Wednesday, October 24, 2012

If it works, break it

Today I got angry - and then had to calm down.  I was at a meeting with officials, carers, 'providers' etc. where we were ambushed by the council who want to cut the most valuable services specialist services we have.  These are very small scale (in staff terms) specialists in Person Centred Planning and Leisure and Recreation (getting a life) Services.  They were originally employed as a pilot, and succeeded enormously in making sure people with learning disabilities actually got Person Centred Plans and actually got access to swimming pools etc. as well as specialist 'recreational' services - things like trampolining physio.  We still had to pay for them, but they were there and they were accessible.

But now the penny pinching cutters want to stop these as the 'temporary' funding is running out.  It's an easy cut because it isn't part of their 'recurring budget'.  And they want it cut despite all the evidence that it's worked and that it's the most valued by carers and service users, service the council actually provide locally.  Attempts were made to railroad us and silence criticism of the way they tried to run what should have been a 'Partnership' meeting.

Surely, if the carers and service users find these services valuable, that should count for a lot.  But in the world of cuts, they don't care what works, what's valuable.  They just want the overspend caused by their own unrealistically low budget reduced.  They haven't cut these formally yet - that's due early next year - this is to soften us up.  What it's actually doing is creating antagonism and opposition.

Rant not yet over.

PS all cuts in the context of benefit cuts through PIP (Personal Independence Payments - don't you just hate the George Orwell type name)  about to take £28 to £70 a week off these most vulnerable people.

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