Lynne Featherstone MP slams Haringey Council’s budget plans

Hornsey and Wood Green MP Lynne Featherstone has slammed the budget plans put forward by Labour-run Haringey Council, which include cutting £30 million from the social care budget.

The £30 million constitutes half of the savings that the Council are expected to make, as part of reducing the overall deficit. Haringey Labour’s plans includes a £10 million reduction in care packages, the closure of the remaining residential home and more.

The Liberal Democrat MP has urged Haringey Labour leader, Claire Kober, to go back to square one and make changes in other departments, which would be more manageable, have less impact on vulnerable residents, and benefit the Borough in the long term.

The local MP’s views echo those of local carers groups and community figures, who are also calling on the Labour-run council to think again.

The Haringey Liberal Democrats are in agreement with the MP’s call – and have suggested cutting the Council’s communications budget, as one alternative way to save money.

Lynne Featherstone MP commented:

“I’ve met with carers in the local area who have raised significant concerns about the £30 million the Council intends to cut from the social care budget.

“They are deeply concerned about the extra pressure this will place on carers and the impact on patients. They are also concerned about the lack of proper consultation on these plans, and the language used in the proposals – which often amounts to jargon.

“I share their concerns and believe that the savings could be made in a way which didn’t have such a terrible impact on the most vulnerable in Haringey.

“That’s why I am calling for a complete re-think of the budget, with proper engagement from all interested groups. I await a response from the Haringey Labour leader on whether she will do this.”

Deputy leader of the opposition on Haringey Council, Gail Engert, commented:

“The Haringey Lib Dems are behind Lynne’s call for a rethink. Haringey Labour have proposed sweeping cuts to the social care budget, regardless of the impact on vulnerable people.

“They have also failed to realise that cutting these services will not really save them any money – in fact it could cost them more. Many carers won’t be able to take up the additional work – meaning the Council will have to provide alternative social care at greater expense to themselves.

““The savings need to be made elsewhere. The council is still spending far too much on things like communications and the Haringey People magazine. And it was not that long ago that the Labour-run council wasted millions on bonus for home repairs.

“There needs to be a complete rethink of what the council spends money on.”