A farcical consultation

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I WRITE this letter more in sadness than anger at the sheer hypocrisy that is taking place over the closure of the Grange Day Care Centre and the cuts in funding to other vulnerable people in our communities.

At the outset of the ‘consultation’ a large questionnaire was produced by the County Council entitled Your Day, Your Say and vulnerable people really believed that by filling in the forms and signing the petitions and protesting in sub-zero temperatures outside County Hall, they really could retain the services that gave them purpose, dignity, hope and a reason for getting up in the morning.

Sadly, nothing could have been further from the truth. 

Literally thousands of people made their feelings known during this farcical consultation and yet Peter Catchpole said in his letter last week to this paper that he had taken the final decision.

Please note that, not the thousands of people, many of them severely disabled, protesting in the freezing cold, not the people organising petitions, attending meetings, lobbying the council members, but ONE MAN who many of us believe is acting from a vested interest in private health care. 

The Rev Chris Boxley said recently that this decision would cause ‘untold misery’ to many people, and believe me, it already is.

We are all aware that cuts have to be made, but it seems all too easy to hit the elderly and the vulnerable, because many are not able to challenge the decisions and that is why so many are speaking and acting for them.

There has been no word of apology from anyone in authority about these disastrous decisions, which I feel would have restored a little faith in our elected servants on the council.

They have spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on this farcical consultation which they had no intention of taking any notice of, and now they talk of this wonderful new model of day-care, which will leave many of the weakest in our society to go to the wall.

The county council members who voted for this, and all involved in this catastrophic decision should hang their heads in shame.

Ken Jacques

Minister, Harting Congregational Church, South Harting