Hands Off Our Homes: Christmas Cards give human face to council’s disaster proposals

UNISON Southampton District branch and Unite Southampton and West Hampshire Local Authorities branch are reminding Southampton councillors, MPs, prospective parliamentary candidates and prospective council candidates of the human effects of closing Holcroft House and Glen Lee dementia care homes.

The unions have sent special Christmas cards to every local politician, with a festive message that aims to ram home the fact that there are human consequences to the council’s actions. The two cards each feature a resident one of the homes. Inside the cards is the message “All I want for Christmas is to stay [here]”.

The unions have been inundated with messages from friends and family of relatives that tell of a level of care, support and facilities that can be scarcely be matched in the private sector – where all of the residents of Holcroft House and Glen Lee will have to move should the homes be closed.

UNISON Southampton District Deputy Branch Secretary, Claire Ransom, said:

“It’s clear from the conversations we’ve had with relatives that these homes have been the preferred home for their loved ones, over and above privately-run residential institutions.

“Donald Hedges noted in his address to Full Council in November that his partner was already paying significant contributions for her care, and has since let me know that she was moved out of Glen Lee to a privately-run home. He believes this has done irreparable damage to his partner. He strongly believes that the logic is utterly appalling and finds what has happened completely unjust and cannot be rationally supported.”

Unite Southampton and West Hampshire Local Authorities Branch Secretary, Mark Wood, said:

“As we move into the festive period, families, residents and the dedicated workers who care for them face a very uncertain future due to the callous proposals to close the only two remaining council-run dementia homes in Southampton.

“It is absolutely clear to us from the public response so far that the people of Southampton find this totally unacceptable and we therefore call upon the Council to remove the misery and doubt and deliver some Christmas cheer.

“Hopefully the Christmas Cards will enable Councillors to see the real human effect this will have on the most vulnerable in our society and we urge them to think again.”

The council’s public consultation remains open until 16th January 2019 with a decision on the proposals being made by Cabinet on 19th February 2019, taking into account the results of the consultation.

Full Council will make a final decision on the overall budget on 20th February 2019.

Hands off our Homes is a joint campaign between UNISON and Unite the union.

Please help by signing the online petition, and completing the council’s online consultation.

If you would like to get involved in the campaign or want more information, email UNISON Southampton District Branch on branchsecretary@unisonsouthampton.org.uk or Unite Southampton and West Hants Branch on mark.wood@unitetheunion.org

Alternatively, please call UNISON on 02380 832740 or Unite on 02380 834327.

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