Union angry over plans to ‘privatise’ Bolton’s social care

UNION chiefs have reacted angrily to what they see as the privatisation of adult social care in Bolton.

The Bolton News last week revealed the ways Bolton Council was looking to slash its adult services budget and move from being a provider of care services to commissioning care.

Bernadette Gallagher, branch secretary of the Unison Bolton Metro branch which represents Town Hall staff, said: “Bolton Council adult services department received a four star rating for its services to the vulnerable adults of this town.

“It did not achieve this by cutting corners and costs. Our members in adult social care, take their role very seriously, they genuinely care about the service they provide and will be devastated to be told they are no longer affordable when many are relatively low paid women.”

The moves are part of Bolton Council’s bid to save close to £50 million over the next four years.

The authority wants to cut its current three-band eligibility criteria — for those needing moderate, substantial or critical care — to just the two higher bands.

This means the 73 people who currently receive moderate care will have to have their needs picked up by the private and voluntary sectors.

But town hall bosses have said that the new system being drawn up will eventually lead to the council commissioning care rather than providing it.

Savage cuts to the museums and library services have also set alarm bells ringing with Unison, after The Bolton News reported that half of the borough’s libraries could be axed.

Up to 25 jobs are at risk currently and the council is exploring ways of using more volunteers to keep services running.