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Parents of disabled people angry councillors will not meet them to discuss impact of cuts

PUBLISHED: 11:28 18 June 2019 | UPDATED: 18:35 18 June 2019

Families opposing controversial changes to social care charges outside County Hall. Picture: Archant

Families opposing controversial changes to social care charges outside County Hall. Picture: Archant

Archant

Angry parents of disabled people have hit out at councillors who made cuts which will affect their children, but are now refusing to meet them to discuss the impact.

Bill Borrett, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for adult social care, public health and prevention. Pic: Norfolk Conservatives.Bill Borrett, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for adult social care, public health and prevention. Pic: Norfolk Conservatives.

Norfolk County Council agreed to save the authority £4m by changing how much disabled people receive for social care.

The Conservative-run council changed the minimum income guarantee it uses to assess how much people aged 18 to 64 pay for care, saying it brought it in line with national levels.

The council had used a rate of £189 a week for everyone, but voted to change to £123.45 a week for those aged 18 to 24 and £151.45 a week for those aged 25 to 64.

The changes have been phased, with the first drop in payments starting next month.

Nick and Judy Taylor, from Buxton, whose son Charlie has Down's syndrome, say it will mean their son receives just over £30 a week less from July and about £70 less from next April.

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They and other parents remain angry at the council's decision and want to meet councillors to explain the impact their decision has had on their families.

Mrs Taylor, who has set up a Facebook group called Disability Network Norfolk, and her husband have sent seven emails to Bill Borrett, the county council's cabinet member for adult social care, public health and prevention, asking for a meeting with councillors.

Mr Borrett has offered to set up a meeting with council officers, but the Taylors say the councillors who made the decision are the ones who need to understand the impact.

Mrs Taylor said: "There are a lot of angry families and they don't think councillors understand the impact of what they have done, which is why they want to meet them."

At a recent meeting of the council's cabinet, Liberal Democrat Brian Watkins asked Mr Borrett why he had not agreed to meet the parents.

Mr Borrett replied: "They met with the leader of the council before the decision was made and, having regard to that, my point was I wasn't sure there was anything that I could add that they hadn't already covered in that meeting with the leader of the council."

Council leader Andrew Proctor said a money support service had been set up to give people help in budgeting and managing money , while a second support service would help people find work.

MORE: Couple fears they could be pushed into poverty due to Norfolk County Council care cost changes

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