I am writing in response to the letter published on the 27/1/12 by Mr Avella on respite care.
His letter omits some important details of our proposals. Firstly I must state that after the changes there will still be more hours of respite care available than were used last year. There will still be enough respite care available to cope with demand.
The issue of a £9m under spend is a myth put around by the Conservative opposition. Whilst there is currently an under spend in the budget there is also £13m worth of risks due to demand pressures. These pressures include our ageing population as well as an ever-increasing number of disabled people with increasingly complex needs who the council must care for.
Even if we weren’t facing £85m worth of cuts from the Tory led central government there would be severe pressure on the adults services budget. Demand for our services increases every year and we need to find savings and use our resources in the most efficient possible way. The proposals to bring expensive out of borough placements back in borough will do just that.
We have listened carefully to carers during our consultation and amended the proposals to phase them in to give people time to adjust. We have also heard that Mencap intends to make more respite beds available within the borough.
Finally I must state that as an administration we value the work that carers do. Many are elderly themselves but care for their loved ones improving their quality of life immeasurably. We value all they do for the community and will continue to support them.
Cllr Jasbir Anand
Cabinet member for Health and Adult Services
Labour member for Southall Green ward