SUAA meeting Our meeting this month, to discuss and plan our work, will be on TUESDAY, 9th January, in the small meeting room at the Quaker Meeting House, 2 Cooper Street, Stockport, SK1 3DW from 7 pm to 9 pm. The Quaker Meeting House is only a short distance from the bus stops on the A6. Turn down Longshut Lane at the crossroads south of the college and the Co-op store, heading towards Hillgate. You will pass the newly rebuilt meeting house at the junction with Hillgate. Entrance is from the car park at the rear of the building, on Cooper Street. There is disabled access and toilets and we have use of the kitchen facilities.
SUAA Leaflet: A Catalogue Of Cuts Please read/download our latest leaflet that outlines some of the worst cuts associated with austerity.
COUNCIL CONSIDERING MAKING BIG INCREASES IN ADULT SOCIAL CARE CHARGES The Stockport Express, on 22 November 2017 reported that Stockport Council is considering options which the paper said may lead to the charges that it makes to people who receive social care at home "soaring". A copy of the articles below This will be a main agenda item at our meeting on Tuesday 12 December (see previous article in this posting). The article referred to a Council consultation on the proposed increases. The closing date for this has now been extended to 21 January 2018. See the online consultation site at : https://www.stockport.gov.uk/adult-social-care-non-residential-charging-consultation A direct link to the survey is at : https://www.snapsurveys.com/wh/s.asp?k=151137284993 We will be discussing at our meeting, our own response to the survey and whether we will take other action on this issue. A major concern is that, at a time when local government and the NHS are being required to integrate health and social care services, any steps that increase charges for social care are dangerous, because the principle of services being provided free of cost on the basis of need rather that being paid for by the individual in need, may more easily be eroded and we may end up having to pay for our health care too. But please also consider submitting your individual responses to the consultation. HOMELESSNESS PROPOSALS REQUIRE CAREFUL SCRUTINY Another item on the agenda of our meeting is the issue of homelessness and especially, in this severe weather, the question of emergency accomodation for rough sleepers. An article in the Guardian on 21 November described a new scheme, supported by the Mayor of Greater Manchester, which the article says, will provide 270 homes for homeless people in the Greater Manchester region. See : https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/nov/21/manchester-rough-sleepers-to-be-offered-homes-in-investor-backed-plan We will need to investigate the effect that this scheme will have in Stockport. It will certainly elevate in importance the sharp differences that exist between Stockport Council and the borough's voluntary organisations that work on addressing homelessness, on the numbers of rough sleepers in the borough. And of course there is the issue of whether some people will be excluded for whatever reasons. In a parallel development, the Mayor has also announced a change to the criteria for provision of emergency cold weather accomodation. In past years, people sleeping rough were only offered this after below zero temperatures had persisted for three consecutive nights. Now, an article by the Chief Executive of the Wellspring in the Stockport Express (copy below) indicates that cold weather provision across Greater Manchester will be made available as soon as sub-zero temperatures at night occur. However, the article states, "some people will still not be entitled". We need to investigate which human beings are deemed "not entitled" to be given shelter in sub-zero temperatures. If you have any insights that may help, please let us know. KEEP OUR NHS PUBLIC FIGHT STEPPED UP - EARLY DAY MOTION 660 AND JUDICIAL REVIEW The fight to defend our NHS from privatisation has in no way abated because we now have a minority government. Schemes like 'Stockport Togther', which has support from all of the political groups on Stockport Council, are driving towards the creation of Accountable Care Organisations (ACOs) which are the bedrock for the privatisation plans being relentlessly pursued by the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt. Now, at last there is a challenge to Hunt from opposition MPs. Early Day motion 660 has been tabled by Jeremy Corbyn which is demanding that there be a parliamentary debate on the changes to secondary legislation to facilitate privatisation which Hunt is trying to push through without such a debate. The terms of the EDM can be viewed here : http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2017-19/660
Please use this online tool provided by 'We Own It', to press your MP to sign it 😊 https://weownit.org.uk/act-now/demand-debate-nhs-privatisation PLEASE SUPPORT CROWDFUNDER TO CHALLENGE THE AMERICANISATION OF OUR NHS Simultaneously with the actions in parliament, crowdfunding is taking place for a judicial review to attempt to stop Hunt from introducing thse new commercial, non-NHS bodies to run health and social services without proper public consultation and without full Parliamentary scrutiny. Here in Stockport, the opposition to 'Stockport Together', the project to create an ACO, really does have to come from grass roots campaigners like Stockport NHSWatch and ourselves because, despite patient explanation, questions at Council and Committees and lobbying, our Council is sadly, supporting Hunt's project. Please help support the fightback on a national scale : https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/jr4nhs-round2/ STOCKPORT NHSWATCH DEMONSTRATIONS OUTSIDE STEPPING HILL HOSPITAL CONTINUE EVERY TUESDAY This is the latest of our occasional reminders : demonstrations continue at the junction of the A6, Poplar Grove and Dialstone Lane, every Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 9.30 a.m. to show support for saving our NHS from privatisation and demanding an end to cuts and attacks on the wages and conditions of our NHS workers. Please attend and show your support.
OUR JOBCENTRE PETITION HAS BEEN DELIVERED TO 3 STOCKPORT MPs We gathered 853 signatures outside the Stockport jobcentre at Heron House calling on our MPs support for scrapping social security sanctions, workfare and work capability assessment; for adequate social security payments; and end to zero hours contracts and proper jobs We have now presented it to Andrew Gwynne MP (Denton and Reddish) and Ann Coffey MP (Stockport). Some time ago, at an early stage of signature collection, it was presented to William Wragg MP (Hazel Grove). Mr Gwynne has already presented the petition in Parliament and he said "The Government's sanctions regime is having a devastating impact on many people and their families and is far more about getting people off benefits than helping them into work. I'm really proud to present this petition on behalf of Unite and look forward to the day when we have a Labour Government and these punitive sanctions are a thing of the past." We will be planning new activities at the jobcentre. STOCKPORT SOLIDARITY DROP-IN WEBSITEThe Stockport Solidarity Drop-in, which offers support in completing application forms for Personal Independence Payment and Employment and Support Allowance and information on challenging social security payment sanctions has asked us to publicise its website. This is at :
TWO NEW REPORTS SHOW HOW AUSTERITY KILLS PEOPLE AND HARMS THE HEALTH OF OUR CHILDREN A study commissioned by Disability News Service has revealed staggering figures showing that the proportion of people claiming Employment & Support Allowance who have attempted suicide doubled between 2007 and 2014 : https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/staggering-esa-suicide-figures-prompt-calls-for-inquiry-and-prosecution-of-ministers/ Meanwhile, a study by the Nuffield Trust illustrates the massive gap that exists between the poorest and richest sections of the population of England, in terms of the health of our children :