Petition update

Moreland council to vote on rescinding cuts- Please send councillors a letter

Iain McIntyre
Coburg, Australia

Jul 8, 2016 — Thanks to all of you for signing the petition, it has really helped. On Wednesday 13th July Councillor Sue Bolton will put a motion to the monthly council meeting calling on the council to rescind its cuts and make after hours home care available to all residents again on the basis of need. Some councillors have signalled they will support this, but the bureaucrats behind these cuts are lobbying them heavily not to. They have also already started moving people off the after hours service, despite these clients saying that they continue to need access.

To counter this it's really important that we also apply extra pressure so if any of you can send an email to the councillors then that will hopefully help us get us across the line. A sample letter, which you can cut and paste or modify, is below along with relevant email addresses.

If anyone can make it to the meeting to ask a question regarding these changes or to show your opposition to the cuts then please join us from 6.30pm on Wednesday July 13 at Council Chamber, Moreland Civic Centre, 90 Bell Street, Coburg. Entry is from the carpark at the rear.

Dear councillor,
I was disappointed to recently learn that Moreland Council has been individually contacting Aged and Disability Home Support Services clients with a view to shifting their access to services to the hours of 7am-7pm, Monday to Friday. Seniors, disabled people and their carers deal with health and other issues 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Restricting their hours of access will have a negative effect on the quality of life of some of Moreland’s most vulnerable residents and reduce the ability of their carers to cope, complete household chores and spend time with other children, partners and family members. It will particularly impact on migrants and others who do not have extended family networks to support them.
This aspect of Moreland Council’s Aged and Disability Home Support Services, which only makes up a tiny part of overall council expenditure, is currently addressing a significant community need. This is particularly the case since private providers are generally focused on delivering services at lowest cost in order to maximise profits.
I have heard that the council will still be offering the service to some existing clients on “safety” grounds. Despite this I am also aware that clients who have been contacted by your officers have not been informed of this option and that the safety criteria have not been made public or explained to them. I’m also aware that some who believe the loss of the service will badly impact on them have been told that safety criteria do not apply. Given that those accessing services have chosen their hours on the basis of what they believe best meets their health and welfare needs this should be the criteria for future access. Those who are currently not accessing the service after hours, but may need to do so in the future due to changing life circumstances are also being unfairly disadvantaged by this policy change.
I request that you take steps to reinstate full access to after-hours Aged and Disability Home Support Services for new and existing clients, with the time and day of access to be based on when the client or their carer decides they require it. I also ask that you return to using your former service review processes rather than meetings aimed at shifting clients out of after hours care or onto other providers. Finally I request that council send a letter to all clients informing them of their ability to access these services on the basis of need.


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