Adur, West & East Worthing Party including East Arun

West Sussex Liberal Democrats have slammed Tory County Councillors’ over continuing program of deep cuts to Care in the Community.

Deputy Leader Dr James Walsh said  

“Tory County Councillors voted to slash spending on Care in the Community for the Elderly and those with Learning Disabilities and Mental health needs last February. At the time we warned that they were going too far and too deep over 3 years rather than four, and without providing a proper impact assessment, but they bulldozed it through.

At yesterday’s (Thursday) select committee they were truly found out. Not only have re-grading assessments been taking twice as long as envisaged, they have had to hire in expensive outside social workers with little knowledge of West Sussex  to do the task. They have been forced to re-consider in many individual cases, and been placed 143rd out of 152 councils in Englandfor the lack of care provided to the disabled and elderly.” (DEMOS survey commissioned by Scope).

Bob Smytherman, Lib Dem Adult services spokesman and County Councillor for Tarring, commenting during the select committee said,

“The Tories are pouring money into the reserves ‘for a rainy day’. Unfortunately for many of our most vulnerable residents in the County, it is pouring with rain already. Their need is now, regardless of age they are having services slashed away from them. They do not have much help, as many of the promised ‘Advice Centre Hubs’ are still not fully up and running including Adur, Worthing or Mid-Sussex, and where they are open, they are often virtual and accessible only by phone or e-mail, making them useless for many frail, vulnerable elderly and those with learning difficulties.”

Dr James Walsh, a retired GP, added,

“Liberal Democrats note that an impact study, conducted by LINK, after similar swingeing cuts by Poole Borough Council concluded that many elderly and disabled see the cuts as a betrayal. We are concerned that cuts in West Sussex will increase social isolation, increase mental health and mobility problems, and speed up the decline of many denied their care into greater dependency on either the NHS people’sor care services, and actually end up costing the public purse more in the medium and long-term. We therefore demand an independent survey of all those affected by the cuts in West Sussexto ascertain the real and actual impact on our frail elderly, younger disabled and other vulnerable residents. It is disgraceful that the County can boast over increasing reserves, with which to give electoral bribes in 2 year’s time, while savagely slashing care to thousands of our senior citizens who have done their bit through thick and thin to support their communities”.

Notes:-

The findings of Coping with the cuts – Can local authorities protect disabled people’s services? Can be viewed online via an interactive map, which gives details about how disability services have been protected in every local authority inEngland andWales.

The map can be found at www.demos.co.uk/disability-cuts-map.