Somerset County Council’s funding cuts – The story so far.
Somerset County Council met on the 11th and 12th September to discuss proposal for spending cuts up to 13 million, this year with the likelihood of more cuts to come. The proposals were outlined in just under 700 pages of documents. You can find full details of the proposals here.
The proposals were split into 2 sections; proposals that could be implemented with cabinet approval and those that need consultation. Please not proposal CAF 20 Young Carers service was removed temporarily for more work to be done on the proposal.
Somerset Parent Carer Forum C.I.C attended the meeting for scrutiny polices and place committee on 9th September and full cabinet the following day. The forum challenged the legality of the process that had been used as there are concerns that individuals were not given an opportunity to participate in decisions about things that directly impact on them.
The forum based this on the Children and Families Act 2014 which sets out the participation duties of Local authorities in section 19 as follows:
“Local authority functions: supporting and involving children and young people
In exercising a function under this Part in the case of a child or young person, a local authority in England must have regard to the following matters in particular—
(a)the views, wishes and feelings of the child and his or her parent, or the young person;
(b)the importance of the child and his or her parent, or the young person, participating as fully as possible in decisions relating to the exercise of the function concerned;
(c)the importance of the child and his or her parent, or the young person, being provided with the information and support necessary to enable participation in those decisions;
(d)the need to support the child and his or her parent, or the young person, in order to facilitate the development of the child or young person and to help him or her achieve the best possible educational and other outcomes.” (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2014/6/section/19/enacted)
You can read the questions submitted to the council members by clicking on the meeting listed below:
The council are planning to make further cuts but need to consult of these BEFORE they can do so. The list can be found in the ‘need consultation’ link above.
We now need to collect evidence and ensure families are given an opportunity to have their voice heard about cuts to these important services. To enable us to do this we have established a working group to look at the young carers service and have developed surveys to collect your views.
The information will be used anonymously to form reports for the decision makers. Please help to ensure these reflect the views of the SEND community by getting involved and completing the surveys below. You may also want to look at the page ongoing surveys (currently under development) which covers other areas.
Young Carers (due after 1st working group middle October)