JOIN OUR RALLY: Sat 3rd SEPT, 12.30-2pm Meet at Greenway Centre, Southmead, BS10 5PY

Saturday, 3 September 2011


What a brilliant day - loads of support, interesting speakers, and NO RAIN!  Here's the highlights, brought to you with the pictures.  Firstly, although upbeat and confident that we can win this dispute, the issues at stake are very serious.  The expressions of the Homecare workers attending the Rally say it all - they are deeply concerned about Council plans to close the Homecare Service and what this means for them and their service users.
 As Steve Preddy of Unite commented  “we were delighted to be joined by both Conservative and Labour MP’s who shared a platform in opposition to the closure of the Homecare Service.  It tells you that even politicians with opposing political views appreciate how damaging the Council's plans are for service users.  It also testifies to the fact that the people of Bristol are firmly opposed to the total privatisation of the Homecare Service and the politicians know it.”
Conservative MP for Bristol North West Charlotte Leslie spoke of the importance of the high quality care provided by Bristol's Homecare Service.  She pleaded with the Lib Dem run Council to reconsider their plans to close it down.  Charlotte is in no doubt that vulnerable older and disabled people in the City need the security and reassurance of knowing their Council employed homecare workers will be here to stay for the future.  Her contribution was followed by Kerry McCarthy, Labour MP for Bristol East.  Kerry called for the Lib Dems to abandon their plans.
Kerry drew on her concerns about the privatisation of the NHS, to highlight the importance of homecare services for enabling older people to live in their own homes and not remain in hospital for any longer than necessary.  Far from being costly, Homecare services provide a massive saving to the health budget.
It was excellent that Dave Matheson, Unite Executive Member for Public Services was able to join us, all the way from Hull.  Dave spoke about the union's committment to fighting all cuts and campaigning for decent community services.  John McInally, National Vice President of PCS (public and commercial service union) spoke about the importance of unions working together to defend jobs, communities and, in our case, the best quality care services in the City.  Peter Allenson, Unite's national secretary for Public Services, offered his fulsome support and congratulated Bristol's homecare workers for their excellent campaign and fighting spirit.

It was fantastic to hear too from film-maker Ken Loach who spoke about the importance of the welfare state to working people.  He recognised that Homecare workers found it very difficult to take industrial action - after all, if they came out on strike they would be hurting the service users they care for.  He urged us to work together and use our political voice to make change happen.
Perhaps best loved of all, was the speech by Mr Bob Taylor, the husband of a service user who has provided stellar support to the campaign to keep Bristol's Homecare Service.  A massive thank you has to go out to everyone who supported us today.


  1. Congratulations on a brilliant demonstration and show of public opposition to privatisation of home care. Selling off home care would be a terrible move and lead to poor services for older disabled people. Good luck in your campaign, together we can win. Fight the Cuts! Siobhan Endean National Officer for Equality Unite the Union

  2. The Bristol City Council have worked very hard to train its care staff to provide a very high standard of care, DEMANDING a code of conduct and professionalism from its staff. How can they now find it exceptible to have a care service not up to their own very high standards!!!.