Anger as services for disabled face cutbacks

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CUTS to the money that a council gives charities which provide respite breaks to disabled children have been criticised.

Hampshire County Council has decided to hold a 12-week consultation on the cuts, despite charities and organisations raising concerns that they have not been given enough time to prepare.

The council is looking to cut £1.85m from the £3.2m it uses to provide short breaks for children with disabilities and the executive lead member for children’s services, Councillor Keith Mans, agreed to hold a consultation to look at ways it can achieve this saving.

This has been criticised by Cllr Chris Wood, who sits on the scrutiny board.

He said: ‘The decision is shambolic. The providers procure their services for the next financial year each autumn, now they will not know the level of funding open to them until January.’

Hampshire Parent Carer Network, which organised a petition containing nearly 2,000 names calling on the council to reconsider the cuts, is holding two information meetings for parents. For more details go to hpcn.org.uk or call 01962 832580.

The council consultation is at consultations.hants.gov.uk