Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/799/18172
Service users "terrified" by cuts in Worcester
80 people whistled, rattled and jeered at a midday protest as Worcestershire county council voted to cut £98 million of services.
Support services are to be cut from £15 million to a shocking £6.5 million.
Ukip support for the Tory policy helped ensure the cuts plan was voted through despite a brave pre-debate appeal from women users of the support service.
Trades unionists from unions representing council workers - Unite, Unison and GMB - joined the young women protesters who have set up a 'Save Our Support' campaign.
Support for older people is to be cut from £7 million to £3 million, domestic abuse support from £900,000 to £460,000, homelessness support from £1.12 million to £600,000 and supported accommodation for families and young people from £1.88 million to £900,000.
Offenders services were completely removed and physical disability support reduced from £963,000 to £308,000. Mental health and substance abuse services were also slashed.
This was "terrifying" to these women who have managed recently to turn their and their children's lives around only because of the support they have received.
A social worker told Socialist Party members that: "All of us are more concerned for service users than our jobs."
Kevin Greenway of the civil service union PCS gave his support to the protesters and spoke of united action against the government and Socialist Party member Pete McNally was cheered when he spoke of the cowardice "of local councillors passing on cuts to local people who should instead be passing onto the government what we need."
The council may have brutally ignored the pleas from the women campaigners, but they cannot be ignored if a mass campaign of opposition is built.
In The Socialist 19 February 2014:
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
The Socialist readers' comments