FAMILY life for disabled people could reach crisis point if funding for adult social care is cut.
After the Examiner revealed that Kirklees Council were consulting 10,000 people and organisations over cuts to funding for disabled adults, residents have got in touch to call for support.
And one of them – Dave Rawnsley, of Holmfirth – works for Real Life Options, an independent voluntary organisation, supporting people with learning disabilities in Yorkshire.
He said: “At a time when local councils are deciding how they are going to make massive savings to their budgets, I am urging them not to forget how vital social care support is for people with a learning disability.
“Everyday activities such as washing, eating and dressing, as well as using transport, going to work or buying food can become impossible for people if essential support is cut.
“Without the lifeline provided by social care services, many people are at risk of reaching a crisis situation.”
Mr Rawnsley is one of many who are calling on Kirklees Council to protect services, including day care services, for disabled residents.
It comes after the Examiner told the story of Anthony Booth, 35, of Oakes, who for the last 12 years has received funding towards day care at the Highfields Centre.
But Anthony, who was brain damaged at birth, may have his care contributions cut.
The proposed changes could affect adults currently receiving a service who are assessed as ‘substantial’, second only to the highest critical level. And the consultation includes those who have not yet left school.
Mr Rawnsley added: “The government has committed itself to fairness, dignity and respect for people with disabilities and has promised additional funding for social care – they also stated that there is no need to cut support for social care.
“Any decision by our local council to cut frontline services would be a direct betrayal of the promises made to some of the most at risk people in our society.
“I do sympathise with the council – they have been put in the difficult position of having to implement cuts that have been imposed on them. However, it seems unfair to make some of the most vulnerable people and their families shoulder the burden.”
On February 1 Mr Rawnsley will be supporting the Learning Disability Coalition’s campaign to protect the frontline.
The campaign, called Protect the Frontline, is aimed at holding the Government to account for its promise to protect key frontline services.
It will call on all local councillors and councils to remember how essential social care support is to people with learning disabilities as they set budgets for the forthcoming year.
In Kirklees, residents have until January 26 to make their views known about the planned changes. You can email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org