Older people’s services “should not be the first target” says Liberal Democrats

Liberal Democrats have today demanded that the Council rethinks its proposed cuts to older people’s drop-in centres, luncheon clubs and day centres. The Labour Council announced in December 2010 that the Haven and Grange Day Centres, Abyssina Court, Willoughby Road, Woodside House and Irish Centre Drop-in centres and Jackson’s Lane Luncheon club would be cut to save £425,000.

Liberal Democrats have said that services for older people should not be the first target for the Council to cut and have highlighted that the Council should prioritise back-office savings before cuts to vital services. The cuts to drop-in centres, luncheon clubs and day centres represent just 0.2% of the £182 million in central government funding the Council will receive next year.

The £425,000 cut proposed to drop-in centres, day centres and luncheon clubs is less than the annual cost to residents for the write off of the residents money that the Labour Council lost in the Icelandic bank collapse.

Lynne Featherstone, MP for Hornsey and Wood Green comments:

“Local government has to make savings, but it is up to the local authority where those savings rest. Haringey Labour are going for soft targets, but I believe this drastic cut to services for older people is a very poor decision. We should protect our most vulnerable not close services they cherish.

“Labour’s financial mismanagement nationally got the country into this mess and locally Labour has made it worse.”

Cllr David Winskill, Liberal Democrat Health and Adult Social Services spokesperson adds:

“It is often said that the mark of a civilised society is how we look after our older residents. The Labour Council is not prioritising its use of the £182 million of government funding towards the services that many older people rely on. These services should not be the first target of Labour’s cuts.

“The cuts at day centres, luncheon clubs and drop-in centres represent 0.2% of the Council’s central government funding yet the Council are suggesting that, in the remaining 99.8% of the funding, there is nothing else they could cut instead of these services.”