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Parish council express concerns vulnerable people will not be able to cope with cuts proposed by Staffordshire County Council

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: September 01, 2014

By Leslie Jackson

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FEARS have been raised that proposed cuts to services including day centres and those dealing with mental health and homelessness will lead to many families being unable to cope.

At a meeting of Ipstones Parish Council, a letter was received from Staffordshire County Council member Alan White, who has the responsibility for care on the authority, in relation to its Supporting People review.

Mr White said: "I have been made aware that a petition has been circulated to a number of parish and town councillors regarding the changes in arrangements to the proposed Supporting People programme.

"I would like to reassure councillors that the review of the programme does not mean that the county council is withdrawing support to people who need it; far from it.

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"We want to ensure more people can lead independent, fulfilled lives and crucially, ensure resources are there to help the most vulnerable.

"This means instead of looking at areas such as addiction, mental health, homelessness, or repeat offending in isolation, we want to offer a joined up county wide approach which focuses more on preventing people falling into crisis and less on long term independence on services."

However, parish councillors claimed the review would severely affect many elderly carers, disabled people and those suffering from mental health issues, as funding was being withdrawn.

Councillor Linda Malyon said: "The council is taking money out of MIND, which is going to create a crisis.

"They need to look at taking a pay cut themselves as this is disgraceful.

"Due to all the cuts it will cause more distress to people and will have an effect on the NHS.

"The county council is taking money away from the people who they should be supporting.

"It is very sad world we are living in.

"These cuts will cause a lot of disruption."

Councillor Heather Morris said: "How can you tell a carer with a disabled adult that their child can't go to a day centre anymore?

"Everyone is going to be reassessed and the family has no right of appeal. They will only have to provide help for people with critical needs.

"Families will have to buy in their own service through an agency which will cost more money.

"People will therefore have to reduce the numbers of hours where they need respite. Many will not be able to cope. This will lead to the county council looking after them full-time."

Councillor John Barks said: "People do need a break from looking after their disabled adult sons and daughter, as do their children as it gives them a break as well."

Councillors agreed to write to the county council outlining their views on the proposed cuts.

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