Socialist Party members in Bradford have spent the last weeks mobilising against the closure of the Edmund Street day centre after it came to our attention that it will close on December 1st after the council transfered funding for the service to another provider.
Peter Robson, Bradford Socialist Party
The move comes after Bradford (Labour) Council in it’s wisdom awarded the contract to the Salvation Army, who run a smaller building some mile and a half outside the city centre up a steep hill. This is a disgraceful situation.
The Day Centre has been in existence for 40 years since it opened it’s doors in 1976 to the disposed, poor and homeless of Bradford and it’s district. The Probation Service, Social Services and the NHS have often made referrals to there, with it literally keeping people alive at times. With the benefits cuts also kicking in now you can see the issues in Cities and towns like this up and down the nation, many service users have also said that they will not be able to get to the new centre due to finance or health issues and of course, winter is around the corner.
However, it is not only the service users that are worried, as the staff not being guaranteed and security under this transfer and often we know what Tupe means, a lesser service for these people and a race to the bottom on terms and conditions.
And what was Bradford councils response, they said it was awarded to the Salvation Army after a competitive tendering process. And there is the problem, people and vulnerable people at that have become pawns in a ‘competitive tendering process’ which takes no account of their needs – this just a money saving exercise if council were honest.
This Labour run council is sitting on millions of pounds of reserves, and their response has always been when challenged is that this is for a rainy day. Well, to continue the metaphor, it is a torrent now, they should be using it to fund services and building a campaign to win the necessary funding for the city.
Please like the Facebook site https://www.facebook.com/Save-Edmund-Street-Day-centre-938191652974461 and support the progress of this essential campaign to save a truly important service. And look for details of the public meeting we will call soon!