Over the past few months, SWAN Liverpool has been busy organising the next annual SWAN conference!! The conference is to be held at Liverpool Hope University (Everton campus) on Friday 30th-Saturday 31st March 2012. The conference takes place against a backdrop of Government austerity measures that are producing a massive crisis in social work and social care. The Governments agenda is ideological. It is not a response to ‘economic necessity’. The crisis started when Government bailed out failing banks – why should ordinary people and public services pay the price?
This year’s SWAN conference will address these issues. It provides a forum where academics, frontline workers, students and service users can come together, debate and forge alliances to create a counterpoint to the Government’s mantra that ‘there is no alternative’. SWAN Liverpool is pleased to announce that Danny Dorling will be the key note speaker at the conference! Author Christopher Walking will also talk about his novel ‘What I did’ and its background. The first plenary of the conference will provide an analysis of the riot’s of 2011, with later themed plenary workshops around children and family social work, adult social care, youth work, traveller communities and a debate about age assessments of asylum seeking children. For further info on prices, accommodation and booking forms go to: http://www.hope.ac.uk/swanconf2012
In October 2011, SWAN Liverpool joined forces with trade unionists, service users, practitioners and academics to march through Manchester during the Conservative party conference in protest at Government spending cuts (see photo). To contact Liverpool SWAN or for further information click here.
Dear all,As you may be aware, Remploy workers in Birkenhead are being made redundant as of next Thursday. This is a disgusting attack on disability working rights on the one hand, and part of a wider attack on disability rights which has seen benefits and adult social care being cut on the other. After a meeting of the Remploy workforce today the decision was made to hold a demonstration at the factory on Monday 13th August 4:30pm (Remploy, Unit 4, West Float Ind. Estate, off dock road, Birkenhead, CH41 1JH)). They are calling for the support of trade unions and campaign groups to come and make this a vibrant demonstration and to create awareness of the issues faced by disabled people as well as all those suffering attacks under the Con-Dem government.Please come along with your trade union banners and show your solidarity.
Messages of support to go to
Message from Remploy Workers below:Dear brothers and sisters,As you are probably aware we are facing imminent closure at Remploy Birkenhead Today a meeting of the workforce has decided upon holding a demonstration at the factory on Monday 13th August at 4:30pm. We are calling on all fellow trade unionists and supporters to join us sending a clear message to the government that we are fighting for our jobs. Yours Fraternally Garteh Rees (GMB shop steward, Remploy Birkenhead)
Report from SWAN Liverpool – Activists from SWAN and Liverpool Against The Cuts have recently established a campaign pressure group – Does Liverpool Care? to oppose Liverpool City Councils ‘Transformation and Modernisation’ of adult social care services across the city.
The campaign group, which comprises of service users, trade unionists, social work students, practitioners and academics, posed a series of questions at last week’s Adult Social Care and Health Select Committee. The questions, which have not yet been answered publicly by the committee, relate directly to changes introduced by the council as part of both the implementation of social care spending cuts. Campaigners held a lobby outside the meeting, before attending and managing to make their presence known to the committee. Prior to the committee meeting taking place, Does Liverpool Care? submitted a range of questions which probed for greater clarity around the spending cuts. The committee flatly refused to respond publically to those questions.
Campaigners are extremely concerned about the impact that the changes will have upon adult social care service users, carers and social care workers. Some of the changes which have been introduced are:
The campaign group are also concerned that the council will also move to providing for ‘substantial’ needs only from next year, as well as privatisation of the few remaining in house services.
Does Liverpool Care? campaigners actively acknowledge that adult social care is experiencing a national crisis and undergoing a wide scale assault under the coalition government. Older people and people with disabilities are massively “bearing the brunt of cutbacks”1. However, they demand that Liverpool City Council should be doing more to resist making drastic changes to adult social care in their pursuit of reducing the social care budget.
SWAN and Liverpool Against The Cuts activists held a joint public meeting last Thursday (10th May) in defense of Adult Social Care. The meeting, attracted around 30 - 40 service users, social care professionals, students and carers. The campaign was launched to mobilise around the massive cuts to adult social care in Liverpool, which are some of the biggest cuts in the country.
Speakers on the platform outlined the effects of the cuts to services such as re-assessment and a shift in eligibility banding for services resulting in only those who are banded ‘critical’ to be awarded support.
There were also speakers from other campaigns such as the Families for the Future group campaigning against closures to Sure Start centres in Fazakerly providing examples of how to fight back.
The undertone to this meeting was that we shouldn’t have to accept these cuts which attack the poorest and most vulnerable people in our society. A planning and organising meeting was agreed upon in order to carry on the fight to defend adult social care in Liverpool.
Posted by Francesca Byron
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Social Work Action Network (SWAN)c/o Iain FergusonSchool of Social ScienceUniversity of the West of ScotlandPaisleyPA1 2BE
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