Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Letter to Northern Voices


Dear Editor,

Northern Voices : 'Cuts to Adult Social Care at Rochdale Council a cut too far'

There are a number of ways these proposals ,( http://www.rochdaleonline.co.uk/news-features/129/letters-to-the-editor/105398/letter-cut-backs-by-rochdale-council ), AC-2017-301 Remodel supported living offer for people with learning disabilities can and will be opposed at local level.

However, at this moment with just another twenty-six days of the Council's consultation process to run I'd like to suggest three positive steps that concerned local people can take almost immediately to empower themselves to ensure they are not ignored or their views ridden rough shod over by market forces and 'bean-counters'.

To guarantee that our voices are heard clearly and resoundingly by the decision makers proposing to make swinging cuts to Adult Care Services we all need to stand together as a community united in defence or our weakest or most vulnerable members.

Firstly, contact local ward Councillors, there are sixty of them on Rochdale Council - Full contact details for each councillor can be found here:


Ring them up tonight; email them, or drop off a letter at the Town Hall reception marked for the immediate attention of your councillor, it can be put in their pigeon hole for collection at absolutely no cost to the sender.

Politely but firmly make clear your outright opposition to these proposals:
Savings Programme Pre-consultation Report
Subject: Remodel Supported Living offer for people with Learning Disabilities

Ask for them to reply in writing to your concerns. They are constitutionally required to reply to constituents concerns in writing. It is their job to represent local voters and council tax payers, so you have a right to ask your councillor or councillors for a written reply.

Make sure they are fully aware that our continued votes for them as ward councillors is entirely dependent on councillors clearly fully understanding and taking on board our opposition to these proposals and vocally representing the views of their local constituents, the majority of whom will be opposed to such cuts once they realise fully how stark and brutal they are.

Many councillors will, like so many of us, be personally opposed to these proposals as strongly as members of the public are so please try wherever possible to develop a constructive dialogue with them and encourage them to speak out in opposition to these cuts to raise the issues at the next available council meeting.

Secondly, as well as taking part in Rochdale Council's consultation process, could I also urge concerned local people to share their objections to these cut backs to services with the Special United Nations Rapporteur, Ms. Catalina Devandas-Aguilar, who is currently preparing a study, to be presented at the 34th session of the UN Human Rights Council in March 2017, on the provision of support to persons with disabilities.

Submissions can be made by anyone concerned to sr.disability@ohchr.org by 21 October 2016.

This is totally independent of the Councils consultation process and ends ten days before the Councils. You can contact them as an individual, as a community centre a church, mosque, faith group or as a group of people in a supported environment.

Your Support Workers or Key Workers, if they respect your right to free speech, should be more than willing to help those who might need additional help with this process.

Thirdly, it is vitally important that local people sign and share with their family, friends and neighbours across our community the online petition:
'Simon Danczuk MP: Stop Cuts in Adult Care Services’

You can see what local people think of these proposals by reading the comments added, as well as post your own if you wish to do so.

This is a major issue to thousands of people in and around Rochdale.

Over 40,000 people in Rochdale have some form of mental health condition, many thousands more have, or care for, a relative, neighbour or friend who has some form of learning disability.

Rochdale Council needs to hear from all of us a clear and unified message that these proposals are simply a cut too far and they need to go back to the proverbial drawing board and have a serious re-think.

Seeking solutions for 21st century care by adopting a completely failed and discredited care model from the 1980s is nonsensical and destined to fail. The Council can and needs to be encouraged to think again - and a solution more mindful of the rights and expectations of those likely to suffer a loss of individual liberty and independence as a direct consequence of such flawed plans has to be found.
Yours faithfully

Andrew Wastling
Local Mental Health Campaigner

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