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Parents pledge to fight Norfolk care cuts which would hit people with disabilities

PUBLISHED: 11:57 17 January 2019 | UPDATED: 12:01 17 January 2019

Nick Taylor (centre) is among those opposing controversial changes to social care charges outside County Hall. Picture: Archant

Nick Taylor (centre) is among those opposing controversial changes to social care charges outside County Hall. Picture: Archant

Archant

Parents of people with disabilities, who stand to lose money because of county council cuts, have pledged to continue their fight against the proposals.

Norfolk County Council’s adult social care committee agreed this week to put forward changes to its charging policy for adult social care for inclusion in the authority’s budget.

Their proposal, which would save County Hall £4m, would change the ‘minimum income guarantee’used by the council to assess how much people aged 18 to 64 pay for care.

At the moment, the council uses a rate of £189 a week for everyone, but wants to change that to £123.45 for those aged 18 to 24 and £151.45 a week for those aged 25 to 64.

Nick Taylor, of Mill Street in Buxton, says it means his son, who has Down’s syndrome, will recieve almost £70 a week less - money which could be used for the likes of clothing and transport.

Mr Taylor is urging people to sign a petition against the cuts, for people to email county councillors expressing their concerns, to contact MPs and to join two protests at County Hall meetings where the issues will be discussed.

He said: “This is a great concern. We feel that the council should not apply across the board cuts to spending, but target the areas that are less sensitive and will not have drastic effects on the most vulnerable in the county.

“We hope to bring any influence we have to bear on all our councillors across the whole county to try to make them fully understand the consequences of their choices for the disabled and their families.”

The proposed changes will also see a benefit - the enhanced element of personal independence payments (PIP) - taken into account when assessing care, leading to around 1,000 people having to pay more for care and 1,400 paying for it for the first time.

Bill Borrett, chairman of the adult social care committee, said the decision brought the council into line with neighbouring local authorities which had taken similar action.

He said: “We do not have unlimited finances and we have a duty to provide the best services we can for the money we have.”

The issues will be discussed by the council’s policy and resources committee at 10am on Monday, January 28 and by full council at 10am on Monday, February 11.

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