DISABLED people, carers and council workers in Glasgow united on Saturday to demand the Labour-led council end a devastating campaign of social care cuts and service closures.
The Stop Glasgow’s Care Crisis conference came amid rising anger over council decisions to close three adult day-care centres and the Charlie Reid Centre for Mental Health.
Glasgow Council has claimed the community services would make way for “personalised” care.
But writer and campaigner James Kelman dismissed their pro-privatisation spin as an “attack on the most vulnerable” in the city.
“Glasgow council has a choice whether or not to launch this attack. The other side has no choice,” said Mr Kelman.
“It’s a strategy that can only destroy community and solidarity.
“If we have 50 loaves and somebody’s got nothing, we share it out.
“That’s how solidarity works, it’s not a bloody miracle.”
Learning Disability Scotland co-ordinator Ian Hood explained how service users on state benefits are having to pay up to £70 or £80 a week as “contributions.”
He labelled the con “nothing more than a care tax on the most vulnerable.”
Hammering home the importance of the services, user Lorraine Kennedy said: “We need a place like the Charlie Reid to help stop isolation and loneliness — and to save people from suicide.”
Carer Grace Harrigan told the Morning Star of the “institutional discrimination” faced by her son who has complex needs and learning disabilities.
“They isolate carers and people with learning disabilities and disability and mental health issues,” she said.
“I feel that the councillors see us as easy targets, but we’re the very people they’re supposed to represent — the most vulnerable.”
Struggling users and carers are fighting on against the cuts with the support of local trade unions and there were signs the anger could harm Labour’s chances at the ballot box.
Carer and campaigner Tommy Gorman called for “community candidates” with a manifesto against care cuts to stand for the city council — and on the regional list in Scottish Parliament elections with the slogan “Give us one vote for Glasgow.”