Residents in Rutland are being asked for their views as the council proposes to make a series of cuts in people’s services in a bid to make savings.
Rutland County Council needs to save £925,300 in 2014/15. However, the cost of providing some of the people based services is expected increase by £2m in the next few years as the elderly population increases and demand for help rises.
The council has launched consultation People First to hear what residents and service users have to say about a number of possible changes.
No decisions have been made as yet but the proposals include:
- Reducing day care services, including the closure of five day centres (as reported in the Mercury on April 18);
- Closing the Children’s Centre at Casterton and transferring the services to Oakham. It says usage at the centre is considerably less than in Oakham;
- Withdrawing support from five of the eight youth centres which are the least used, including those in Whissendine, Kendrew Barracks and RAF North Luffenham;
- Reducing the amount spent on activities for children with additional needs. The council spends £158,000 a year providing short breaks;
- Reviewing transport expenditure for school children, day care users, children receiving respite care, and whether people receiving free transport should give a contribution;
- Closing meals on wheels to new clients. The service would remain for the current 22 users;
- Reducing payments to foster carers in line with other authorities. To foster a child in safe care can cost £24,000 a year;
- Reviewing financial support to carers and the level of social care support;
- Charging more for adult learning services;
- Developing a strategy to cope with an increased numbers in social care;
- Offering support to schools which are not reaching their full potential
- Streamlining the family information service.
Councillor Lucy Stephenson (Con), cabinet portfolio holder for adult social care, said: “We have been very clear from the outset that we face some difficult decisions.
“The world around us is changing a great deal and the council has to adapt to make sure we’re delivering services in the best way possible to those who need them most.”
Coun Kenneth Bool, portfolio holder for children and young people, said: “I would like to emphasise that no decisions have been taken and the responses we receive during consultation will heavily influence what happens next. We need as many people as possible to make their views known.”
People have until June 13 to let Rutland County Council know what they think about the proposals.
For full details and to submit your views via an online questionnaire, visit www.rutland.gov.uk/peoplefirst. You can also request a questionnaire from firstname.lastname@example.org and return it to the council via libraries in Oakham, Uppingham, Ketton and Ryhall.
A number of consultation events will give people the opportunity to find out more prior to submitting their views:
- Wednesday, May 28, 10am to midday: Public drop-in session at Oakham Library
- Wednesday, June 4, 5.30pm to 7.30pm: Public meeting in the Rutland County Council chamber, Oakham
- Thursday, June 5, 7pm to close: Joint Scrutiny Panel meeting at Rutland County Council chamber. This is a council meeting open to the public
- Friday, June 6, 2pm to 4pm: Public drop-in session at Uppingham Library