David Laws MP Calls On County Council To Reverse “Appalling” Cut To Carers’ Budget
David Laws, MP for Yeovil Constituency, has today criticised Somerset County Council for failing to inform the public that it will soon be cutting the Young Carers budget on which many carers, some as young as eight years old, rely to support their family.
Figures obtained from Friends of Somerset Young Carers Project suggest that the Conservative County Council want to reduce the Young Carers Project staffing budget from £125,000 to between £60,000 and £70,000, provoking fears amongst carers and support groups that vulnerable families will suffer. There are 341 registered Young Carers in Somerset, who support a family member with a mental or physical illness or a substance misuse problem. The proposed budget cuts will usher in a drastic reduction in the staff and resources available to help Young Carers.
The Young Carers project is designed to give targeted support to young people, some of whom are only eight, to help them care for their family and enable them to live a normal life. A decision on the future of this service will be decided by Somerset County Council at a meeting on 15th February, following an initial meeting to discuss the plans on 6th February.
Commenting on the proposals, Mr. Laws said:
“Yet again, Somerset County Council is failing to consult and inform residents about a decision to pull the rug from under some of the most vulnerable members of our community. The people who stand to be affected by this appalling cut are children who already carry responsibilities of a scale which are well beyond their years, and who will now apparently be asked to do so with next to no support.
“These carers are young children. How can the County Council possibly expect them to get a decent education, support their family, and somehow try to have a normal childhood, all with little or no help?
“It is not just the unfair and damaging consequences of this cut that have angered residents, but the fact that, yet again, Somerset County Council is not being open about its decisions. There is not nearly enough time to publicly analyse and discuss the proposals, and no thought given to what support might be needed in its place. Somerset County Council needs to rethink these plans and withdraw the current proposals”.
Category: MP Press Releases