CUTS to adult care services will leave vulnerable older people in Swansea at risk, says UNISON. It has criticised the council’s plans to cut six ‘temporary’ senior community care assistant posts providing domiciliary care and close a unit at residential dementia care home, Ty Waunarlydd.
The trade union has accused the council of being more interested in saving money than in targeting care at those who need it most.
The senior community care assistants have been in temporary posts for years. Removing these domiciliary care posts will deprive adult clients of their many years of experience and skills. Remaining senior carers will be expected to work longer hours to make up for the fewer members of staff. Inevitably, UNISON says, the quality of care will suffer and service users will be at risk.
City and County of Swansea council is looking to implement the changes even though discussions on the future of the unit at Ty Waunarlydd have not yet concluded. UNISON has said that the council’s over-reliance on agency workers at the care home has inflated costs and suggested that an immediate way to save money and stabilise Ty Waunarlydd would be for the council to employ care staff directly in permanent employment.
Chris Cooze, UNISON branch secretary said: “In their desperation to save money, the council is rushing headlong into decisions without considering the negative long-term implications for the community. Closing a residential dementia care unit and down-grading domiciliary care work will be catastrophic for people in Swansea and increase the pressures on over-stretched local hospitals. The council is doing this by stealth because they know the flack they would receive if they were more open with the public. Changes are being made before discussions have concluded.
“Our message to the council is: pause for thought and be honest with the public. We know that Welsh councils are under intolerable pressures because of severe UK Conservative government spending cuts. However, the answer can’t be to penalise the vulnerable or those public service workers dedicated to helping them.
“All the evidence shows with an increasingly older population, we need more social care and more beds not less. You don’t plan for greater needs by cutting services and hitting the vulnerable as we enter election time is hardly likely to be seen favourably by voters. We want the council to work with UNISON to better identify future care needs and protect the quality of care for clients and their families.”
Committee chairs make the case for Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project
ASSEMBLY MEMBERS will meet with the UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Greg Clark MP to press for support for the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon by the Westminster Government.
Plaid Cymru’s Mid and West AM Simon Thomas, Chair of the National Assembly’s Finance Committee along with Montgomeryshire AM Russell George, Chair of the Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee will meet with Secretary of State Greg Clark MP this morning .
A Labour Committee chair Huw Irranca-Davies was due to take part in the delegation but was unable to make the date that the UK Secretary of State was available.
Simon Thomas AM, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Climate Change and Rural Affairs for Plaid Cymru said: “The independent review of tidal lagoon by Charles Hendry recommended six months ago the UK Government should give their full backing to the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon. This would be an important pathfinder project which could lead to a whole new industry using the expertise devised in Wales.
“It would be an extremely poor message to those involved in the Swansea Bay City Deal region if we lose a huge renewable investment project in the tidal lagoon due to dither and delay.
“There is cross-party and business support for the project. In a debate in the National Assembly Senedd chamber in February a motion welcoming the Hendry review report and supporting the case for developing a tidal lagoon energy industry in the UK was passed with no dissent.
“I have discussed with several companies like Mainstay Marine Solutions in Pembroke Dock and firms in Carmarthenshire who stand ready to bid for the procurement that will follow.
“The proposed Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon could kick start the regeneration of our coastal communities and give a boost to our industrial heartlands.”
Friends pay tribute to woman who died in Swansea car park
A WOMAN who was found dead in a Swansea car park off Kingsway on Sunday (Feb 5) has been named locally as Vikki Key from Burry Port.
Police launched an investigation into her death, after she was found at around 11.15am in the car park near Northampton Lane.
Friends have since left loving tributes on her Facebook page after hearing the news. Sophie Sarah Morgan said: “Absolutely devastated on the terrible news today my darling you will be missed terribly. It took hours for it to sink in that it’s even true. Never forget the memories I have of us all, completely gutted. Going to miss your crazy ways sweetie – hope you’re at peace now with Spence and G.”
Another friend, Rebecca Elizabeth, said: “Heart wrenching to hear the saddest news. Thanks for being such a good friend to my family over many years, through good times and bad. The girls love you to bits, but I know how special you were to the boys – being there Xmas morning to make sure they had their surprise says what they meant to you too. Vikki Key, so colorful on the outside and the inside. Rest in peace – gone too soon.”
Her best friend, Christie Bannon, said: “She was so bubbly and friendly, everyone that met her loved her instantly.
“She has so many fabulous friends and a loving and beautiful family that are so proud of the strong and incredible woman she was. She touched the hearts of everyone, and will be so sadly missed.
“I will cherish our memories forever.”
Vikki was found by a member of the public, who alerted the police. A section the car park off Kingsway was cordoned off, on the site of the former Quids Inn bar on the corner of Christina Street.
Officers have described her death as unexplained, and detectives have since launched and investigation into the circumstances surrounding her death.
South Wales Police have yet to formally identify the body.
Tenby: Police investigating sexual assault
DYFED-POWYS POLICE is appealing for witnesses and information following a sexual assault at a residential property in Tenby.
The incident occurred sometime between 2am and 2:40am on Monday (Jan 9).
The offender is described as a male in his 20s, 5ft 8inches tall, with short dark hair, white skin, and was cleanly-shaven. He was wearing a ribbed dark sweater and possibly dark joggers.
Police are conducting house to house enquiries and carrying out searches of the local area as part of the investigation.
The female victim is being supported by specialist officers.
Members of the public are being asked for their assistance in locating this man and are also urged not to be alarmed.
Police say this is an isolated incident and officers are urgently following all lines of enquiries to locate this man as soon as possible.
A CID Incident Room has been set up in Pembroke Dock.
Anyone who saw anyone suspicious in the area around that time, or has information that could help the investigation is urged to contact the Incident Room in Tenby on 101 immediately.
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