Nottinghamshire County Council put disability cuts on hold

Councillor Stuart Wallace, chairman of the adult social care andhealth committee
Councillor Stuart Wallace, chairman of the adult social care andhealth committee

The controversial cuts to care and support for disabled residents has seen many families struggle.

Conservative-led Nottinghamshire County Council decided in October to take more of the disability benefits from 862 disabled people, to pay for the care they receive.

Disabled people and their families are now struggling to find the funds to pay for their care

READ MORE: Blind former nurse treated 'like filth'after Notts County Council cut benefits for 862 disabled people

HOwever, the County Council has now decided to reverse the cuts until April next year, after receiving £9.5 million of additional one-off funding from central Government.

The changes will be gradually phased in, so that full implementation will not be until November 2019.

A statement realised by the County Council said: "The County Council faces significant challenges in meeting increased demand for its care services whilst absorbing significant reductions in the amount of funding available.

"The revised contribution policy brings Nottinghamshire into line with many other local authorities, and with Department of Health and Social Care guidance to councils on the benefits they can take into account when determining the amount people are asked to contribute to their care costs.

"Nottinghamshire County Council has always been clear that anyone who needed support to understand and adapt to these changes would be able to talk to a Financial Assessment Officer from the Council’s Adult Care Financial Services Team, who would help them to ensure that they are maximising the benefits for which they are eligible.

"We have listened very carefully to the concerns expressed, by some of those affected, regarding the timeframe allowed for the introduction of the new policy.

"In response to these concerns, and in light of the Government’s announcement of £9.5 million of additional one-off funding for the Council, it is intended that a revised timescale for the implementation of the contributions policy will be brought to the Adult Social Care & Public Health Committee meeting on December 10.

Councillor Stuart Wallace, chairman of the adult social care and health committee, said:

“The changes the Council is making to its care contributions policy are in line with many other local authorities and entirely consistent with Department of Health and Social Care Guidelines.

"Even so, we have listened carefully to the concerns expressed by some people about the timescale for implementation, and we now propose to phase these changes in more gradually, which will give people more time to prepare and to consult our specialist financial advice services.

“This revision is possible because of an additional £9.5 million of funding for Nottinghamshire County Council that has just been announced by the Government.

"I must emphasise that this is one-off funding, but we are using the short-term flexibility this offers within our budget to bring the changes in more gently.

"It does not alter the overall purpose of the policy, which is to ensure a fair and sustainable long-term approach to individual contributions that is consistent with the rest of the country.

"If we didn’t introduce this, we would only put at risk other critical services we provide.”

A petition has been launched by Labour councillor Sonya Ward to reverse the desision, which you can sign here