‘Cruel’ budget slammed by West Sussex campaign for the elderly

THE Don’t Cut Us Out Campaign, which speaks up for elderly and disabled people across West Sussex, has slammed West Sussex County Council for its ‘damaging and cruel’ budget.

Barry Pickthall, spokesman for the campaign said: “The Tory budget does nothing to reverse the cuts passed last year, yet they had a clear opportunity to do just that.

“Instead, the budget goes on to make further attacks on vulnerable people.”

He said a further £7.6m had been cut from the already-diminished adults’ services budget, which protected and supported vulnerable adults.

Yet in the same budget, an extra £15.8m had been put into the council’s cash reserves, taking them to around £140m.

“It is outrageous that at a time of massive hardship for some of the most vulnerable disabled and elderly people in our communities, Conservatives are adding to their reserves,” he said.

“Local people are shocked when you tell them that while the council is slashing services, they’re also adding to reserves with the money they could have used to save those services.”

Speaking about the freeze in council tax, he added: “The Conservatives are taking a political gamble – that people in West Sussex would rather have a few extra pence in their pocket each week than protect the services which blind people, physically-disabled adults, people with learning disabilities and the elderly rely on to maintain their health and quality of life.

“This is a terrible misjudgement of the decent people who live in our county.”