With £8 million in cuts promised for next year, Oldham’s Council was failing to ask for the opinions and feedback from the very people who will be most affected by these cuts.
Local Liberal Democrat campaigner, Mark Kenyon, had discovered that details of the proposed cuts and the way for residents to give council feedback could only be found online: “Despite Boris’s promises to help with financing, Oldham’s Labour Council is proposing nearly £2.5 million of cuts to services for those in sheltered housing, adult social care and supported living. Many users of these services don’t use the internet.”
The proposed cuts are due to begin in April next year, less than five months away. Mark Kenyon continued: “You can’t raise fears in people, then fail to give them any further details. I wrote to the council last week asking for paper copies and a commitment to consult with people who don’t have access to the internet but are facing potentially big changes to their lives.”
He concluded: “I’m pleased to say that I’ve heard back that the Council has committed to reach out more widely to residents, although they’ve provided no detail about how this will happen. Although, why we’re even talking about cutting money from older people, SEN kids and those needing care when the Chancellor supposedly announced the end of austerity, I don’t even know.”
Those people that do have the internet can find the consultation at https://www.oldham.gov.uk/letstalkbudget.