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Support for Crossroads Cut

Crossroads Cuts

 

Those who care for frail relatives and friends provide a valuable service that eases the pressure on council care services. For the last 22 years Crossroads Care has supported carers in Cheshire by supplying a trained Carer Support Worker who will assume the duties of the carer for a short period of time allowing the carer to have a break. Now, as a result of cuts by Cheshire East Council, that free service will end on 31 March.

 

From 1 April Crossroads will charge £15.96 per hour for the service, meaning that a 3 hour break will cost £48. This will be too much for the budgets of many carers who only receive £58 per week in carer’s allowance.

 

‘Early intervention & prevention’ is a tried and tested way of saving money. By helping carers to care for elderly relatives in their own homes, charities like Crossroads support both the carers and the person being cared for. If people can remain in their own homes for longer rather than moving into care homes, then this helps everybody and saves the council money. This is a clear case where prevention is better than cure.

 

The Labour group supports the policy of investing in early intervention and would promote self reliance and capacity within local communities to reduce demand on services.

By contrast the Conservatives’ policy of cutting back support for community groups will lead to an increase in demand for council services.

 

At the Cheshire East Council budget-setting meeting on 28 February the Labour group proposed a formal amendment to the budget that a proposal to cut £350,000 from voluntary, community and faith sector contracts in preventative services should be withdrawn. The Labour amendment was voted down by Conservative and LibDem Councillors. Now we are seeing examples of what the cuts mean in practice.

 

Carers are being hit from several different directions. The cuts to Crossroads care will prevent many from taking an afternoon off from caring. At the same time Cheshire East Council are consulting on closing the Mountview respite care centre in Congleton. This will make it more difficult for ‘cared for’ people to get respite care while the main carer also has a break. The waiting lists for respite care at Crewe and Macclesfield will increase if cases are transferred from Congleton.

 

Cllr Irene Faseyi, Labour Councillor for Crewe Central, said,

“It is penny wise, pound foolish for Cheshire East Council to cut the funding for Crossroads Care as many carers are themselves old spouses/partners and when they breakdown, the council has to foot the bill of hospitalisation as well as respite care for the "cared for" while the carer is indisposed.

It is a known fact that carers have saved Cheshire East Council at least a million pounds in savings by preventative measures.”

 

Steve Carter, Labour candidate for Macclesfield Hurdsfield said,

"What is shocking is that on April 6th the Conservatives and Lib Dems will give 13,000 millionaires a tax cut of up to a £100,000 each while really important budgets for carers are cut by £350,000 in East Cheshire. The priorities of this political leadership are all wrong."

 

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