Bradford elderly care threshold campaign ‘is censored’

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: David Ward  talks to Lawrence and Barbara Brocklesby at Carlisle Business Centre in January after presenting a study on social care David Ward talks to Lawrence and Barbara Brocklesby at Carlisle Business Centre in January after presenting a study on social care

A campaign group fighting cuts to care for the elderly and disabled claims its petition is being “censored” by Bradford Council.

In October, Bradford Council’s executive approved a cost-cutting plan to raise the threshold for when vulnerable people are entitled to care.

Soon, only people with substantial or critical needs will be eligible for help with tasks such as washing, eating and dressing in their own homes.

The changes, to be phased in from April, are expected to affect about 2,000 people and will save about £1.57 million a year.

But campaigners fighting for a re-think say they are being prevented from going to City Hall and arguing their case because of a technicality in the Council’s constitution.

Last night, any claim of censorship was rejected by the Council, which says a three-month consultation took place before the executive decision.

Usually, if a petition is handed to the Council with more than 1,500 signatures, it means the matter must be debated by a full meeting.

The Bradford Cares group gathered more than 1,700 names but has now been told a petition cannot trigger a debate when the executive has already made its decision.

Emmerson Walgrove, deputy chairman of Bradford and District Disabled People’s Forum, said: “Unfortunately lots of disabled people in Bradford don’t have a copy of the Council’s constitution. People from all backgrounds helped to pull this petition together, but because we want a debate about something the executive has decided on, but not the rest of the councillors, we cannot have our say. This feels unfair.”

Mr Walgrove said the decision “felt like censorship.”

Bradford East MP David Ward (Lib Dem), one of those spearheading the campaign, said it was wrong for the Council to argue the matter had already been decided because the cost-cutting plan formed part of the Council’s budget, which won’t be finalised until February.

He said: “Bradford Council is turning its back on over 2,000 vulnerable people.”

Councillor Jeanette Sunderland, leader of the Liberal Democrat group, said: “Disabled people should be allowed their say. I was shocked to find they are being stopped from speaking.”

But Janice Simpson, Bradford Council’s strategic director for adult and community services, said: “There is no question of censorship .

“There was a three-month process where a wide range of organisations and partnerships were consulted.

“There was the opportunity to speak at the executive meeting and there was a 4.5-hour scrutiny session where individuals had opportunity to express their views.”

She said it was not the case that 2,000 people would definitely lose services as their needs would be re-assessed.

Comments (3)

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10:12am Thu 12 Dec 13

BaildonGuy says...

This is nothing new. There were 1700 plus signatures on the Buck Lane petition and the Council found 'procedural' ways of ignoring it. City Hall is not interested in reality, democracy, or the wellbeing of its citizens. It just lives in an overpaid fantasy world of glossy five-year plans that come to nothing.
This is nothing new. There were 1700 plus signatures on the Buck Lane petition and the Council found 'procedural' ways of ignoring it. City Hall is not interested in reality, democracy, or the wellbeing of its citizens. It just lives in an overpaid fantasy world of glossy five-year plans that come to nothing. BaildonGuy

10:24am Thu 12 Dec 13

Steve30d says...

What's with 11.2.1- "The City Solicitor must not accept a request for the Council to receive a petition: From a political party or organisation or in connection with the activities and aims of such a party or organisation
without first consulting the Leader of the Council or in her/his absence the Deputy Leader. "? On the face of it fine maybe, but I'm curious as to how many petitions have been blocked by delay at that stage and in absence of other factors and maybe not actually counted? ie an inactive rather than active form of censorship. Similar to how the quorate stuff back in 3.1 appears to have been abused by some councilors.
What's with 11.2.1- "The City Solicitor must not accept a request for the Council to receive a petition: From a political party or organisation or in connection with the activities and aims of such a party or organisation without first consulting the Leader of the Council or in her/his absence the Deputy Leader. "? On the face of it fine maybe, but I'm curious as to how many petitions have been blocked by delay at that stage and in absence of other factors and maybe not actually counted? ie an inactive rather than active form of censorship. Similar to how the quorate stuff back in 3.1 appears to have been abused by some councilors. Steve30d

4:52pm Thu 12 Dec 13

alive and awake says...

Labour leaders using censorship!!!!!!! who would have thought it.
Labour leaders using censorship!!!!!!! who would have thought it. alive and awake

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