Brent councillors write to the Chancellor about government cuts to social care
- Credit: Archant
Brent Council’s lead member for social care has written to Chancellor George Osborne calling for him to consider the impact of government cuts to care services for the elderly and disabled.
Cllr Krupesh Hirani, Labour councillor for Dudden Hill, co-ordinated 19 Labour party colleagues in London to sign a letter warning of the “severe risk” funding cuts could have on adult care services like elderly care and knock-on pressure on NHS beds across the borough.
The letter comes ahead of tomorrow’s autumn statement, when the Chancellor is expected to confirm planned savings to council budgets of up to 30 per cent over the next four years in a bid to bring down the government’s budget deficit.
The letter, addressed to the Chancellor’s office in the Treasury, claims his funding decision: “Puts at severe risk our ability to fund elderly residents who are supported in the community instead of occupying a hospital bed, which typically costs the public purse three times the amount.”
Amongst a number of groups the letter claims are “in jeopardy” are respite services for carers and support for young disabled people as well as those on waiting lists for NHS beds this winter.
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The campaigners argue that care in the community will be hit disproportionately hard by the Chancellor’s savings drive because adult social care services take up an average of 35 per cent of local authority budgets.
Brent Council budgeted £113.2 million for adult services between 2014-2015.
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Cllr John Warren, Leader of Brent Conservative group, said: “This letter is a bit premature coming before the announcements in the Chancellor’s spending review and I want to be clear that the Government does recognize the importance of social care.
“We should put our own house in order first and look at the fact that this council wastes money hand over fist and needs to take its share of the budget deficit.”
Cllr Warren added he was awaiting the details of the Chancellor’s spending review announcements before commenting further.