Monday 7th February 2011
By Adam Kula, Swindon Advertiser
A DISABLED father and his parents have appealed to Swindon council – Save Our Carers. The Hardy family claim that cutting the jobs of 64 home carers and farming their work out to the private sector is a ruthless move which is hitting the vulnerable.
A petition is being gathered by Geoff Hardy, of Thorne Road, Eldene, and by the care workers themselves. To date it has than 3,000 signatures.
The 64-year-old grandfather has been helping to gather names – for a personal reason.
Around eight years ago, his 45-year-old son Alan was struck down with multiple sclerosis.
A once-healthy father of two, with a degree in biochemistry, today Alan can no longer walk.
He is currently bed-ridden with an infection in the Great Western Hospital – but when at home, the home care team visit him four times a day, every day.
Unable to speak, dad Alan gathered a statement from him, which can be read in the panel. Mr Hardy also wrote a joint statement with his wife saying: “I do believe this is an unnecessary act.
“Why is it when cutbacks have to be made it’s always the vulnerable are hit?”
Geoff is a director with a local company and said as a businessman he knows how the private sector works.
“The carers turn up at the houses every single day,” he said.
“All the time we’ve had them they’ve never been late. They do a wonderful service.
I don’t believe when it goes private they’ll get the care. It’ll all be for money. Private people will only do what they have to. It makes my blood boil.
I’ve always voted Conservative. But I think the Conservatives are being far too ruthless. Too quick and too many cuts.
In my company I could get people in cheaper to do the job. I wouldn’t be successful, because they wouldn’t perform the same.”
“I’d like to say to Rod Bluh, the council leader: ‘Come with me, see the dedication these people are giving.’ But they only see figures.”
Ann-Marie Black, a carer for 21 years and Unison representative, said: “We’ve got more than 3,000 signatures in one day.
“That’s from people in voluntary services, district nurses, radiologists.
No-even has even questioned it. I got more than 400 signatures myself, and not one person hesitated to sign.”
She said they are trying to set up a website for the campaign.