County ‘savings’ mean job losses

East Sussex County Council has proposed to make £60.62m cuts to services over three years.

Of course they refer to ‘savings’, but this somewhat glosses over

the estimated hundred job losses that council workers are facing.

The figures can easily lose their meaning when we have become used to constant stories in the media about both national and local cuts.

In this case the bald figures for East Sussex are: Adult Social care budget cut by £27.8m, Children’s Services cut by £11.1m, Economy Transport and Environment cut by £13.2m, Governance and Community Services cut by £3m and Corporate resources cut by £5.4m.

Behind these figures lie people’s lives, and we cannot allow ourselves to become immune to the potential impact of cuts to services for the most vulnerable in our community.

Just one of the cuts proposed is a thirty percent reduction in the value of community based services for older people.

We note that the Adult Social Care & Community Safety Board comments that this ‘will inevitably have an impact on clients’ quality of life’ and that they are ‘concerned about the possible impact on social isolation and potential knock-on impact on issues such as mental health (and associated costs)’.

Lewes Stop The Cuts share their concerns, and believe this demonstrates how short sighted these ‘savings’ may prove to be financially, let alone the much more important human costs involved.

These cuts are not necessary.

The council has had its budget slashed by central government, but they must also bear some responsibility for doing the Government’s dirty work for them.

East Sussex have a total of £473 reserves (as at 31st March 2012) and are spending £44m on a controversial road scheme in the county.

Nationally, £120bn of tax is avoided, evaded or uncollected.

There is an alternative, and it’s time that the most vulnerable in our society were protected rather than constantly attacked.

Sarah Hitchings

On behalf of Lewes Stop the Cuts, Lewes