Friday, March 18, 2011

A big thank you

My thanks have to go to Disability Equality North West and the two legal firms who are helping them. They've taken out a legal action against Lancashire County Council over the so called 'consultation' exercise they carried out around their announcement of £179m cuts - heavily affecting people with disabilities, involving much front line care cutting and intended to take place very quickly. (They've been very quiet about how many jobs will be lost, but some estimates say 6,000, many from front line and care).

LCC took it's decisions about what to cut before it embarked on it's joke of a consultation exercise, and passed the cuts in full council, unchanged, even before the 'consultation' was finished. No impact assessment was carried out and there has been practically no attempt to respond to local peoples fears about how these cuts will affect them, with local Conservative councilors apparently unable to respond to their electorate without passing the queries up to LCC cabinet.

These cuts are deep and being implemented with an unseemly haste. They are heavily front line weighted and include closure of respite units for severely disabled children, taking services away from many people who get them at present, imposing heavy charges for what little services remain and massive reductions to the money given to care providers to look after elderly and disabled people.

When LCC say there is no money I get very angry. They have between £50m and £150m in reserves 'for a rainy day' - it's absolutely pissing down now. They are still intending to build new roads - tarmac is obviously more important than people. They are right now in process of letting a tender worth between £20m and £40m for superfast broadband - I've nothing against the internet, but I think providing care is a higher priority right now than allowing people to access this blog a few milliseconds earlier than at present.

Thank you Disability Rights North West. As carers we're trying to fight these cuts but we wouldn't have known how to object to this or had the time to do it even if we'd known it was possible. There are people out there who can see an injustice and are willing to do something about it - thank you.

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