On Thursday evening, the Isle of Wight council Cabinet, despite huge opposition and against the recommendations of the Scrutiny Committee voted to scrap the Local Area Coordination Service from 31st March 2019.
Speaking in response to the decision, Independent councillor, Cllr Debbie Andre told OnTheWight,
“I share the public’s dismay at the pending loss of this vital service that has touched the lives of around 600 people already in the three years since it was established.
“The cabinet voted unanimously to cease funding for the nine Local Area Coordinators from 31st March 2019, despite a strong case and alternative recommendations being put forward by the scrutiny committee.”
Cost savings ignored
Cllr Clare Mosdell, cabinet member for adult social care, argues that it was only based on 21 people, but Southampton Solent University carried out a consultation which revealed that for every pound spent on the LAC service, £4.30 is saved by the IWC.
Cllr Andre added,
“No regard was paid to the costs saved by the early interventions provided by the LACs which prevent people entering the system later on when their needs have escalated to a higher level and would require a much higher level of funding.
“I’m acutely aware of more and more people needing low level help and support Islandwide and the Local Area Coordinators provide an unrivalled service from “cradle to grave” and have no eligibility criteria.”
Withdrawal of service will have “devastating effect”
Cllr Andre finished by saying,
“I believe the effects of the withdrawal of this service will have a devastating effect on our communities and I will be doing everything possible to ensure that Island residents have all of the support and care that they need to lead happy and fulfilled lives, by challenging the administration where finances are clearly the driving force behind decision making at the expense of addressing residents’ needs.”
Image: © With kind permission of Allan Marsh