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We the undersigned deplore the completely unacceptable and damaging cuts to council services planned by West Sussex County Council for the budget years 2021-22 and 2022-23 to meet its multi-million pound budget gap. These sweeping cuts will lead to devastating consequences for many people who live and work in West Sussex. They include:

  • the proposed closure of 32 of our vital children and family centres.
  • the closure of residential services for older vulnerable people.
  • significant cutbacks to adult social care including day services.

These cruel cuts will be a hammer blow to our most vulnerable adults (including physically- and learning-disabled adults and to older people). They will also impact our children, young people and families who need support the most in our already cut-damaged communities.

For example, people with learning disabilities who have been particularly badly affected by Covid-19 are up to six times more likely to die as a result due to the multiple disadvantages they already face (Public Health England, Nov 2020). These WSCC proposals will only make matters worse.

We call on West Sussex County Council to:

  • Re-double their efforts to lobby West Sussex MPs and central government for the protection of public services from unnecessary and damaging cuts, particularly at this time.
  • Include the people who will be affected by these cuts in their lobbying efforts.
  • Review its expenditure and policy on relocation allowances for executive staff in light of recent scandals and wastefulness of taxpayer’s money.
  • Review its failed budget management strategy of 2010-20 with a view to learn lessons from its previous ideological and short-term decisions of saving money by cutting services.
  • Put a hold on all cuts for 2021-22, instead formulating a strategy to use reserves and borrowing to plug the gap caused by central government under-funding.

Please sign this petition to stop the proposed cuts to West Sussex Social Care Services.