Cuts to disabled kids service out for consultation

campaigners last week

campaigners last week

A public consultation is to be launched into the way short breaks for disabled children are provided in Hampshire it has been announced.

But a group of parent carers say they are disappointed that recommendations to protect the service in the short term have not been adopted

Hampshire County Council executive lead for Children’s services Cllr Keith Mans made the decision on Friday having attended a select committee meeting earlier in the week when he heard representations by mums from Hampshire Parent Carers Network and Parent Voice.

Members of the cross-party committee had argued in favour of mitigating strategies and even complete retention of a service described as vital to many hard -pressed parents with disabled children.

But HPCN say that Cllr Mans has not taken on board recommendations from the committee which would protect the budget while other options for the funding and provision of short breaks can be developed .

The County Council has to find £26 million worth of savings form the children’s services budget as a result of cuts to the grant they receive from central government and the Children’s services department is seeking to reduce the £3.2m budget for discretionary short break activities by £1.85m – which campaigners describe as disproportionate.

Thousands of Hampshire families benefit from the scheme that funds fun activities for disabled youngsters while providing respite for their families.

Sharon Smith of HPCN told Eastleigh News:

“We hope to continue to work with HCC during the consultation to come up with solutions to protect services as this is our ultimate goal.

“We want to ensure families are not left without vital support and will do everything in our power to protect vulnerable children with disabilities.

“We need HCC to start to provide data and monitoring and we hope that they will still provide a cushion of additional funding for 1 or 2 years to allow the short breaks market to prepare for the cuts in funding, rather than turning it off overnight and leaving people to fend for themselves.”

The 12 week public consultation will start on 8 September and a final decision is expected on 21 January 2015.

  3 comments for “Cuts to disabled kids service out for consultation

  1. Sue
    July 27, 2014 at 9:23 am

    My sons support has been cut via the back door so to speak. He is an adult and I am his full time carer but others should beware! He has direct payments for his support which I manage. However the initial company employed by social services (rock bottom charges) were incompetent, staff kept leaving and in the end they had no staff to support my son. Eventually a new company was found (suggested by Social Services) but they charge over £3 an hour more than the old one. Social Services will not increase my sons direct payments to cover this so I have had to reduce his support! This new company have now told me they are actually running at a loss and new contracts will be taken on at £4 an hour more than we have to pay! We pay £16 an hour new contracts will be £21 an hour! My son now has 9 hours support a week. If we do end up having to pay £21 an hour then the support will have to be reduced much more :0( This is the true cost of the cuts to disabled people and their families.

  2. Alex wade
    August 5, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    Well done to those cllrs who spoke up for the families affected, among them was my father, honestly, I have seen him sound so impassioned, this is a issue where it is a cut too far, and the council has to see how valuable this service is.

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