This just in from the council in response to the Adult Social Care High Court Judgment handed down this morning, in the council’s own words – Ed
Joint statement from Councillor David Pugh, leader of the Isle of Wight Council and Councillor Roger Mazillius, cabinet member for adult social care, housing and community safety.
“We are naturally disappointed with this decision, having genuinely sought to undertake a thorough and proper process of consultation.
“The Isle of Wight Council was required to make substantial budget savings within a short timeframe, while at the same time protecting those who were most vulnerable and in need of support. We also had to look to the future and position ourselves to face the demographic and financial challenges that the coming years will bring.
“We will now need to spend time reflecting on the implications for both service users and the wider council budget before deciding on our next course of action.
“Throughout this process we tried to ensure that the methods used to consult and the content of that consultation would be understood by residents. We worked closely with a range of representative community groups to compile the consultation literature and tried to create the right balance between sharing information and not overwhelming people with too much complex detail. We also allowed a full 90 day period for people to consider the proposals and make their response.
“We accept the judge’s decision that that we did not provide sufficient information and that, in our attempts to explain what was a complex decision, we unintentionally breached some elements of the guidance.
“We will immediately comply with the judge’s ruling and return to the previous eligibility threshold whilst we consider our next steps. We will not be appealing the decision.
“Our staff will be making contact immediately with the 32 service users who have been directly affected by these changes, to offer a reassessment of their needs. We consider that the staff who have managed the changes over the past nine months have done so with care, sensitivity and professionalism and we have no doubt that they will continue to do so as they respond to this outcome.
“If people have queries in relation to whether they are one of the 32 affected, they can contact us on (01983) 823516.”
Update: Corrected the article’s author to IWC press office