WCBC

Direct Payments Guide Issued by Social Care Wales

Many thanks to Rosemary Burslem for drawing my attention to the following guide to Direct Payments, which has been published by Social Care Wales. It can be read in full by clicking here. 

This is a very illuminating guide, which clearly shows that Direct Payments can be used for other things as well as support from personal assistants.

“Myth 3 Direct payments are only for employing PAs

The great thing about direct payments is the opportunity to be creative. Employing a PA is one of many options to meet an individual’s personal well-being outcomes. For example, direct payments can be used to buy equipment, pay for activities to reduce loneliness, isolation or to develop confidence or gym membership or transport to access community facilities.”

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The Dewis website- see: https://www.dewis.wales/using-direct-payments says:

“Social activities

You can spend your money on social activities, evening classes and even holidays if they are in your care plan. Direct payments can also help if you want to do paid work or a training course.

Equipment and minor home adaptations

If you need special equipment or minor home adaptations an amount to cover these things might be included in your direct payments.

Special equipment might include computers, mobility aids, safety devices, transfer aids and assistive technology.”

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It is clear that Direct Payments are intended to improve choice, control and independence for people. This is further evidence of the appalling practices of Wrexham County Borough Council (WCBC), who have done everything in their power to discourage DP recipients from spending their money on things that they are clearly entitled to. I believe that WCBC view that DP’s can only be used to pay for support is not in line with the ethos of the law on Direct Payments. When drawing up Care Plans with people who have chosen to have DPs Social Workers and clients should be allowed to be creative in how this funding is spent, as in the examples above.

Those of us who do receive Direct Payments throughout Wales should read the article provided by Social Care Wales, and remember that we are in control of the money we receive and as long as it is spent responsibly and appropriately, then there is little that Local Authorities can object to.

The Dreams In Which I’m Dying…

The following blog includes songs by Gary Jules (Mad World) and John Farnham (You’re the Voice). I am not claiming any artistic influence on these songs at all.

I was watching Murder Made Me Famous on the Really Channel at some godforsaken hour last week as I tried to keep my eyes open and delay the uncomfortable hours that were sure to follow.

This particular episode concerned the crimes of Reverend Jim Jones –  an American religious cult leader who, along with his inner circle, initiated a mass suicide and mass murder in JonestownGuyana.

It really is a fascinating tragedy and I encourage everyone to read more about the Peoples Temple as only by learning lessons from the past can we hope to build a brighter future for everyone…

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Things have changed a lot in the past forty years, but I still fear that mass murderers such as Reverend Jim Jones exist, albeit in different forms.

It has been a long weekend full of three draining panic attacks. The lack of support and information from Local Authorities in relation to Welsh Independent Living Grant recipients is really affecting both my mental and physical well-being. Two of the panic attacks were brought on by madly rushing to use the loo as the urge to relieve myself comes on all of a sudden. My body is unable to react quickly enough, so accidents do happen.

I also suffered an attack before going to bed on Friday night, as I can almost predict the hours of discomfort, pain and panic that lie ahead during lonely nights without support. I am a born fighter – and I do not have any plans to slow down – but the pressures being put upon me are becoming increasingly difficult to cope with,  as my progressive disability continues to eat away at my nervous system.

I require 24/7 support NOW if I am to continue living independently and contribute to my local community. This is not something that I want for selfish reasons, but simply something that I NEED.

I found the following article to be very illuminating and it is certainly something that I can relate to. It was written by Mike Sivier from Vox Political and can be read by following this link.

It seems that poor and vulnerable people are still being controlled and manipulated today, in a way that Reverend Jim Jones would be proud of.

Don’t get me wrong, I am proud that the Welsh Government have listened to #SaveWILG campaigners and are now acting accordingly. I have received encouraging emails from ministers and civil servants who are working on implementing a new policy to protect independent living for WILG recipients.

It is not the current Welsh Government that I have a problem with, but the previous neo-liberal regime, whose mistakes I am now paying the price for. Local Authorities also deserve to shoulder some of the blame for refusing to provide adequate support for those that need it, purely for selfish financial reasons.

I hope I am able to go on for many years, but if I were to pass away tomorrow I would guess that someone at some level would say that “lessons need to be learnt”. I am still breathing, so why can’t the relevant action be taken now to improve my quality of life? I understand and am happy that the Welsh Government are doing all they can to push through implementation as quickly as they can, but in the meantime I am going to use the extra money in my Direct Payments account to fund the extra support that I need.

I have since found out that I will be unable to offer a PA anything more than the minimum wage to stay with me overnight due to ludicrous pay rates set by Wrexham County Borough Council. I should be able to pay staff working through the night, the same as I pay a member of the staff throughout the day. How can WCBC justify paying different rates for day and night? It appears as if my next fight for justice has been earmarked.

The book that I am itching to write, along with the work of art that I have conjured in my head will just have to be put on hold again…

All I know is that I am not going to sit in silence or live with fear any longer as I believe  justice is on my side. I can see all the inadequacies of the current chaotic system of social care from my position on the moral high ground and I will continue to keep raising my voice until disabled people, in particular, are able to live on a level playing field with the rest of society.

 

No Fun #SaveWILG

I would like to dedicate the following song to everyone at WCBC and the Welsh Government.

I am really struggling at the moment due to inadequate hours of care and support and not being able to use my direct payments in the way they are intended, thanks to an inept local authority that are failing in their duty of care. I wouldn’t mind, but I have been warning everyone that such a situation would arise if the responsibility for social care was given entirely to local authorities.

Nights like the ones described in this blog are definitely no fun for me and I struggle to believe that I am having to live the way I do in a supposedly civilised Western country at the beginning of the 21st Century.

I will continue to do everything I can to make sure that disabled people with high care  and support needs do not have to put up with such inept treatment in the future…

Please note that I am not claiming any association with this song or the songwriters. No Fun was originally a song by The Stooges and information about them – and the Sex Pistols – can be found at the foot of this blog. All of this information has been copied from Wikipedia.

No Fun Lyrics – Preformed by the Sex Pistols

Right here we go now
A sociology lecture
With a bit of psychology
A bit of neurology
A bit of fuck-ology
No fun

Right no fun
My babe no fun
No fun
My babe no fun
Fun to be alone
Alone and by myself
Fun to be alone
In love with nobody else

No fun
My babe no fun
No fun
My babe no fun
Fun to be alone
Walking by myself
Fun to be alone
In love with no friends of mine

Maybe going out
Or maybe stay at home
Maybe call somebody on the telephone
So c’mon my baby c’mon
So c’mon
I’m alone
Having no fun by myself
This is no fun with nobody else
I’m all alone
By myself
I’ll be alone
Nobody else
It’s no fun
It;s no fun all alone
All alone no fun
All alone
No fun
I’m alone
I’m alive
I’m alone
And i’m waiting to have my fun
I’m waiting ain’t got no one
I’m all alone
This is no fun
No fun
All alone
I’m alive
No fun
I’m alive
I’m alone

No fun
No fun
No fun
My babe no fun
Fun to be alone
Walking by myself
Fun to be alone
In love with nobody else

Maybe go out
Maybe stay at home
Maybe call somebody on the telephone
So c’mon
I’m all alone
So c’mon
Oh come and play
I’m alone I’m alone
With nobody else
I’m alone I’m alone

All by myself
And I want some fun with somebody else
My baby’s alone on the lavatory
My baby won’t come play with me
I’m alone
All alone
I’m looking at the telephone
I’m alone
All alone
I got nobody else
I want my fun
I’m gonna make my own fun
All alone
I’m alive
It’s no fun
I’m alive
No fun
It’s no fun
No fun

It’s no fun

No fun
It’s no fun
It’s not funny
I’m by myself
I’m alive

The Stooges, also known as Iggy and the Stooges, were an American rock band formed in Ann ArborMichigan in 1967 by singer Iggy Pop, guitarist Ron Asheton, drummer Scott Asheton, and bassist Dave Alexander. Playing a raw, primitive style of rock and roll, the band sold few records in their original incarnation and gained a reputation for their confrontational performances, which often involved acts of self-mutilation by Iggy Pop.[6]After releasing two albums—The Stooges (1969) and Fun House (1970)—the group disbanded briefly, and reformed with a different lineup to release Raw Power (1973) before breaking up again in 1974. The band reunited in 2003 until dissolving in 2016 following the deaths of Scott Asheton and saxophonist Steve Mackay. Ron Asheton participated in the reunion until his death in 2009.The Stooges are widely regarded as a seminal proto-punk act.[6][7][8] The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010.[9] In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked them 78th on their list of the 100 greatest artists of all time.

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The Sex Pistols were an English punk rock band that formed in London in 1975. They were responsible for initiating the punk movement in the United Kingdom and inspiring many later punk and alternative rock musicians. Although their initial career lasted just two and a half years and produced only four singles and one studio album, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols, they are regarded as one of the most influential acts in the history of popular music.[1][2]

The Sex Pistols originally comprised vocalist Johnny Rotten (John Lydon), guitarist Steve Jones, drummer Paul Cook, and bassist Glen Matlock. Matlock was replaced by Sid Vicious in early 1977. Under the management of impresario Malcolm McLaren, the band provoked controversies that both captivated and appalled Britain. Their concerts repeatedly faced difficulties with organizers and authorities, and public appearances often ended in mayhem. Through an obscenity-laced television interview in December 1976 and their May 1977 single “God Save the Queen“, attacking Britons’ social conformity and deference to the Crown, they precipitated one of the more significant pop culture-based moral panics.

In January 1978, at the end of a turbulent tour of the United States, Rotten left the band and announced its break-up. Over the next several months, the three other band members recorded songs for McLaren’s film version of the Sex Pistols’ story, The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle. Vicious died of a heroin overdosein February 1979, following his arrest for the alleged murder of his girlfriend. In 1996, Rotten, Jones, Cook and Matlock reunited for the Filthy Lucre Tour; through 2008, they staged further reunion shows and tours. On 24 February 2006, the Sex Pistols—the four original members plus Vicious—were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but they refused to attend the ceremony, calling the museum “a piss stain”.[3]

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Nightmare on Finney Close

When I told my Social Worker that I was in need of 24/7 care in my own home, she actually laughed at the prospect of anyone in my local authority receiving such a level of care and support. Read the following paragraphs and you might discover why I NEED round the clock assistance to function as part of my community.

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22.00: I was struggling to stay awake as I finished off my latest email to the Welsh Government, something that I knew in my heart of hearts would probably be ignored again. The #SaveWILG campaign has come so far and achieved a great deal, but still those in control refuse to listen and take note to Welsh citizens. The fight continues, but it would have to wait until the morning because I could hardly keep my eyes open…

22.45: Comfortably in bed, I watched the news on television and caught up with the latest chapter in the Brexit escapade. I am pretty confident that I could do a better job than the majority of politicians braying in the House of Commons. The success I have made out of the #SaveWILG campaign proves this, although as always I get by with a little help from my friends…

00.00: I am watching Porridge on Yesterday yet again, as I am too scared to go to sleep as I know I will probably wake up again in an uncomfortable position. This has happened far too frequently over the last 6 months and I have had to call my dad to straighten my legs, re position me in bed and rescue the duvet which often falls to the floor as I wriggle and fight to get comfortable. Hopefully, if Fletcher and company can keep me awake a little longer, I will be out for the count until the crack of dawn.

02.50: I’ve been asleep since about 00.30 but being awaken by massive cramp in my knees as my legs have bent during sleep. It is most painful and I just want to fully straighten my legs, but I can’t. After much effort, I managed to free my legs from my groin area and get them into a 45 degree angle which is as much as I can muster. In doing so I have managed to slide down the bed and my pillow has fallen on the floor. I shut my eyes determined to sleep some more as I can’t call my dad again…

04.36: I wake up again. My legs are in agony. I check the time on my mobile and hope it is 06.00 or 07.00 so that I don’t have to wait too long for my staff to come in at 09.00. I look at mobile and am shocked to see that it is only 04.40. There is nothing I can do, but call my dad. This is far from ideal as he has arthritis in both hands and is in agony whenever he is having to assist me but those at WCBC do not care about my dignity or the dignity of my carers. It is freezing outside and my dad finds his way to my house – a five minute drive away – in perilous conditions. It takes him about 20 minutes to reach my house where he proceeds to straighten my legs, re position me in the bed and give me some paracetamol, which I swallow with water. I hope this medication will send me to sleep and I hope I wont be woken until my PA arrives in the morning.

07.00: Not again. I’m awake this time because my bladder is full. I reach for the light switch but my dad has moved it and forgotten to replace it – something that can be forgiven at 5 in the morning. It is still pitch black, but I really need to use my urinal. The trouble is I can’t see at all. I manage to sit up and grab hold of the urinal, but it is a real struggle to get it in the right position. I am too far gone to be able to calm myself down and resist the inevitable… another two hours until assistance arrives means lying helpless in damp and demoralising conditions. On the plus side, the Welsh Government are soon to be washing their hands of their responsibilities and local authorities across Wales can screw disabled people for all they can by providing them with inadequate care and support whilst squirrelling away funds meant for the most vulnerable in society.

I am OK now after my PA came to the rescue, but one thing is for sure – this sort of situation can’t go on for much longer. WCBC MUST face up to the evidence that I have gathered from my GP, Neurologist, Urologist, District Nurses, Physiotherapist and Occupational Therapist that I need constant support in my own home for my physical and mental well-being. This shouldn’t be such a battle and that is why we need to retain and improve the Welsh Independent Living Grant as not all people who receive WILG can stand up for their rights in the way that I can.

I just want my home to become a comfortable place for me to exist. At the moment, I think I would be better off being banged up in HMP Slade and sharing a cell with Fletcher and Godber…

porridge-porridge-28475322-456-301

 

 

Twitter Thread – #SaveWILG

I can’t remember the last time I had a proper nights sleep free from worry and pain. I wrote the following Tweet thread this morning and am looking forward to discovering how things develop over the coming weeks… There are so many other things that I could write about to highlight the incompetence of Local Authorities when dealing with disabled people with high support needs although I am running on empty this morning, so the following will have to do for now:

***

05:11 this morning, I had to phone my 68-year-old Dad to rescue me even though both of his hands are riddled with arthritis. He literally can not and should not be having to do such call outs. WCBC should be ashamed of themselves for failing in their duty of care. 1/3

I can not wear my hand splints or a t-bar under my knees to keep my legs straight because then I wouldn’t be able to move at all at night. My dexterity is therefore getting worse and my legs give me agony at night. All this could be sorted easily with proper 24/7 care. 2/3

I am now counting on and to show that the new look has empathy and understanding at its core. One thing for certain is that I am going no where until Welsh Labour members who passed a motion to have their voices heard. 3/3

WALESPOSTCARDFRONT001

Time for a Laugh: Wrexham Adult Social Care Commissioning Strategy 2018-23

I have just found the following information on the WCBC website. It talks about how the Social Care Department has been “working hard” on a new commissioning strategy for those in need of care and support services.

It goes on to state that there has been a “great deal of engagement with staff, partners, providers and importantly the people who use our services and their carers“. This is the first I’ve heard of this and none of the 8 members of staff that I employ have heard about it either.

A cynical person might think that this is because WCBC do not want to hear the truth and are just working on a strategy that will protect their budget by creating flimsy justifications for acknowledges the considerable financial pressures faced by the Department.
Lucky I’m not a cynic…

***

The following material was taken from the WCBC website. 

Why are we doing this?: 

Over the last year, the Adult Social Care Department have been working hard to develop its Commissioning Strategy, which sets out our vision for care and support services for the next five years. The Strategy has been the result of a great deal of engagement with staff, partners, providers, and importantly the people who use our services and their carers; which I hope many of you will have had the opportunity to be involved with.

The enclosed strategy is the product of these conversations. It reflects our understanding of what the people who use our services have told us they want. However, it acknowledges the considerable financial pressures faced by the Department.

The changes and service developments outlines in this Commissioning Strategy are some of the things that will help us to deliver the savings we are required to make.

What do we want to know?: 

We would be grateful for your feedback on the Strategy, and whether you feel it adequately reflects what our priorities for service development should be over the next five years.

Enclosed alongside the Strategy is a short questionnaire, which I would be grateful if you could spare the time to answer and return to the email address below

 socialservicescustomerfeedback@wrexham.gov.uk 

Start date 15 October 2018
End date 15 November 2018

 

Labour Group’s Alternative Budget 2018-19

Please find attached a copy of the WCBC opposition Labour Group’s Alternative 2018/2019 budget, which includes:

An extra £500,000 for Wrexham’s secondary schools
Scrapping planned parking charges for disabled people
Scrapping plans to charge for parking at our country parks
Creating a new supported public travel fund
Reducing the number of senior councillors 

Much needed additional funding to the schools music budget.

This Alternative Budget Report was distributed by WCBC to all Elected Members earlier this afternoon.  The Monitoring Officer has confirmed it can be released into the public domain.  I have just issued to the press.

Members of the public who are supportive should be encouraged to contact ALL WCBC Councillors listed below, sharing their views as to why Councillors should vote in favour of the Alternative Budget at next Wednesday’s Council meeting, 21st February 2018.  The original budget being proposed by this Administration of Tories and Independents can be found at http://moderngov.wrexham.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=128&MId=3723&Ver=4

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This is the first Alternative Budget to be presented to the new council following the local government elections in May 2017.  We believe it is prudent to briefly explain its purpose for the benefit of our newly elected councillors.

The Alternative Budget is an amendment, in part, to the original budget being presented by this council’s administration of Independent and Conservative members.  Our budget highlights areas where the Labour Group believe alternative spending and income generation can achieve better outcomes for the people of Wrexham county borough.

We are seeking council’s agreement in support of this Alternative Budget.

WCBC Labour Group

Our proposals

Minimum Revenue Provision Saving

Members were informed at council in December 2017 of an unavoidable commitment within the 2018/19 budget due to an unforeseeable overspend in the children’s social care department, pertaining to looked-after children.  The current budget proposal offsets the £820,000 budget pressure against the part-saving realised as a result of council approval to revise its Minimum Revenue Provision (MRP) policy, which has produced an overall saving of £1.72m.  The remaining balance is to be used to address the overspend within the PFI Waste Contract.

The Alternative Budget proposes to match the £820,000 overspend from the council’s reserves.  The purpose of the Unallocated General Reserve Fund is to provide for any unexpected expenditure that cannot be managed within existing budgets.  Such expenditure would be one-off and resulting from an extraordinary event.  Given the overspend in children’s social care (of £820,000) was reported at council on December 13, 2017, as an event that meets this criteria, the Alternative Budget proposal supports the children’s social care pressure for 2017/18 being met by a contribution of £820,000 from the general reserves.

Reduction to Executive Board Membership/Saving

It is proposed to reduce the Executive Board membership from ten members to eight and redistribute the lead member roles and responsibilities accordingly.  The current Executive Board members have been in place for nine months with some lead members yet to present a single report to the board.

The Labour Group believes an Executive Board of eight members will be more effective – and at a smaller cost to the taxpayer.

Music Service Uplift

Prior to this year’s budget process, the original music service budget stood at £345,000, with a proposal from this administration to cut £300,000 (87%) from that effective from September 2018.  At last month’s Executive Board, the lead member for education confirmed the actual cut now being proposed is £250,000, leaving music services with a total budget of £95,000 whilst a new delivery model is being sought.

Currently, there are 165 free school meal pupils affected by this service cut.  It is very likely that these pupils will not be able to participate in this weekly programme of tuition if costs are passed from the local authority to parents.  The Labour Group has identified a shortfall in the £95,000 budget of £65,875 to meet the current demand.  We are proposing a further budget uplift of £70,447 to meet current and future demand.

Secondary School Budgets Increase

Wrexham has nine secondary schools and one special school.  Of these ten schools, six have approved licensed deficits averaging -6.87% of their 2017/18 budgets.  Two schools have a surplus of well below 1%.  Over the past two years we have seen more and more central cost moving to individual school budgets.  Schools are currently responsible for a number of on-costs including teacher redundancies and the administration now propose that all schools become responsible for their own salary inflation costs.

Following the scrutiny committee’s December 2017 budget recommendation and a 0.38% increase to last year’s funding from Welsh Government, this administration proposes a net increase of £1.178m to schools.  Whilst this is welcomed, the share of the pot between our 68 schools within the borough is minimal and does not address the need to stabilise school budgets within our secondary sector.  The Labour Group proposes to provide our secondary and special schools with an additional £0.5m to support their improvement.

Supported Public Transport Fund

Wrexham is facing a bus service crisis.  We have recently seen the collapse of another local bus company, with a second withdrawing from public routes.  This has resulted in a reduced public service, with some areas losing their bus route altogether. The Labour Group proposal is to employ a Sustainable Transport and Development Officer (L10 pay grade) on a fixed two-year term to develop a sustainable plan of action for Wrexham.  With on-costs included, this post will total a maximum of £44,353 and a further £50,000 budget is being made available to support applications to Welsh Government to access their £25m Bus Services Support Grant.  It is hoped this additional funding will also be utilised to work with neighbouring local authorities, the bus industry and passenger groups to grow our bus network.  There is scope within the additional budget to investigate the viability of a municipal bus company, owned by WCBC or in collaboration with other local authorities.  The Labour Group recognises the important contribution our local bus services make in maintaining independent living, social cohesion and general wellbeing.

Children’s Social Care Funding Model

Many local authorities buy in residential care placements within children’s social care and are very much apprehensive about providing this service in-house as a consequence of cases such as Bryn Estyn.  At council in December, a significant overspend in the looked-after children’s budget was highlighted.  It was explained that Wrexham is experiencing an unprecedented increase in placements for our looked-after children, however the overspend was as a result of a handful of expensive placements causing a spike in projected costs.

The Labour Group believes there is an opportunity to better predict future demand and contain costs and prices.  A large majority of our placement activity currently takes the form of spot placements at time of need.  These are costly, resource intensive and an inefficient approach within an unstable market place with insufficient places.  A move to a block model would ensure the council gets more stable placements at a lower price.  Children are placed

into a more sustainable and stable environment where the corporate parents, the local authority and provider work within a procurement and parenting model to deliver the right care at the right time at the right price.  A February 2018 Municipal Journal article quoted the alternative block guarantee model as a saving of 7% against our current spot price, with more positive outcomes for our looked-after children.  Good data and trend information is pivotal to the success of this model and the proposed budget of £65,000 allows for the buying-in of key data and resource.

Reduction in cut to Country Park Rangers

The council is proposing a cut of £100,000.  The Difficult Decisions consultation programme saw strong opposition which the ruling administration has chosen to ignore.  The Labour Group hoped to scrap this proposed cut completely by proposing a salary reduction for senior councillors (from deputy mayor through to council leader).  However, due to the changes coming from the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales, we are not yet in a position to bring this forward.  Leaving this item in our Alternative Budget proposal would have meant our proposals would not have met the requirements of setting a legal and balanced budget.  The Labour Group’s proposal is to fund £50,000.

Withdraw Charging for Disabled Parking and Country Parks

The Labour Group disagrees with the administration’s proposal to charge for disabled parking and the Alternative Budget withdraws this charge in its entirety.  We are disappointed that no consultation has been undertaken directly with those who will be affected.  There is a general belief that this income will not be realised as there are free alternatives to parking for our disabled citizens.  The current proposal by the administration will place additional pressures on an environment budget that continually overspends. Additionally, the Labour Group opposes the current administration’s proposal to charge for parking at our country parks and our Alternative Budget would again withdraw this charge in its entirety.

Risks

As with any budget, there are financial risks to consider and there is a need to measure these risks within the proposed Alternative Budget.

The spending proposals outlined within the summary are of low risk.  The outcomes can be easily realised with political will and the commitment of lead members and officers.  There are also opportunities to work collaboratively with other local authorities and partners, which will further reduce risk.

The medium risk within this proposed Alternative Budget is the removal of £820,000 from our General Reserve Fund.  Reserves can only be used once. However, the Labour Group believes that the risk to our reserves is considerably reduced as we are addressing the current and escalating pressures facing the council within our Alternative Budget proposal.

The greater risk is by not addressing those pressures, which could lead to the council writing a blank cheque as costs increase within outsourced services or cutting more services to meet demand pressures elsewhere.

Summary

Minimum Revenue Provision Saving                  (£820,000)

Reduction of Executive Board Membership       (£31,800)

Total:                                                                           (£851,800)

Proposed Uses:

Music Service Uplift                                                 £70,447
Secondary School Budgets Increase                     £500,000
Supported Public Transport Resource/Fund      £94,353
Children’s Social Care Funding Model                 £65,000
Reduction in cut to Country Park Rangers          £50,000
Withdraw Charging for Disabled Parking          £25,000
Withdraw Country Park Parking Charges          £47,000

Budget Gap:                                                                £ 0

Conclusion

The Labour Group’s Alternative Budget provides the council with opportunities to develop a public transport system that works and meets the needs of our citizens, addresses the rising costs of child placements and goes some distance to stabilising current pressures experienced by our secondary schools.

The Alternative Budget allows our most vulnerable pupils the right to participate in music tuition. We have also removed proposed charges for disabled parking and parking in our country parks and support only a 50% reduction to the administration’s planned cut our Country Park Rangers.