Manchester City Council

Difficult Decisions

On the train to London at the moment heading for a meeting of the LG( Local Government )Group Executive. Some substantial items on the agenda including schools funding and the implications of the Health and Social Care Bill currently going through parliament for local authorities and the people we represent. However I feel I need to spend some time on yesterday and particularly on yesterday's Council Executive. There were a number of significant items discussed but I want to talk about just two, both concerning the cuts the Council is having to make.

The first concerns adult social care, an area that the Local Government Association on an all-party basis already believes to be underfunded and overstretched. Unfortunately it is such a big proportion of the Council's budget, it is impossible to make cuts on the scale required without eating into this part of the budget. The approach that is being taken is to increase what is called reablement. This is a process of supporting people in need to be more independent and thus require less from social care services. There are also increases in charges for transport making the cost to the user more akin to normal public transport prices, and small and cheaper aids will no longer be provided by the council. This is all far from ideal but the Executive accepted that the proposals put forward were a measured approach to the almost impossible position we are in, and do demonstrate us doing the best we can for the people who most need our help.

The report can be accessed at :


The other item is early years where the Executive agreed to carry out a three month consultation starting on October 3rd which aim to save £21m a year by 2015. This will involve very radical changes building on the so far successful Ardwick pilot. The Council, which incidentally only provides 11% of the daycare in the city will withdraw as a direct provider of day care but will continue to ensure all 3 and 4 year olds get the 15 hours a week free daycare they are entitled to alongside a new universal offer focusing on 0-3 year olds with the most service going to greatest need. Targeted " assertive outreach " should take the proportion of children reached from under 30% to nearer a 100% , and children centres will be maintained as community hubs. Sure Start will do what it was always intended to, give those children who need it most, the support to get a good start in live, something that's good for them, their families, and the city as a whole.

This report can be accessed at:


Make a comment

There are 13 responses to “Difficult Decisions”

  1. andrew Says:

    that seems a good way of saving money and taking care of the children in need but what about the kids ou there whose parents ars just about coping and not classed in need where is there support they want to work cant afford high cost of private childcaee so what else can they do but stay home on benefits by doing wgat you ares proposing you are crearing a benefit dependant generation i also would like to knoe what you intend to do with all the dedicated staff who are stil working for the council when you close the centers make them redundant sfter having them hanging on and using them till you found out no private companys wanted ti take them over you said in february no centers would close so did shiela newman what a pack of lies your staff have had to put up with wht not be honeat and upfront with them i know a lady from a center who has two years to work can you imagine how shefeels ti thow them on the scrapp heap after years of faithful service is disgusting pat themwhat they are worth or thier salary till retirement at least and show them the respect they have shown for many years and i hope beyond hope we dont see another baby p case in manchester

  2. paula Says:

    from reading this it does sound ok but the childrens centers were more than ok there have been children in them that have thrived i know i work in one can you please tell me what will happen to me after 22 years am i now to be made redundant my job no longer good enough because what was said at the meeting i went to children are not school ready implying we were not doing our job properly but what wasnt said was which sector were the children not school ready from the public or private because i can tell you all the children leaving ours weree more than school ready and if i may say neither yourself or mr livingstone has actually come and visited any of the childrens centers to see the valuable work done there or for that matter to support and reasure staff in these dificult times whichif i were doing either of your jobs i would of found time in my busy schedule to try and do this but like i said i feel i now am going to be made redundant and thrown on the scrap heap i am 53 yrs old and have many working years left but i just feel rejected and used at this present time as i am sure many of the center staff do

  3. ABU Says:

    Both fair comment but two of the longest sentences i've ever read.

  4. Lynne Truss Says:

    Andrew & Pam - please try using punctuation on any future posts. They are unreadable!

  5. nodrog56 Says:

    Very disheartened by the recommendations of the Redefined Social Care Offer following the consultation with the customers of our service. I disagree with the section in this paper that suggests that the council did everything possible to ensure that people using council provision had every chance to have their say. I would also suggest that any document that could recommend something that only 1.1 of those who responded to the consultation agreed to, (increased transport charges,) was not really the result of a consultation more a convuluted way of saying to people, "look out anyone interested, this is coming!" I feel sorry for those people who took part in these consultations under the impression that their views might have an effect on the proposals. You could have probably saved a few bob by not bothering with the consultation. Anyway, I look forward to seeing the " Easy Read," version of this epic when it becomes available.

  6. mandy Says:

    yes if this works like you have it down on paper all well and good .But and a it is big but if it dosen't go as it should then what? No council funded day care at all vunerable children and thier parents at the hands of the private providers.You say council only provides 11% of daycare and is going to withdraw completely is that fair.You are just playing at politics with peoples jobs ie the childcare workers and the childrens parents if they have to give up work to look after thier children because they cannot afford private childcare. From what I have heard people opinions are the consultation period is just another paper excersise to be seen to be done and the council are going to close these centers anyway, regardless of all the public outcry and campaignsto stop this happening .Why are you closing the centers that were established before Surestart this is what I would like to know if these were left open then this would provide Manchester residents such as myself who has a child in a center at least some sort of quality affordable chiildcare not the likes of what my friend has just seen advertised in the job center of which i have copied for you to see think on this and any repercussions if untrained staff are employed to look after vunerable children as ultimatly they will look for someone to blame
    Job No:FTS/150779
    SOC Code:6121
    Wage£100 PER WEEK
    Date posted06 September 2011
    Pension detailsNo details held
    This is an Apprenticeship. Funded for ages 16-24 however the apprenticeship is open to all ages. Applicants must enjoy working with children and be enthusiastic. Training and mentoring provided on site. You will be taking care of children from the ages 3 months - 3 years. Duties include supervising children, activity organising and any other duties as required. Successful applicants are required to provide an enhanced disclosure. Disclosure expense be met

  7. Nostradamus Says:

    Nostradamus says...Every year the ConDems are in power council services and budgets will continue to shrink.They won't be happy or stop until ALL council services are privatised and run by individuals with the sole aim of making profit,rather than response to need or with any community value..front line staff will continue to be drip- released until the absolute bare minimum remain-and eventually all that will be left will be those "fortunate" enough to work in social things for sure though...whatever happens,like the lifeboats on the Titanic,the "chosen" will remain behind to continue to justify their positions at the expense of the rest..and so it will come to and see.

  8. danny Says:

    What is Sure Start?

    Sure Start is the Government's programme to support children and families by delivering the best start in life for every child and to help parents balance their work and family commitments. Sure Start activities don't just happen in the centre, they take place all over the community in libraries, health centres, play centres and community centres to reach as many families as possible.

    seems like all the positives you said about sure start are now being thrown away please tell manchester people WHY ???? it has benefited an awful lot of manchester children and is now being taken away because of greed all down to money what happened to every child should matter in society please answer this blog mr leese iF YOU CAN !

  9. jean Says:

    to nodrog

    If what you say is true then all these so called consultations are just a paper excersise shame on manchester council for lying to the people who elected them and hope remember this when the next elections come along because beleive me if they cut all the services we have ie librarys nurserys swimming baths then they have not got our best intersets at heart they are only playing at politics and i for one wont be voting them in again lets see what happens to the next set of consultations which i think is nurserys lets see if they keep any open for manchester residents or put us at the mercy of private profiteers !!

  10. Democracy?Yeah right! Says:

    @Jean-I believe that the youth service "consultation" was done the same way-ie after the event.All the decisions to axe the service had already been made and there was a paper exercise about "what happens next."A farce.Its all about box ticking and being seen to be democratic and taking opinions into account..when in reality its anything but.

  11. Lynne Truss Says:

    Punctuation Jean? Full stops and commas?
    Think of the children!

  12. John Says:

    It is worth bearing in mind, when people criticize the grammatical correctness of some contributions, that this blog is open to all. Not everyone has had the opportunity to benefit from the same standards of education.

    To take swipes at some specific contributions smacks of a distasteful eliteism and could discourage the contributions of a proportion of the City's residents, who are often expressing themselves with passion (even if I don't always agree with them). The effort taken by an individual to put together a grammatically incorrect response can be far greater than that involved in posting the responses that criticise them.

  13. jean Says:

    To Lynne

    Why is ityou feel the need tho comment, twice I have noticed on people's grammer on these blogs. Is it because you can't be bothered to make a proper contribution .Thanks John It's something I feel strongly about and yes you are right itcan be difficult for me to put in the correct commas ect



The blog of the leader of Manchester City Council, Councillor Richard Leese.

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