'Elderly must continue to fight cuts' says Worcestershire campaigner

Worcestershire County Council is proposing to cut millions from spending on services

Worcestershire County Council is proposing to cut millions from spending on services

First published in News Redditch Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by

THE vulnerable must never give up the fight against proposed cuts, says a campaigner for older people.

Coun Pat Witherspoon made a rallying call to the people of Worcestershire, young and old, to take a last stand against controversial cuts which opponents have said will drag the county back to the dark days of Dickens.

Worcestershire County Council is proposing to slash spending on so-called ‘discretionary’ services for older people, the homeless, mental health, learning disabilities and other services from £15 million to £6.5 million, as part of plans to save £98 million by 2017.

The consultation on the proposals, under the name Future Lives, ends on Tuesday, January 21, with a decision expected to be announced in February, taken by three county council cabinet members – Marcus Hart, Sheila Blagg and Liz Eyre.

Coun Pat Witherspoon, a Redditch district councillor and chairman of the town’s Older People’s Forum, urged people to fill in the consultation document online or on paper as soon as possible when she spoke to a meeting of the Worcestershire Partnership of Older Peoples Forums, at Perdiswell Young People’s Leisure Club, Worcester.

Coun Witherspoon said: “We have got to fight hard to get our message across. That’s why we have got to get these things (the consultation forms) filled in.

“I’m not going to give in. I have worked my life, all the way up. I was born in a council house. This is not just about older people. It’s about families and young carers.”

Brian Hunt, vice-chairman of Worcestershire Pensioners Action Group, said: “What is going to happen to all these vulnerable people? 

“Nowhere can we find anyone who will say what is going to happen to these lovely people.

"We know where the money was coming from and what it was doing. It wasn’t providing saunas and holidays. It was providing for our most vulnerable in society. They’re being abandoned.”

Mr Hunt has been particularly outspoken about the loss of a £630,000 grant to Worcester Community Housing, which helps provide a warden service in sheltered accommodation.

Coun John Smith, cabinet member for highways, said: “What people need to understand is that resources coming from the centre are greatly reduced because the country is bankrupt, like it or not.”

Comments (8)

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4:36pm Mon 13 Jan 14

Landy44 says...

This is another set of services that should be cut and provided on a commercial basis by third parties or community groups. That said, the way this is being done is odious - those pensioners have worked hard and paid tax to fund those services - they are being short changed! Removal of these services from tax funded providers should be done on a gradual, staged basis so that no one is disadvantaged. Shameful.
This is another set of services that should be cut and provided on a commercial basis by third parties or community groups. That said, the way this is being done is odious - those pensioners have worked hard and paid tax to fund those services - they are being short changed! Removal of these services from tax funded providers should be done on a gradual, staged basis so that no one is disadvantaged. Shameful. Landy44
  • Score: 4

6:45pm Mon 13 Jan 14

Wagtail59 says...

If the country is bankrupt as suggested in the article, then why is it billions of pounds is being found for overseas aid, our continued membership of the EU, maintaining a nuclear deterrent, military intervention overseas, space exploration, HS2. Bankrupt ....I don't think so.
If the country is bankrupt as suggested in the article, then why is it billions of pounds is being found for overseas aid, our continued membership of the EU, maintaining a nuclear deterrent, military intervention overseas, space exploration, HS2. Bankrupt ....I don't think so. Wagtail59
  • Score: 7

7:02pm Mon 13 Jan 14

green49 says...

What is being done is bordering on illeagle, i do hope that the WCC have got the legal position right as i for one will be doing my utmost to call for acessments on everyone who needs services, The WCC are lying to us all and the ones who are making the desicions and they have been already decided have no idea the impact it is going to have on people who cannot care for themselves, i hope when some are evicted (and they will be) go and sleep on the doorsteps of the council members who made these decisons.
What is being done is bordering on illeagle, i do hope that the WCC have got the legal position right as i for one will be doing my utmost to call for acessments on everyone who needs services, The WCC are lying to us all and the ones who are making the desicions and they have been already decided have no idea the impact it is going to have on people who cannot care for themselves, i hope when some are evicted (and they will be) go and sleep on the doorsteps of the council members who made these decisons. green49
  • Score: 2

9:54pm Mon 13 Jan 14

Green Olive says...

Why does Councillor Smith parrot the myth that Britain is bankrupt.Despite the recent financial crisis Britain is still the sixth wealthiest counry in the world. The cause of the financial crash was reckless criminality by the banks. Billions of taxpayers money was poured into the banks to keep them solvent. Yet those who are paying for the bank rescue are the poorer sections of the community. Councillor Smith should be speaking up for the homeless, the mentally ill and the frail elderley. The wealthy can stand up for themselves.
Why does Councillor Smith parrot the myth that Britain is bankrupt.Despite the recent financial crisis Britain is still the sixth wealthiest counry in the world. The cause of the financial crash was reckless criminality by the banks. Billions of taxpayers money was poured into the banks to keep them solvent. Yet those who are paying for the bank rescue are the poorer sections of the community. Councillor Smith should be speaking up for the homeless, the mentally ill and the frail elderley. The wealthy can stand up for themselves. Green Olive
  • Score: 4

10:29pm Mon 13 Jan 14

Stephen Brown says...

Councillor John Smith is just another puppet merely peddling the 'we are bankrupt' myth so that the position of the economically advantaged in this country, like the government cabinet of millionaires for example and their crony backers, can be maintained. Councils and councillors all over the country are peddling it because it suits their ideological masters bidding to make the rich richer and poorer poorer.

So, I would say what people need to understand is that austerity is a lie, we are not bankrupt, the country is just economically uneven thanks to people like Cllr Smith and his ilk.
Councillor John Smith is just another puppet merely peddling the 'we are bankrupt' myth so that the position of the economically advantaged in this country, like the government cabinet of millionaires for example and their crony backers, can be maintained. Councils and councillors all over the country are peddling it because it suits their ideological masters bidding to make the rich richer and poorer poorer. So, I would say what people need to understand is that austerity is a lie, we are not bankrupt, the country is just economically uneven thanks to people like Cllr Smith and his ilk. Stephen Brown
  • Score: 6

8:46am Tue 14 Jan 14

High Time says...

"The country is just economically uneven thanks to people like Cllr Smith and his ilk" and a big thank you to the Labour party.
"The country is just economically uneven thanks to people like Cllr Smith and his ilk" and a big thank you to the Labour party. High Time
  • Score: 1

1:15pm Tue 14 Jan 14

rosepul says...

I have attended a so-called "future lives" meeting in Malvern this morning. What a load of rubbish these people are spouting. A member of my family lives in an independent living establishment that has Wardens on duty. She is disabled and therefore relies on the assistance of the Wardens if she falls. In the meeting they were suggesting that the Wardens be replaced with volunteers. I for one would not want total strangers going into my relatives home!!! Perhaps they should really be looking at cutting back on the number of waste-of-time staff they employ on horrendously high wages. God help them in the future as they get older!!!!
I have attended a so-called "future lives" meeting in Malvern this morning. What a load of rubbish these people are spouting. A member of my family lives in an independent living establishment that has Wardens on duty. She is disabled and therefore relies on the assistance of the Wardens if she falls. In the meeting they were suggesting that the Wardens be replaced with volunteers. I for one would not want total strangers going into my relatives home!!! Perhaps they should really be looking at cutting back on the number of waste-of-time staff they employ on horrendously high wages. God help them in the future as they get older!!!! rosepul
  • Score: 0

2:23pm Tue 14 Jan 14

green49 says...

I overheard Ms Haines at WCC say she didnt understand the need for wardens?? DUHHHHHHH, glad shes going but the next in line are even worse, the WCC managers have been brainwashed into thinking that volunteers will do the job?

Was it not Hitler that said keep saying the same things over and over and the people will believe it? or something like that?

THERE IS NO need for these cutbacks to take place this way its a complete lie and what is being said to everyone is rubbish,

WHY? WN did you remove Gerathys claims about other councils??? when his comments were shown to be total lies? COVERUP ????/
I overheard Ms Haines at WCC say she didnt understand the need for wardens?? DUHHHHHHH, glad shes going but the next in line are even worse, the WCC managers have been brainwashed into thinking that volunteers will do the job? Was it not Hitler that said keep saying the same things over and over and the people will believe it? or something like that? THERE IS NO need for these cutbacks to take place this way its a complete lie and what is being said to everyone is rubbish, WHY? WN did you remove Gerathys claims about other councils??? when his comments were shown to be total lies? COVERUP ????/ green49
  • Score: 0

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