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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 June, 2005, 08:34 GMT 09:34 UK
Placard legal action threatened
The Lockleaze centre
Campaigners are angry at the cuts
Protesters opposed to cuts in day care services have been threatened with legal action unless they change placards blaming named individuals.

Bristol City Council acted after a protest on 21 May when placards named social services employees and called for their resignations.

But campaigner Steve Norman, one of two people written to, said: "I would love a legal action for the publicity."

The council says it is not "reasonable" to attack employees in such a manner.

In its letter to Mr Norman dated 23 May the council's legal services department asks him confirm the placards have been destroyed and promise not to name individuals again.

To name these staff on placards in this way is a form of harassment
City Council

Mr Norman says he has yet to hear back from the authority after emailing them to say he was "looking forward" to receiving the court papers.

"This is stupidity in its highest form," he said. "The boards have not been changed."

The council faces a 17m overspend in its social services budget and is trying to focus services where there is the most need, it says.

Cases are being reviewed under the Fair Access to Care criteria which requires that priority for day care and other social services be given to the most vulnerable people with the greatest need.

Peaceful protest

Cuts at Lockleaze day care centre have already been announced, and protests held.

A council spokesman said: "The letter from our legal services team has been sent to the protest organisers, and not to any physically disabled clients.

"The council fully accepts the right of people to protest peacefully about changes to social care eligibility criteria.

"However, we believe it is not fair or reasonable to personally attack individual front line employees who are just doing their job in line with council and national government policies, which require them to properly assess the needs of people receiving or requesting a service.

"To name these staff on placards in this way is a form of harassment and we hope [they] will act responsibly and cease doing so."


SEE ALSO:
Campaigners protest at Labour HQ
06 Apr 05 |  Bristol/Somerset
Day care protesters end campaign
19 Mar 05 |  Bristol/Somerset
Day care protesters take action
18 Mar 05 |  Bristol/Somerset
Cuts planned after 17m overspend
08 Feb 05 |  Bristol/Somerset
Day care cuts will 'risk lives'
20 Dec 04 |  Bristol/Somerset


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