More questions asked over county care cuts

Kelly Spurway and Jasmine Ovey from Georgies Youth Centre in Barnstaple, discuss their concerns over the future of the service with North Devon Councillor Frank Biederman. Kelly Spurway and Jasmine Ovey from Georgies Youth Centre in Barnstaple, discuss their concerns over the future of the service with North Devon Councillor Frank Biederman.

Friday, May 9, 2014
8:00 AM

North Devon and Torridge councillors to attend face-to-face Exeter meeting to air concerns.

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FURTHER questions over proposed cuts to care and youth services will be raised by local councillors at a face-to-face meeting at County Hall on Wednesday.

A delegation of councillors from district councils in North Devon and Torridge will quiz Devon County Council cabinet members at the extraordinary meeting in Exeter.

County Council Leader John Hart has already responded to 23 questions penned by the overview and scrutiny committees of both councils in March.

However, the councils are now seeking further information as to the future delivery of adult day centres, care homes, youth services and meals on wheels in North Devon.

Chairman of North Devon Council’s overview and scrutiny committee, Cllr Frank Biederman, said: “We know tough choices have to be made, with budgets being cut. However, we believe that county could make savings in other areas, instead of these services that will affect our most vulnerable residents.”

Torridge counterpart Phil Pennington said both councils were disappointed that there were no county council representatives at the March meeting in Barnstaple.

He added: “It is accepted that services will change. However, vulnerable clients and their carers need some certainty for the future. We seek to find clarity from DCC on this issue.”

Young people are among those who have tabled questions tabled for the portfolio holder for young people’s services.

Kelly Spurway, who uses Georgies Youth Centre in Barnstaple, said: “If centres like ours were to close, we believe this would have a detrimental effect on the young people who use them.

“It’s not all about targets, it’s about real young people who might otherwise fall under the radar,” added Kelly, 17.

“Centres like ours provide a lot of support and guidance, in my case helping me more so than school. We feel the value of these centres hasn’t really been taken into consideration and it’s time we were listened to.”

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