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Council cuts hit the weakest

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Children in Glasgow with learning difficulties are being faced with the closure of three day care centres in the city. This Friday the Glasgow City Council will make their final proposals on whether day centres in Maryhill, Summerston and Barrmues should be cut to save £17 million. By closing three out of seven centres in Glasgow the number of families with support will fall from 520 to 200. Trade Union UNISON has planned a public meeting with speakers that include Gordon Matheson the Leader of the Glasgow Council, to discuss the objections to the cut and the problems it will cause for those living with disabilities.
Glasgow City Council Minister for Housing and Welfare, Margaret Burgess, says that in place of the centres: “They hope to appoint nine Local Area Co-ordinators to support these transitions by establishing networking initiatives for service users.” Details of alternate plans for care centres have not been voiced by the council and there is an outcry that the Council are allowing the privatisation of centres.
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Breaks for carers is a right in Scotland but some carers feel the chance to take some time off in the future could disappear. “My life is going to get smaller and smaller as a full time carer” says Emily Brooks who brought her ten year old daughter with her to the UNISON meeting. “All this support that’s out there, it’s a myth”.
‘Alternative’ day care, which includes a place in certain courses at Cardonald College, says UNISON speaker Thomas Gorman, is a service reserved for very few. He say: “if and when day care centres are closed carers and their families will have no guarantee to help from their community. People should have a choice about their future.”
The meeting to discuss the closure of the day care centres will be held on Sunday 17th March 2013, a few days ahead of the final decision by the Executive Committee of Glasgow Council to remove the centres.

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