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Norfolk’s most vulnerable face further Council cuts

by Steff on 10 July, 2017

Some of the most vulnerable people in Norfolk still face cuts to services despite £35 million extra funding for adult social care across the county.

On Monday members of the Adult Social Care Committee were told about how the extra £35m of government funding would be spent across three priorities.  But there was no mention of what would happen to a vital housing service called the Building Resilience fund, which is due to be cut by more than 50% in the next two years.

“We are in favour of using a significant amount of the new money for recruiting more social workers to help deal with the increasing backlog of work, and to work alongside the county’s acute hospitals to reduce the number of patients who face delayed transfers of care from hospital to home,” commented Brian Watkins, spokesperson for the Liberal Democrat Group at County Hall. “But last year the Council decided to reduce the amount of money for a group of highly vulnerable people in the Building Resilience Fund from £10m in 2016/17 to £4.5m in 2018/19 and we’re frustrated by the lack of answers in this morning’s meeting.”

May’s local elections saw the Conservatives take control of Norfolk County Council, despite both the Liberal Democrat and Labour groups increasing their number of seats. And Monday’s Adult Social Care Committee meeting suggests the Conservatives are already returning to their preferred system of taking decisions behind closed doors.

The implications of these cuts are significant and include commissioned support from the likes of St Martins Housing Trust, Julian Housing and YMCA – cuts which fall on some of the most vulnerable people in Norfolk.

“We have very real concerns that the Conservatives are already taking decisions behind closed doors and not discussing the full detail of their decisions in public committee meetings,” Brian Watkins added. “We will be pressing for a report on the Building Resilience budget and will continue to pursue additional funding from central government to ensure the most vulnerable in our society are protected.”

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