We need public show of anger

You rightly reported leaked information about the retrospective and secretive inclusion of Warwick House Day Centre, Seaford and the multi-use Phoenix Centre, Lewes in East Sussex County Council’s consultation process on the future of adult social care (March 16th, March 30th & April 3rd).

Now that ESCC have been found out, the consultation period has been extended for a month until May 28th. However, as the families interviewed by you and Radio Sussex have shown, the main point here is the intention itself to make £10 million of this year’s £17 million pounds worth of planned “savings” from adult social care provision in the county. There will be no savings for clients and carers from Seaford, Newhaven, Peacehaven, Lewes and its surrounding villages who will be left with no local alternative to increased home visits (fat chance!) for people whose conditions are currently alleviated by the stimulation and sociability provided by these good (and good value) centres. And there will be no savings for the members of staff from Warwick House and the Phoenix Centre who will lose their jobs.

After nearly 8 years of austerity, imposed by the Coalition and Conservative governments and implemented by a Conservative-led county council that seems hell-bent on destroying the fabric of civilised life - especially in Newhaven - there is so little left to cut that the process is becoming more & more mean-spirited and destructive. ESCC has stated that “it is important that as many people as possible share their views” during the consultation period, but - judging from bitter experience - the Seahaven area has ample reason to doubt their willingness to respond democratically to our needs and concerns. We’ll carry on writing letters of objection and signing petitions, but we also need a collective, public, and less easily ignored display of local anger and distress. This being so, Seaford, Newhaven, Alfriston & Polegate branch of Lewes Labour Party are calling a demonstration against the proposed closure of Warwick House. This will take place outside the Centre (which is part of the Seaford Library building) on Saturday April 21st at 10 a.m. All welcome from all parties and none.

Christine Platford

East Street