Petition over cuts in benefits

A NEW petition has been launched calling on the county council to reverse cuts in benefits to the vulnerable. The move came after disabled people across the county received a letter last week advising them that from April 10 their contribution towards social care and housing will rise to 100 per cent of their disposable income.

For most, this wipes out what little money they have to spend on themselves. They say there has been no consultation about the changes,

Lynda Vowles, general manager at the Ferring Country Centre, said “We know nothing of this consultation period and the letters received by some clients were a complete surprise to us. We have been in partnership with WSCC for nearly 25 years you would expect them to discuss, or at least inform.”

The latest cuts come on the heels of the withdrawal of council benefits and care support to 4,500 elderly and those with learning disabilities judged to have only ‘moderate’ needs.

The Don’t Cut Us Out Campaign – speaking up for the vulnerable across West Sussex, is already seeking a Judicial Review on what they claim was a badly managed and legally flawed consultation process that led to the decision to cut all moderate support. It has now launched a petition calling on the council to reverse its decision to change grant eligibility thresholds and close day centres.

Support for the disabled and elderly has been pouring in across the county. Within a week £2,500 has been sent in for a funds for a judicial review against withdrawal of support for those with moderate needs, where £110,000 is needed.

The Campaign also needs 3,000 signatures to its petition by April 18 in order to address the next full Council Meeting on Friday May 13 when they are planning to hold a second protest outside County Hall.

“This will be the biggest the county has ever seen. We intend to mobilise 2,000 disabled people, their carers and supporters and confront councillors face to face with disability,” said organiser Barry Pickthall.

You can add your support by signing the petition on the West Sussex County Council website at http://epetition.westsussex.public-i.tv/epetition_core/community/petition/1482

See our external link (right) for a direct link to the petition site.