PRESS RELEASE: Insult to Democracy - More Cuts to Merton Council Budget without Consultation!
As Merton Council prepares to set their budget for the year, local Deaf and Disabled people are angry at not being consulted on plans to cut another £2.2 million from the adult social care budget. This includes cuts to support to live independently, and changes to support to get out and about. Worryingly, the budget also includes plans to increase Council income through charges for social care for Disabled people and older people.
Local Deaf and Disabled people’s organisation Merton Centre for Independent Living (Merton CIL) has repeatedly asked the Council to consult with local people on their plans. Their CEO, Lyla Adwan-Kamara said “I have grave concerns about the decision-making process and the lack of consultation. It is the understanding of Merton CIL that the Council have a legal duty to consult and must do so. In addition, it is our position that the only way for Merton Council to get comprehensive evidence to ensure compliance with the law, is to consult with local Disabled people.”
One angry resident said “consultation needs honesty, transparency and all the facts to be shared and discussed. The way this council starts by making the decision then silently carries out a tick box exercise is at best appalling, undemocratic and unfair. Cuts impact on us all and those that need the service even more. At worst cuts can cost and kill. Merton Council keep making bad decisions about important and difficult choices that impact on people’s lives. They don’t consult, it’s an insult to democracy and true decision-making.”
Merton CIL have serious concerns about the way Merton Council budgets are being set. We insist that Deaf and Disabled people must be consulted with. We also insist that the impact of cuts to services is properly monitored.
You can read more about our concerns here - Consultation Concerns Press Release
You can see the Council budgets here: https://democracy.merton.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=142&MId=2374 or go along to the Budget Council meeting on Wednesday 28th February at 7.15pm and see how decisions are made.