A VOLUNTARY group which works with care providers in York fears it could lose all its council funding as a result of planned council budget cuts. The York-based Independent Care Group (ICG) acts as link between the council and dozens of care providers who care for thousands of people in the city and the surrounding area.
But ICG Chair Mike Padgham says that, after more than 25 years of being supported by the council, he fears it could lose all its approximately £20,000-a-year of funding.
He says there has been no consultation – but he was told in a telephone conversation the funding would go.
Any funding cuts were ‘bound to have an impact on the delivery of social care in the York area’, he warned.
Last month, the Labour-run council unveiled proposals to make savings of £14.3 million in the financial year starting in April, as part of efforts to plug a projected 40 million black hole in council finances over the next four years.
The proposals include cuts to Explore York libraries and to adult social care, alongside a charge for emptying green bins and increased car parking fees.
The Press also reported that the council was seeking to trim a total of £380,000 from council contracts for voluntary organisations in York – although the specific organisations to be targeted have not yet been identified, at least in public.
Today Mr Padgham urged the authority to re-think any planned cuts to his organization – and to hold consultations before deciding.
He said: “It is extremely disappointing that City of York Council is considering a cut to our funding…at a time of crisis for adult social care.
“It is vital that the council, NHS and local providers work more closely together, rather than less, to ensure local, vulnerable people get the care and support they need.
“For more than 25 years the ICG has (worked) closely with the council to ensure the care needs of York’s population are met, representing providers in negotiations and discussions with the authority, over care fees, for example, and speaking for providers on various boards and organisations.
“We have created an excellent working relationship …that benefits the council, the people it is responsible for sourcing care for and social care providers in the area.
“If this funding is cut, that relationship and the undoubted benefits it has brought, will be damaged and the care of older and vulnerable people in the area will inevitably be the worse for it. It will ultimately prove more costly, rather than less.”
Michael Melvin, the council’s corporate director of adult social care, confirmed that services – including those being provided in partnership with voluntary and community groups – were being reviewed.
He said: “The council will focus its resources on ensuring we deliver services in both the most effective and fairest way.
“We will continue to focus on those most in need, working in partnership with the NHS and voluntary and community sector to ensure we are getting the best value from external providers.
“We will be looking carefully at how we can ensure that we provide the best and fairest possible support for York’s residents and their carers (to) enable local people to live independently and in their own home with support for as long as possible.”
See the original York Press article here: