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Call for most savage of £73m cuts to care for vulnerable in Norfolk to be abandoned

PUBLISHED: 14:34 13 October 2015 | UPDATED: 14:34 13 October 2015

Fewer older people would get formal social care from Norfolk County Council if worst case scenario cuts are made. Pic: John Stillwell/PA Wire

Fewer older people would get formal social care from Norfolk County Council if worst case scenario cuts are made. Pic: John Stillwell/PA Wire

The most savage of £73m of potential cuts to services for Norfolk's most vulnerable people should not be made, councillors have warned.

Norfolk County Council needs to make £111m of savings over three years, so every County Hall committee has been tasked with planning to spend 25pc less in three years time.

That would save £169m, so not all the proposals will happen, but councillors wanted options so they have some element of choice.

The adult social care service is looking to save cash by preventing people ending up needing formal social care, by promoting independence and community support.

That would keep people in their own homes, rather than in what the council says is costly residential care.

Other possible proposals would see transport to care stopped, a shake-up of day care services and £5.1m cut from the Supporting People programme - which funds accommodation services including for victims of domestic abuse.

At a meeting of the adult social care committee today, councillors made clear they could not endorse some of the most extreme cuts.

Conservative Bill Borrett questioned why 25pc of cuts had to be proposed when the most savage would inevitably not be made. He accused the administration of seeking ‘brownie points’ by dropping the unpopular proposals.

But Labour’s Sue Whitaker, who chaired the meeting, said options had to be presented. She said: “The expectation was that some would be extremely unpalatable, if not undeliverable. It’s about trying to give people more headroom.”

The comments from the committee will go to the council’s policy and resources committee. That committee will meet later this month to consider whether the full £73m list should form part of a package of proposals to be subject to public consultation this autumn.

• Do you have a story about a local council? Call reporter Dan Grimmer on 01603 772375 or email dan.grimmer@archant.co.uk

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