Council should be ashamed of cuts

KATIE Anderson’s front page story highlighting the plight of Peter Adams, severely disabled by muscular dystrophy, and his loss of care support, is a damning indictment of West Sussex County Council’s programme of pernicious cuts in care support to the most vulnerably in our society.

Mr Adams requires 24-hour care. Councillors consider five hours is more than enough and have cut his funding accordingly, condemning this poor man to a living hell.

Sadly, Mr Adams’ case is but the tip of the iceberg: 4,500 other disabled and elderly people in West Sussex are to lose all their care support, and thousands more nearing the end of their lives with little in the way of savings, or with lifelong disabilities like Down’s syndrome and cerebral palsy, are facing similar cutbacks in care.

This shameful state of affairs is part of a programme to save £79m over the next two years – and councillors are forcing the disabled and elderly to shoulder 40 per cent of these cuts. Their thinking was that the vulnerable do not have a voice and their plight will have little impact on votes.

Councillors are wrong on both counts; they are also wrong in believing these cuts in care support will lead to any savings. The experience of other councils to have gone down this route is that those like Mr Adams who lose their care quickly deteriorate and will require greater medical care in the future.

We pride ourselves in being a civilised society. Priority cases like that of Mr Adams must come ahead of weekly bin collections, £100,000+ salaries for council employees, inflated expense accounts for councillors, and millions more spent on consultants – some of whom are charging £2,400 a day!

Conservative councillors who voted for these cuts should be hanging their heads in shame.

Barry Pickthall,

Don’t Cut Us Out Campaign – speaking out for the vulnerable across West Sussex