Friday, 7 October 2011

Lambeth bottom of league over cuts to disabled services

Lambeth Council have come 151 out of 152 local authorities in England in a league table of cuts to services for disabled people.

The findings are contained in a report published last month by Demos, in partnership with disability charity Scope.

As we know there is a 28 per cent cut over a four year period to local authority budgets from central Government. Councils across the country have made decisions about what they are going to axe.

Disabled people are disproportionately reliant on public services, and the new report Coping with the Cuts, throws light on how the government cuts to local authority budgets are affecting disabled people’s services across the country.

Data came from hundreds of FOI requests which revealed the disparities between the level of budgetary cuts local authorities were making to their social care budgets, and the changes being made to the front line of care and support. Some councils had very large care cuts – up to 22 per cent - but were not raising service user charges, or tightening eligibility criteria. They weren’t closing any services either. On the other hand, some councils were increasing care funding by up to 10 per cent, but reported closures, restrictions in eligibility and large increases in charges for things like meals on wheels and respite.

The results are presented graphically, but a crucial finding is how disabled people in Lambeth are being particularly affected. Of particular note is the 22% budget cut in support for disabled adult care and support. Lambeth has also increased the cost of using specialist transport by 67 per cent and reduced the number of annual trips that can be made by a disabled person under the taxicard scheme from 144 to 96.

No comments: