Fighting on for the services we need
Presenting the 7000-strong petition organised by Save Autism Services Haringey to Haringey Council on 23 February, Mary Langan told councillors that the campaign would carry on:
‘If these cuts go through, we have no choice, we will continue to fight because we always have to fight for our families.’
In the few weeks since Haringey’s budget cuts were announced before Christmas, our campaign – together with those supporting services for children and the elderly – has mobilised a wide range of support in Haringey and beyond. The major achievement of the campaign was in forcing the Council to back down on plans to cut £5.7m from care packages for people with autism, learning disabilities and other needs. Council officers have also been obliged to retreat on their proposals to impose ‘reablement’ programmes on all recipients of adult social care.
Haringey Council is now faced with the practical difficulties of implementing its programme of cuts in face of the vigilance and resistance of service users, families and carers. Building on the momentum of our campaign, we are now ready to hold the Council to account in relation to its commitments – statutory as well as moral – to the residents of the borough.
The next few weeks leading up to the General Election provide new opportunities to find out which politicians and which political parties are prepared to take a stand against the sort of social care cuts that we face in Haringey. When electors go to the polls in May they will have a chance to give their verdict on the policies of the Conservative Liberal Democrat Coalition, and on the record of the Labour Party – nationally and locally.
Thanks to all of those who gave their voices in support of the fight against these savage cuts – including the hundreds who made it out to the march and the many thousands who signed our petition, sent emails and contacted us via social media. Below you can view and listen to deputations given to Haringey Council’s cabinet and media coverage of the evening’s events.
Eddie Nestor’s BBC London 94.9FM Drivetime show spoke to SASH members during the march, with Anna O’Neill reporting.
You can listen to the full show on the iPlayer here.
BBC London News also produced a piece on the campaign featuring interviews with SASH members and Claire Kober.
Michael Fitzpatrick, whose brother James is autistic, made an impassioned speech at our rally outside the Haringey Civic Centre prior to the cabinet meeting.
SASH‘s deputation to the cabinet, with contributions from Mary Langan, Grace Onyida and Pam Duprez.
The Joint Council Unions’ deputation, featuring a contribution from Sean Fox of Unison.
You can see footage of the entire council meeting here.