District councils join forces to debate county care cuts

Councillors Jane Whittaker and Frank Biederman are pictured outside the Oakwell day centre in Bickington, one of the Devon County Council-run centres under review. Councillors Jane Whittaker and Frank Biederman are pictured outside the Oakwell day centre in Bickington, one of the Devon County Council-run centres under review.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014
8:00 AM

North Devon and Torridge to draft formal response at special meeting this week.

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NORTH Devon Council and Torridge District Council are joining forces to debate proposed cuts to local care services at special meeting on Thursday.

The district councils will draft a formal response to Devon County Council’s proposals to close day centres and transfer its residential care homes to the private sector.

The joint overview and scrutiny committee will also discuss concerns about proposed cuts to youth and heritage services, and meals on wheels.

Councillor Frank Biederman chairman of North Devon’s Councils’ overview and scrutiny committee, said his inbox was ‘full’ of people worried about the impact of the changes on their family members.

“This is not about giving the county council a hard time,” he added. “All local authorities are having to make fundamental cuts.

“However, we feel there are other areas that could be considered, before taking away services affecting our most vulnerable residents.”

Torridge counterpart Cllr Jane Whittaker said: “There are some very tough decisions to be made at both county and district authority levels, due to the cuts in government funding.

“However, both North Devon and Torridge district councils believe that these kind of services are absolutely essential for the most vulnerable in our communities, who will always need help and support.”

The committees have invited Devon County Council’s Cabinet to send a representative to the meeting to discuss their concerns.

They are also inviting along people from across the area who would be affected by any potential cuts to the services.

Members of the public who are interested in the future of the services are welcome to attend the meeting, which is being held in the civic centre from 2pm.

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