to move on any aspect of the dispute.

"They remain unwilling to address the cut in Unison members' living standards. They show little understanding of what a £1,500 cut in pay means to workers living on around or below average wages."

The residential care strike action comes after a series of strikes last year by Pupil Support Assistants (PSAs) employed by the council at schools across the city. The PSAs walked out in a row about staff having to take on extra healthcare duties.

Unison members were also involved in unofficial action at homeless units last year. There are another two ballots for action involving groups of workers in the social work department.

Ian Leech, Glasgow Unison social work convener, summed up the determination of the union to fight all the cuts: "Yet again we're back outside the same council offices as we were late last year with the pupil support assistants.

"This time another group of staff are taking action for the first time. The council think they can pick off our members group by group, cut wages, terms and conditions and increase workloads.

"Ordinary Unison members have made it clear; this far and no further, enough is enough."

Earlier this week, the workers voted to escalate the action with a three-day strike in February.

Please send messages of support to: enquiries@glasgowcit
yunison.co.uk


London

And the pay award goes to...




Cleaners and other low-paid workers are getting organised in London, fighting for the '3 Cosas': holidays, sick pay and pensions.

The workers employed at University College London took three more days of strike action this week, campaigning for their final demand - pensions.

On 28 January they travelled by open top bus to the Royal Opera House where other members of the same trade union (IWGB) are campaigning for the living wage.

Royal Opera House cleaners were planning their first day's strike for Sunday, the opening night of the Bafta film and TV awards.

Over 70 strikers and supporters piled into the foyer of the Opera House with megaphones and banners. Someone from management came out and said that they would pay the London living wage.

Everybody started singing and dancing - but workers demand proof of this before they call off the action.
For more information, or to join the Socialist Party, visit: www.socialistparty.o
rg.uk
Recovery? More Tory Lies! Strike back against endless cuts" How can you tell when a Tory is lying? Their lips are moving. It's an old joke but it surely rings true. What have we heard over the last week? Incomes are rising. We're in a recovery. In fact the opposite is true - we face billions of pounds more cuts and seemingly endless downward pressure on our wages, working conditions and benefits. Councils of all shades are announcing yet more cuts as they carry through Con-Dem austerity. Getting angry is a rational response but that alone won't stop the onslaught. Here are reports on how two groups of workers are organising effective resistance. Glasgow There is a growing confrontation between the Labour administration of Glasgow council - prepared to attack its own workforce and the services it provides - and a fighting trade union branch opposed to all cuts. Hundreds of Glasgow residential care workers finished a second 48-hour strike on 28 January. Up to 200 of the overwhelmingly female workforce are facing cuts in wages of £1,500 a year. As Unison steward Maggie Smith commented: "We didn't want to strike but we've been left with no choice. We don't deserve these cuts to our wages and increased shifts." Social Work Services (SWS) bosses are demanding workers go onto 12-hour shifts and have insisted on other changes to terms and conditions. This group of workers, who have not taken action before, were forced to sign the new contracts following threats from management. Brian Smith, Glasgow City Unison branch secretary, explained: "Senior SWS management still refuse to move on any aspect of the dispute. "They remain unwilling to address the cut in Unison members' living standards. They show little understanding of what a £1,500 cut in pay means to workers living on around or below average wages." The residential care strike action comes after a series of strikes last year by Pupil Support Assistants (PSAs) employed by the council at schools across the city. The PSAs walked out in a row about staff having to take on extra healthcare duties. Unison members were also involved in unofficial action at homeless units last year. There are another two ballots for action involving groups of workers in the social work department. Ian Leech, Glasgow Unison social work convener, summed up the determination of the union to fight all the cuts: "Yet again we're back outside the same council offices as we were late last year with the pupil support assistants. "This time another group of staff are taking action for the first time. The council think they can pick off our members group by group, cut wages, terms and conditions and increase workloads. "Ordinary Unison members have made it clear; this far and no further, enough is enough." Earlier this week, the workers voted to escalate the action with a three-day strike in February. Please send messages of support to: enquiries@glasgowcit yunison.co.uk London And the pay award goes to... Cleaners and other low-paid workers are getting organised in London, fighting for the '3 Cosas': holidays, sick pay and pensions. The workers employed at University College London took three more days of strike action this week, campaigning for their final demand - pensions. On 28 January they travelled by open top bus to the Royal Opera House where other members of the same trade union (IWGB) are campaigning for the living wage. Royal Opera House cleaners were planning their first day's strike for Sunday, the opening night of the Bafta film and TV awards. Over 70 strikers and supporters piled into the foyer of the Opera House with megaphones and banners. Someone from management came out and said that they would pay the London living wage. Everybody started singing and dancing - but workers demand proof of this before they call off the action. For more information, or to join the Socialist Party, visit: www.socialistparty.o rg.uk Somerset:SocialistParty
  • Score: -1

7:31pm Fri 31 Jan 14

Guy Smiley says...

Last time I looked, Glasgow was in Scotland and the Royal Opera House in London.

Bore off.
Last time I looked, Glasgow was in Scotland and the Royal Opera House in London. Bore off. Guy Smiley
  • Score: 1

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