Now where have I heard something like that recently.
The government cuts are horrific and unnecessary (see http://www.tuc.org.uk/economy/tuc-18942-f0.cfm). But the second tier cuts by local authorities can be even more damaging to vulnerable people.
I’ve copied below the NCODP letter to its members and the recommendations it makes for sample text for letters to MPs and others. These show just how much these second tier cuts will cause great hardship in addition to central government. They also evidence how brilliantly NCODP is working in campaigning against the imposition of a return to 19th century conditions and Tory values (working to enrich the upper classes and commerce at the expense of others).
Wednesday, 15 December 2010
Reference: County Council cuts – your help is needed.
You have all no doubt heard about the proposed cuts by Norfolk County Council. The level of these cuts will mean that disabled people and older people, their families and carers will be left without many of the services they rely on. This is on top of the cuts the Coalition government are imposing on benefits nationally.
I think that if the Norfolk MPs and County Councillors are serious when they say they have the best interests of Norfolk citizens at heart then they would tell the Coalition Government that it is not possible to implement over £155m cuts without causing poverty and misery to the most vulnerable people in the community and refuse to do it.
I would like to ask you to help yourself and every disabled person in Norfolk by taking part, in any small or big way, in our campaign against the cuts.
You can do this by:
Writing to your County Councillor (we have included example text for you to build a letter around)
Writing to your Member of Parliament (we have included example text for you to build a letter around)
Making an appointment to see your local Councillor and Member of Parliament and explain how the cuts will effect you
Sending us your story; let us know how the cuts will effort you personally, especially if you receive a service and are likely to lose some or all of it as a result of the changes nationally or locally. You can email them to firstname.lastname@example.org or post them to us
Sending us a video explaining how the cuts will impact you. You can upload video to YouTube and email us a link via email@example.com or post it to us on a disc
Joining our mailing list at www.campaignagainstcuts.org.uk to receive updates via Email or Text message to hear about News, Events and especially last minute campaigns and demonstrations
Calling and giving us your Mobile number if you would like to register for our Campaign updates
Attending a demonstration against the cuts (we have provided Council meeting dates with this letter)
Joining or Arranging a network to update people across Norfolk of urgent and last minute campaigning
Offering to volunteer with our Campaign Against Cuts; attend a demonstration, make a banner, help someone else write a letter
We have listed Members of Parliament and Norfolk County Councillor’s contact details on our website www.campaignagainstcuts.org.uk/findmyrep
Together we have the power to influence the decisions of the Coalition Government and the County Council but only if they know the strength of feeling of the people who elected them - to represent the people!
There is still time to take part in the councils ‘Big Conversation’ consultation, which ends on January 10th January 2011. If you have not already sent your views, you can do so online via www.norfolk.gov.uk/bigconversation or by calling 0344 800 8020 or TextPhone 0344 800 80 11.
We have also recently sent you a newsletter with dates of meetings at County Hall at which we are hoping to voice our concerns directly to the councillors. We are calling on all our members and allies to attend and help us ensure each and every one of our voices are heard.
There is a full list of dates in the attachment. I am hoping as many of you will be able to turn up for at least one of the meetings.
In addition we have included a copy of a ‘Christmas card’ we have sent to Norfolk Councillor’s and Members of Parliament in a hope to tweak their conscience.
With over 180,000 disabled people in Norfolk the County Council’s severe cuts to services, above and beyond central governments requirements, alongside the national cuts to benefits and health care, will result in a dramatic and long lasting effect on a large part of Norfolk’s population.
Further information about the proposed cuts in Norfolk as well as news and updates are available at http://www.campaignagainstcuts.org.uk
With kind regards
Suggestions for letters to Norfolk County Councillor’s and Members of Parliament in response to the cuts in benefits and The Big Conversation
Example Text to add to and build a letter around.
We would be grateful if you could send copies of your letters to NCODP so we can include them in our evidence to the Coalition Government and Norfolk County Council:
As a disabled resident in your constituency/ward I am extremely concerned about the proposed cuts to Norfolk County Council services as I fear that they will have a severe impact on my independence and that of many disabled people in Norfolk.
As a disabled resident in your constituency/ward I am extremely concerned at the cuts and changes to Disability Living Allowance, Housing Benefit, Independent Living Fund and Access to Work. I believe these cuts are targeting the most vulnerable people in society and are disproportionate and discriminatory because….
I am writing to you to register my concern at the policies of the Coalition Government on disabled people and our families. The Government is unfairly targeting disabled people who will suffer double discrimination as a result of cuts to benefits nationally and local services we rely on to live independently. The cuts will affect me in the following ways….Can you explain to me why the Government and the County Council are targeting us in this way?
Regarding your ‘The Big Conversation’ consultation, I have found it very difficult to find information publicly available, except on your website, this makes it very difficult to make a decision and makes me feel excluded from consultation.
I have found it very difficult to find information regarding your Big Conversation consultation. I believe you have some information on your website, but as I do not having internet access, this makes it very difficult to make a decision and makes me feel excluded from consultation.
Please can you explain why the council is changing the eligibility criteria for care from substantial or critical to critical only? I am sure I am not the only person for who this would mean I am excluded from essential services which enable me to live an independent life.
Having read some of the details I was able to locate around your ‘Big Conversation’ consultation and the proposed cuts to the councils budget I am very concerned that these severe cuts will result in services I rely on simply to live independently will be removed.
I am sure the proposed cuts to preventive services will not save any money in the medium to long term as people like me who rely on these services to live in the community will end up in expensive residential care or in hospital.
Please can you tell me why mental health services are being cut and so deeply? These cuts will cause me serious problems, especially to my independence. I do fear no longer being able to access the essential services and support I rely on a day to day basis. I worry that I will end up having to go into hospital if I don’t get the support I need.
I would like to ask how the council is justifying cutting £18million pound over the next three years from preventative services when this will result in higher costs in the long run and additional burdens on the Council and the NHS?
Please can you explain why the council is cutting £18million from its preventative services budget when this must mean that the cost for the longer term is much higher and puts additional stresses and strains on both the Council and NHS services?
Please explain the justification to raise the eligibility criteria to critical only and explain how critical need is assessed? This seems utter nonsense as this will exclude a lot of disabled people from accessing essential services to remain independent and it is at odds with preventing disabled people from making more demands on services in the future.
I believe that closing down the sensory support services is wrong because people with sensory impairments rely on these services to remain independent and living in the community. If these services are taken away it will cost more because…..
The proposed cuts to Children’s Services and family support will mean that disabled children and our families will be put at risk because….
The removal of the subsidy for transport for post 16 travel will severely affect my chances of attending school/college to further my education and get the qualifications I need to get a job….
The proposed changes to the funding and support for disabled children with special educational needs will I believe be a huge backward step. It is hard enough for disabled children to get the support they need to attend and thrive in mainstream school. These changes and cuts will have a huge and damaging effect on the life chances of disabled children because…
I am worried about the proposed cuts to youth services that will put an end to the young carer project my child attends. This will make it harder for her to manage at school and damage her chances of getting the good results she needs to get into college.
As a disabled adult with children, I am very concerned that the proposed cuts to my support from Adult services and family support from Children’s Services, as well as cuts to our income from changes in benefits will mean that my family will be put at risk because I need these services to stay independent and provide a decent life for my children.