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Conservatives cut day services for the elderly and people with learning difficulties.

January 21, 2022 8:45 PM
By Wiltshire Liberal Democrats
Originally published by Trevor Carbin Liberal Democrat

Wiltshire Conservatives have shown they can be as good as their boss in Downing Street when it comes to mendacity. Here's a press release from them which doesn't mention the c-word but talks about 'new opportunities and emerging proposals.' This sentence: "The priorities will be to focus on the strengths and potential of people; to make a positive difference in people's lives; to increase choice and control; and where possible help people develop their life skills" gets the prize for the wordiest torynym for 'cuts'.

An approximation to the truth breaks out in the final paragraph where the cuts are identified. Note also that the suggestion that organisations could apply to Area Boards may not work as the Conservatives are also cutting AB grant funding by 50%.

Here's the full unedited release:

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Wiltshire Council is proposing changes to how it funds certain day services for adults with learning disabilities and older people as new opportunities for providing these services emerge.

The proposals are one part of a wider approach to ensure the services provided match people's needs and aspirations and are consistent across the county.

Currently people use luncheon and friendship clubs in a number of ways.

In the future, the council wants people to have a say on how these and other services are provided and to ensure they match the support and opportunities they need. The priorities will be to focus on the strengths and potential of people; to make a positive difference in people's lives; to increase choice and control; and where possible help people develop their life skills. The proposals will go before cabinet.

Richard Clewer, Leader of Wiltshire Council, said: "We want to ensure people have the right support so they can live well and be a part of their community. Day services are valuable opportunities to help promote this independence and community engagement, and currently these services are provided in a number of ways.

"For the future we want to provide more personalised options that benefit those who most need our support and ensure opportunities are equitable across Wiltshire. To achieve this we will be advertising a new tender to provide day opportunities, with new provision beginning in the summer. Our aim will be to ensure residents' social needs continue to be met, either by existing community resources or through providing new services, and we will be asking people currently using these services to share their thoughts."

As changes to day opportunities come in, the proposals are for the friendship and luncheon clubs' grant funding to be reduced by 50% in 22/23 and the remaining 50% in 23/24. The council will support clubs if they would like to consider alternative sources of funding, including applying to area boards. The council will also support those clubs who decide to bid as part of the tender to provide day opportunities in the future. The successful new services will start from the summer.