Adur, West & East Worthing Party including East Arun

WSCC slammed for cancelling Health and Social Care Select Committee meeting

West Sussex County Council has been slammed by the Don’t Cut Us Out Campaign for cancelling the Health & Adult Social Care Select Committee meeting this week (May 24) for ‘lack of anything important to discuss.’
Barry Pickthall, spokesman for the Campaign, which speaks out for the Vulnerable across the County, who are facing £31 million in cuts to front-line services and care support, said, “This is just unbelievable.  The most  recent statistics  show that 12% of elderly, and 20% of those people with learning disabilities have lost all their care support in the cuts, and more than 50% have lost an average of between £37 and £47 per week in their support packages.  These are people who are already living on subsistence levels. The very least this Select Committee should be asking is for facts and figures on how they are coping.”
The decision comes after the BBC ran a Nationwide report on how cuts in care support within West Sussex are adversely affecting those with Downs Syndrome and other severe disabilities. The case of Susie Rowbottom, a 41 year old Downs Syndrome sufferer who lost her place at the Day Centre she had been attending for 20 years, and has had her one-to-one care support cut from 12 hours to just 2, was subsequently given front page exposure in regional press.
It was only last month that the Don’t Cut Us Out Campaign published its latest WSCC Dossier of Shame,  exposing the fact that while cutting £31 million from their Adult Services budget, the Council is salting away a staggering £38 million into reserves which now stand at a record £146 million!
“The elderly and disabled are the most vulnerable in society, and to cut their support, simply to build up reserves to record levels, is not only unfair, it is immoral.” Says Barry Pickthall, adding. “At the very least, this new Health & Adult Social Care Select Committee, which is charged with scrutinising the effect Council policies  have on the public, should be meeting to assess the latest information. Instead this group of Councillors has bowed to pressure from Council senior management who clearly don’t want recent revelations to be investigated.”
Dr James Walsh, The Lib Dem Councillor who had been nominated to Chair this Committee, said: “If I had been elected as Chairman, I would not have cancelled this important meeting because these accumulating reports of increasing stress and anxiety among the young and old who have had their services cut, deserve an in-depth investigation by the Select Committee.”
Instead, the message Councillors on this Committee are sending out is simply: ‘We don’t care’  says the Campaign.
County Councillors on the the  Health & Adult Social Care Select Committee include:
Cllr Mrs Whitehead  (chairman), Cllr Mrs Knight, Cllr Mrs Mills, Cllr Mrs Richards, Cllr Dr Walsh, Cllr Mrs Bennett, Cllr Mr Blampied, Cllr Mr R Dunn, Cllr Mrs Jupp.

For details of the WSCC Dossier of Shame, visit: www.dontcutusout.org.uk/?p=1453
For background on the BBC TV report on cuts in Care support within West Sussex, visit: www.dontcutusout.org.uk/?p=1432
For further information or interviews, contact:
Barry Pickthall – Spokesman, Don’t Cut Us Out Campaign
Help Line: 01243 555561
Mobile: 07768 395719