Always enjoyable to read that the County Council are ‘reassuring’ the public! And if you don’t feel ‘reassured’ you can always get in touch with the Councillors named at the bottom of this piece, not for further ‘reassurance’ you understand…but for their individual ‘political comment’….
As you were…
Norfolk County Council is reassuring the public that plans are in place to minimise any potential disruption during next Wednesday’s one-day national strike.
It is impossible at this stage to predict what the exact impact will be but the County Council will post any closures or disruption on the home page of its website – http://www.norfolk.gov.uk – as soon as information becomes available. Your local radio station will also have updates during the day.
So far the County Council has been informed of 43 full of partial school closures but as schools are communicating with parents and carers direct we expect this figure to be substantially higher on the day.
People are being urged to help the authority on Wednesday by only calling about emergency or time critical issues and not about routine matters if at all possible.
Cliff Jordan, Cabinet Member for Efficiency, said: “We are doing our utmost to limit the effects of next Wednesday’s action on front-line services and will try to keep essential services running, wherever possible. Departments are currently working to understand the impact at a local level, and directing resources to support the most vulnerable service users in line with our well established business continuity plans.
“We anticipate a large number of Norfolk’s schools will be closed on Wednesday and parents and carers should expect to be kept informed by the head teacher concerned. We have asked schools to inform families as soon as possible about their plans. I would urge people to contact their school direct if they need further clarification.
“Outside of schools we expect most County Council services, such as care services, park and ride, recycling centres and libraries, to be open for business but we will try to let people know of any disruption as soon as possible.”
County Hall will be open as will the County Council’s Customer Service Centre, which will prioritise emergency social care and highways calls.
Norse Care, which runs 26 care homes and provides care at 13 housing with care schemes in Norfolk, is implementing its contingency plans.
Tricia Fuller, Norse Group Human Resources Director, said: “We can assure residents and their families that we are doing everything we can to maintain the smooth running of all Norse Care homes in Norfolk.
“Arrangements are being made to ensure that sufficient care staff are available to cover for any who do not come in on 30 November. Our priority will be our residents’ welfare and we are confident that this can be safeguarded, even if there may be some disruption to their normal day.”
Notes for Editors
There are 414 NCC schools (3 nurseries, 359 primaries, 39 secondaries, one all-through school, 11 special schools and one short stay school (formally PRU), split across four sites).
There are 15 academies and one free school.
In total there are 430 state funded schools in Norfolk.
For political comment
Corporate Affairs and Efficiency:
Cllr Cliff Jordan (Cons) Cabinet Member for Efficiency on 01362 820422 (daytime)
Cllr Diana Clarke (Lib Dem) on 07920 286637
Cllr Jennifer Toms (Green) on 01603 610032
Cllr Colleen Walker (Lab) on 01493 782272
Background: “Since 1945 Liverpool and its dockland have changed almost beyond recognition. Devastated by war and then transformed by post-war strategies to address some of the appalling social conditions, initiatives to attract industry to the area and the registration of dockers with schemes to decasualize port employment, the economic, social and cultural life of the dockland has been turned upside down. One of the most significant changes however, has come with the attempts to tackle the enormous problem of housing. Slum clearance programmes decanted many thousands of families from dockland Liverpool to purpose built overspill estates on the outskirts of the city. One of the most significant of these outer developments was Kirkby, located at the northwest edge of the city. This was a village of around 3,000 inhabitants in 1939, which by 1961 had grown to become a new town for over 50,000. Ultimately envisaged as a self-sustaining community with its own economic, social and cultural functions, Kirkby’s further expansion was ensured when in 1965 Liverpool Corporation committed itself to the clearance of another 30,000 ‘unfit’ dwellings, mainly from the traditional dockland areas.
The growth of Kirkby was not without its difficulties. It has often been cited as a classic illustration of the failures of planning and mistaken overspill development. The image of a tough community, uprooted and placed by an uncaring local authority in a bleak estate with no facilities or services, suffering high unemployment and racked by vandalism was a caricature, but nevertheless contained elements of truth. Problems with housing in Kirkby, particularly the poor quality of design and construction combined with a long backlog of repairs, were manifest from the earliest days. On the whole women were left with the responsibility of tackling the local authority about these problems in what were predominantly family homes. Furthermore, when in the early 1970s factory closures and growing unemployment further threatened Kirkby, women on the Tower Hill estate formed a discussion and support group to help themselves and their families through the crisis. However, when the 1972 Housing Finance Act resulted in a further £1 rent rise, this brought grievances that had been bubbling under for the previous decade to a head. The women formed an Unfair Rents Action Group and responded by organizing a 14-month long rent strike.
Militant collective organization no longer remained the preserve of male members of the household. In the new setting of the overspill estate, women recognised the value of the militant tradition. Outside of the labour movement or the factory floor, women in Kirkby mobilized to forge their own solidarity and collective organization. This movement sought not only to benefit the household economy through the fight against unfair rents, but for a time would also campaign for the benefit of the whole community. Traditional dockland militancy and community solidarity had clearly evolved to remain of use in its new location.”
Wake up Lefties, start finally dealing with the real issues which are in our communities, the issues haven’t changed and neither have you!
Click on image to read…
Here’s look into progressive political arguements and the alternative from the usual lefty rubbish the majority of the working-class in the UK are sick and tired of. While the same faces jump on the same bandwagons, hand out the same dreary leaflets year after year, and encourage the segregation of our communities by supporting the lie that is government led divisive ‘multiculturalism/identity politics’, there are those about who see past the nonsense and are genuinely fighting for the working-class.
Here is one Stuart Craft at work in Oxford City Council. We have quite a soft spot for Stuart who never fails to tell it like it is…
“We don’t really recognise the term left anymore, because looking around I don’t see any of the people that profess to be left or socialist as actually pro-working class.”
“IWCA councillor Stuart Craft points out that Oxford City Council’s supposed desire for integrated communities as expressed in government PREVENT strategy and its continued funding of ethnically segregated youth clubs and other facilities are totally at odds with each other.
PREVENT was launched to ‘stop people becoming terrorists or supporting violent extremists’ and is supposed to help ‘create and support cohesive, resilient and empowered local communities.’ Yet PREVENT funding seems to be targeted along racial/ethnic lines despite the fact the council plan admits racial/ethnic conflict isn’t the problem in Oxford.
In fact it’s hard to see why Oxford has received this highly selective funding unless you factor the existence of the IWCA (as a class-based opposition to New Labour) into the equation.”
Councils are planning to defy ministers by pushing ahead with plans to cut funding for services supporting vulnerable people by far more than the government has recommended, according to a survey of over 130 providers in England.
Housing associations, charities and community groups fear town halls will raid funds intended to support vital services for groups like the elderly, homeless and disabled, in order to protect other spending priorities, according to the National Housing Federation.
The survey reveals 73% of providers have been warned by their local authority to expect disproportionate funding cuts to services which provide support, housing and advice to some of the most vulnerable people in their community, such as women fleeing domestic violence and people with mental health problems.
In some circumstances whole services face closure as cash strapped town halls look to make massive savings over the next four years by disproportionately cutting from one budget to fund another.
In the Spending Review, the Chancellor announced that money allocated nationally to Supporting People – which funds services for over a million vulnerable people– would be broadly maintained, with a 12% real terms cut over four years.
No legal duty
However the money is no longer ring fenced and councils can spend it on whatever they want to as it rolled into their general grant from central government. There is no legal duty to support many of the groups traditionally funded by Supporting People – despite their vulnerability. These include some single homeless people, many older people and those with drug and alcohol addictions.
Nottinghamshire council is warning of a 67% cut over the next four years, Somerset council has already confirmed an 18% cut next year. Nottingham City Council has proposed a 43% cut from April this year. Hartlepool Council have been consulting on a cut in funding of 30% from April this year. Cornwall Council has meanwhile confirmed it will reduce its funding by 40% over the next three years.
Ministers have however warned councils about excessive cuts to Supporting People. Questioned at a DCLG select committee, Housing Minister Grant Shapps said ‘the idea that local authorities should use Supporting People as their front line for reductions is completely against everything that we would expect to see.
And in a letter to local authorities on 22 December from the Department of Communities and Local Government stated: ‘Ministers do not, however, expect authorities to respond to reductions in their budgets by passing on disproportionate cuts to other service providers.
A survey of 136 housing organisations and charities which provide services for some of the most vulnerable people in their community however revealed a vast majority of councils had already indicated cuts greater than 12%. It found:
The Federation has called on local authorities to be transparent and account for exactly what they will be spending their Supporting People funding on. It warned the long-term financial costs would also outweigh the short-term savings from cutting back on services – as demands on the NHS, police forces and the courts surge as a result.
Federation chief executive David Orr said: ‘Local authorities are facing significant cuts to their budgets and face the inevitable task of deciding where savings can be made.
But what we are beginning to see is that services which provide a lifeline to thousands of vulnerable people are being hit disproportionately by councils – with the first to declare their hands indicating they intend to cut back their funding by up to 67%.
Raiding these budgets to pay for other spending priorities runs contrary to what ministers want, what the public wants and most importantly what the vulnerable who rely upon them want to see happen.
Councils must now be completely transparent with their local communities and account for where they plan to spend their Supporting People cash.