Adult social care cuts: strong reaction at Hastings consultation

Hastings Town Hall ENGSUS00120130430155142
Hastings Town Hall ENGSUS00120130430155142

There were strong feelings raised at a consultation drop-in on the cuts to adult social care at Hastings Town Hall today (Monday, November 2).

Those who benefit from the services and administer them came to voice their opinions on East Sussex County Council’s proposed £40million cuts over the next three years.

Some were angry about the decision while others believed the council are doing their best in a difficult situation.

Steven Fuller and Christopher Padgham rely on support for different reasons and both were disappointed by the session as there was a video explaining the cuts and one officer talking to visitors.

“I expected a talk and discussion but they hide behind a video,”Mr Padgham said.

“I think there are hiding away because they know people are going to respond in a bad way to the cuts and they probably dont’s want to face that so that is why they have done that.

“Why send people down here?”

Mr Fuller said the survey had too many questions and should be simpler to help people with learning difficulties.

But he conceded that it is a hard balancing act for the council to find savings and that it is impossible to keep everyone happy.

Hastings resident Sally Phillips believed that had the county council not spent money on the Bexhill-Hastings Link Road then it would not have to do these cuts.

“I made various suggestions on how to save or gain money but it should not be making cuts to vulnerable people,” she said.

“They chose not to increase charges and now they want to stop support for vulnerable people.

“In three decades the top earners have changed from earning 16 to 61 times the bottom earners and they still need cuts to taxes and the people at the bottom get thrown into the gutter.”

Former county councillor Pam Brown was more sympathetic towards the authority as she said it is it’s best together with the health authority with dwindling amounts of money from the government.

She said Whitehall should pay for the national living wage because these cuts do not take into consideration those changes.

Assistant director-operations of adult social care Mark Stainton listened to people’s concerns and he was pleased with how the session went.

“It’s really interested stuff and I’m really pleased that so many people came along to take the opportunity to feed in their views to the consultation,” he said.

“I’ve spoken to people who are passionate about the services that they either work for or receive and I really do welcome their opinions.

“The video is a really useful summary of complex issues and it takes you quickly and clearly through the level of savings and the consultation process.

“It’s really important people have and opportunity to give their views.”

The Rother consultation drop-in is between 12.30-2.30pm on November 3, at Battle Memorial Hall, 81 High Street, Battle.

For more details and to voice your opinion on the plans, visit: consultation.eastsussex.gov.uk/adult-social-care/budget.

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