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Cuts to Norfolk adult social care, which critics say could increase homelessness, agreed - by narrowest of margins

PUBLISHED: 12:30 23 January 2017 | UPDATED: 17:07 23 January 2017

Cuts to Norfolk adult social care, which critics say could increase homelessness, agreed - by narrowest of margins. Photo: John Stillwell/PA Wire

Cuts to Norfolk adult social care, which critics say could increase homelessness, agreed - by narrowest of margins. Photo: John Stillwell/PA Wire

Millions of pounds of cuts, including for spending on independent living for young and old, have been backed by councillors - by the narrowest of margins.

The decision to cut more than £11m, including more than £5m from funding for services which support vulnerable people, was today agreed by Norfolk County Council’s adult social care committee.

But an attempt by opposition councillors to stop cuts to housing support was only blocked thanks to the casting vote of Conservative chairman Bill Borrett.

Organisations such as the YMCA, Norwich’s St Martin’s Housing Trust and The Benjamin Foundation had warned those cuts could lead to increased homelessness and put pressure on other services, such as hospitals and mental health services.

And the Norfolk Older People’s Strategic Partnership and Norfolk Community Action had warned other cuts - including the potential loss of floating housing support, such as wardens - could harm the most vulnerable.

Graham Creelman, chairman of the Norfolk Older People’s Strategic Partnership, had said: “These services help some of the most vulnerable people in our communities, particularly older people, to stay living independently for longer.

“To enable independent living is a element of both the council’s own strategic direction and the emerging joint strategy of health and social care. It would be a tragedy if these services are cut.”

But the committee did agree to put the savings forward for the forthcoming council budget. The council will meet on February 20 to decide once and for all.

Labour’s Sue Whitaker, who had said it would be “foolish and reckless” to ignore the concerns of the organisations, had asked the committee to abandon those proposals.

But chairman Mr Borrett, who said £25m more would be spent on adult social care next year - partly due to 3pc of a 4.8pc council tax increase going to adult care - said Mrs Whitaker’s proposal had no costed alternative savings.

The committee was tied at 8-8, with one abstention over Mrs Whitaker’s proposal to ditch those cuts. But it was rejected on Mr Borrett’s casting vote.

The committee then agreed to put forward the budget, described as a “sensible” one by Conservative Joe Mooney.

James Bullion, director of adult social care at Norfolk County Council, acknowledged there was a “trade off” between spending on low level services and using money to target specific services.

He said the council was working with partners to agree spending priorities.

But Liberal Democrat Eric Seward said: “You are simply shunting costs to other public agencies”.

12 comments

  • Cut overseas Aid and spend it in the UK

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    Norwich

    Tuesday, January 24, 2017

  • And has lived and worked previously for 15 years in this country . Some of you will be bitterly disappointed of course that he is not a muslim.

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    Larson Whipsnade

    Tuesday, January 24, 2017

  • In many ways Scarlet is spot on with comments. But other comments about Syrian refugee's will only muddy the waters and be used as a smokescreen to hide the incompetence of NCC's children's services. Bringing in yet another 'Interim Head' cannot disguise the historic shambolic management structure that contains no clear lines of responsibility the lack of any professional pride. Try asking any member of Children's service's for a clear description of organisational charts or reporting lines you will be met with "Haven't a clue" NCC contains large numbers of people managing an organisation when they have no real qualifications or ability. Promotions based on length of service or nepotism wasting huge resources on pointless initiatives and re-organisations that look good but have no real substance and are only good for press 'sound bites' No doubt the new 'Interim Head' will be mouthing all the normal platitudes rather than getting a proper grip on the shambles he has inherited. I am not going to hold my breath in anticipation of any real change

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    Thirdmate

    Tuesday, January 24, 2017

  • Our city getting worse.all these cut backs.on the eldely and homeless.and schools .transport.which help people get around.and children.and you letting syrian migrants in.and our social housing.private rent.which you could offer to those in Norwich who desperately need a house.but no.you pushing us out our country.for these people.and making hard it people suffer big time.

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    morag

    Tuesday, January 24, 2017

  • Great news to see the cuts now with luck we might see some common sense. Cuts in support for carers? well what we aint had we wont miss! When Cameron announced his "caring society" policy carers cringed in Norfolk as it gave NCC a mandate to further abuse carers. Most carers in Norfolk are not supported by NCC but they save them a great deal of money. I have recently resigned as a carer as I didnt receive a couple of hundreds pounds carers payment from NCC to pursue my hobbies or have the odd day out.The refusal of roughly £250 to cover a years entertainment has resulted in NCC having to replace my services since Christmas costing them well over £1500 much to my glee. NCC have not the sense to understand that if you treat carers badly they will revolt thus costing you more in the long run. Could the cuts mean an end to Childrens services being run by costly consultants.. How much has Andrew Bunyan fleece NCC for. Even Archant were not sure how long he had been at NCC, From what I gather at least third of the time he was on paid holiday. Why was he mentoring Micheal Rossen? Surely NCC could have employed a man who could do his job with out a mentor. Why does NCC have such a high number of costly LACs. Putting support into families so children could return home would be both beneficial to the children and cost effective. There are foster carers usings LACs as cash cows. Keep families together thus reaping rewards all round. Cutting funds to St Martins might make people devise better and more cost effective strategies for tackling the problems of rough sleepers. Throwing money at big housing support charities isnt working. The main ones benefiting from the money spent on rough sleepers is the charities employing support staff. Both councils need to be talking to smaller charities-Volunteer groups and private landlords, real savings can be made and a better service provided.. My worry is NCC will carry on with vanity project, incompetent staff will be kicked out with massive golden handshakes and the cuts will be made to the most vulnerable and least able to fight. NCC have a wonderful chance with the budget cuts to start thinking creatively but I fear we can exspect more of the same snouts in the trough while the needy and vunrable are ignored as normal.

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    Scarlet Herring

    Tuesday, January 24, 2017

  • If you think this is bad just wait until NCC announce they are outsourcing some child protection services to Barnardo's. Paying a charity to take over their obligations and enabling them to avoid resposibility

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    Thirdmate

    Monday, January 23, 2017

  • the bottom line is that there is no money for our homeless but plenty of money to look after syrian refugees

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    northwind56

    Monday, January 23, 2017

  • The funding for the Syrian refugees is national from the Home Office. Considering the few people we will be taking into our care compared to other counties and to other countries, what are people complaining about? Let us hope Full Council disagrees with this decision in February.

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    bedoomed

    Monday, January 23, 2017

  • Ah, English chap is probably spot on. These few refugees (he doesn't seem to understand the term) are costing £11,000,000.00. Well at least I now understand where all the money from the cuts is going. Thanks English chap, that's really cleared it up for me. Tell me though, when this £11,000,000.00 is accounted for will we get our hospitals, schools, housing etc restored to us?

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    Davidbrian552

    Monday, January 23, 2017

  • Syrian Refugees from a war torn country - not Migrants!

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    Jonno65

    Monday, January 23, 2017

  • Disgusting! And of course 2 days it was announced that it is free housing and a life on benefits for Syrian migrants. The elderly and most vulnerable brits are being thrown under the bus.

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    EnglishChap

    Monday, January 23, 2017

  • Dear NCC, thank you for representing all of your constituents (those of us who exercised their democratic rights and voted for you all) and thank you for performing your duty in everyone's interests; not just those who shout the loudest. It's was a difficult decision and you made it, well done. If brexit taught us anything it's that 'experts' don't know anything, so you were right to ignore the experts (and their conflicts of interest) at the Benjamin foundation, st martins trust etc.. @exlabnowkipper - I note you are now supporting the position of the labour grouping and agree with them in your opposition of the agreed cuts, perhaps you ought to change your screen name?

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    Rushallchap3

    Monday, January 23, 2017

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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