Protesters fight cuts at County Hall

HUNDREDS of demonstrators protested outside County Hall, Chichester, against moves to cut support to thousands of vulnerable West Sussex people.

And the campaigners, backed by a petition with 7,000 signatures, could at least celebrate a partial victory after councillors called for the decision to be put on hold.

In a cliff-hanging split vote, the county adults’ services select committee was divided 5-5 over a motion proposing the delay, which was tabled by chairman, councillor Irene Richards (Lib-Dem). She then used her chairman’s casting vote in favour of approval.

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Mrs Richards proposed the decision on changes to the system of assessing people’s eligibility for support from the county council be delayed until work to commission prevention and well-being services was completed and properly funded.

The meeting was considering plans to cut support for people with “moderate” needs and focus only on those with “critical” and “substantial” needs.

Protester John Newman, from the Save Our Day Care Centres campaign, said: “How county councillors can look themselves in the face and then take money from elderly and vulnerable people in trouble I don’t know.

“Whatever other cuts you are going to make, you simply don’t do that.”