All Carers need help – not cuts

How can anyone consider cutting support for carers?

The Conservatives may have stepped back from the brink of disaster by postponing cuts to the budget for supporting Young Carers – young people who devote incredible love and care to looking after their relatives who are disabled or otherwise in need of constant support.

The way this decision has been trumpeted to the press is thoroughly misleading. The Conservative councillor in charge gives the impression that he wants to improve the service rather than cut it. “Our current service is patchy and we need to improve it”.

Well, we discovered at the Somerset County Council meeting last week just why it was patchy. He had deliberately failed to reappoint front-line staff providing vital support, when they left, or provide cover for long-term absence. Now we know.

The reinstatement of a £75,000 cut is just a temporary measure, taken from reserves because he has been forced to think again. It all needs to be put in the context of the rest of the £582,000 cut in “integrated services for children and families” that was taken, with another £581,000 planned for next year.

The officer’s risk warning states: “This brings to an end investment in a wide range of preventative work with children, young people and their families, which could lead to an escalation of need.”

In plain words, children and young people who need special support and help, won’t get it. It also brings to an end any pretence that the Conservatives are protecting the most vulnerable from their cuts.

As an elected governor of the Somerset Partnership NHS Trust said at the meeting about the original proposals for cutting Young Carers: “How could anyone have even considered this course of action in a civilised society?”


Someset county councillor Frome South

Paul Street



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