Cuts to Local Area Coordinators ‘a false economy’, says councillor

Parish councillor writes to Cabinet members stating that it would incredibly short-sighted to cut funding to this vital service, directly affecting the most vulnerable and isolated people on the Island.

Vix Lowthion in Church Litten

Freshwater Parish Councillor, and Isle of Wight Green Party’s parliamentary candidate, Vix Lowthion, has today written to all Cabinet members ahead of tonight’s meeting.

Members of the public are welcome to attend the meeting which starts at 5pm and is being held at Westridge Community Learning Centre in Ryde (behind Tesco Extra). Among the items being considered are proposals to scrap the value and highly-praised Local Area Coordination service.

Over 1,000 signatures on petition
In her email Vix says,

Dear Cabinet members,

Petition: Save Local Area Coordinators on the Isle of Wight

Regarding your decision this evening about the future of our Local Area Coordinators Service: I attach the link to a petition of Islanders which has gained over 1,000 signatures in support of LACs in a very short time.

In addition, there are many dozens of comments and testimonies from Islanders who have seen first hand the huge benefits this service and the people bring – scroll down this email to get a snapshot of what your residents are saying.

To cut funding to this vital service will be incredibly short-sighted, and directly affect the most vulnerable and isolated people on the island and their carers. It is a completely false economy which will result in increased pressure on our health and social care budgets, rather than looking after people in their communities. This goes against everything which has been said by government at a local and national scale.

Please support our Local Area Coordinators.

Thank you,

Cllr Vix Lowthion
Freshwater Parish Council

Testimonies
Below are some of the testimonies by Islanders that appear on the petition

I have seen the power of The LAC in my area to give hope, connection and dignity to individuals other services have failed. The challenging remit and focus of these positions requires professionals with a extensive set of skills and losing these positions will damage our communities.

As a parish councillor and also as a community reablement support worker, I know how important LACs are in supporting some very vulnerable individuals. Without the LACs to signpost people to, vulnerable people may slip through the net and become more isolated, or a greater burden on already over stretched GP surgeries. LACs are not a soft option.

The LACs provide a crucial link in the community to help and resources for vulnerable people. Without this service I fear that people who are unable to get out will be missed by GP’s, and other services. My LAC has provided invaluable help, support and information for my elderly parents and to me as their carer. It would be brutal to cut this service and a false economy.

I see this as an essential service which provides care whilst saving money identifying problems before they become larger expensive problems. I believe cutting this service would result in greater expenditure for other vital services such as GPs and the NHS. Please don’t.

Prevention is always better and cheaper than cure. Whilst the majority of the service has been paid for out of a government grant (apart from the £9,000 license fee), and even if this is reduced, the LACs would still be good value for money. A similar service done ‘on the cheap’ would not have the advantage of the experience, contacts and support the Lacs have built up. Councillor Mosdell has not proved whether there would be any significant saving to the Council and a short term ‘saving’ on paper will undoubtedly prove costly in the long term.

They are invisible helpers who change people’s lives

As a volunteer as Aspire, we see the value of the work Steve does. The number of times we have people referred to us, especially the homeless, is incredible. They then think we can provide accommodation, which we most certainly can’t. It’s so good to be able to refer them to Steve.

As someone who supports an isolated gentleman with mental health problems and alcohol addiction i depend on people like this. I work so im limited as to what i can do and lonliness and helplessness are killers. The Island has a huge nental health and addiction problem..as a ratio of the population i believe it is higher than anywhere else so cutting these posts are a madness at best and cruel at worse.

Local Area Coordinators are the lifeline of so many people on the Isle of Wight. They help those in hard to reach places engage with life and harness opportunity on the Isle of Wight. Without them many would lose the lifeline they have to the outside world.

It seems crazy to me, to consider taking away early support mechanisms that help to prevent major problems. If more money was invested in preventative action it would help save the huge sums of money spent when things go wrong through lack of early support.

The LACs provide a crucial link in the community to help and resources for vulnerable people. Without this service I fear that people who are unable to get out will be missed by GP’s, and other services. My LAC has provided invaluable help, support and information for my elderly parents and to me as their carer. It would be brutal to cut this service and a false economy.

My elderly parents with health problems really benefit from this service. It’ll only cost more to intervene at a later stage. Hopelessly short sighted decision!

I am signing because I know how important this service is in our area. The help they give to build people’s confidence and self esteem is amazing. This service is worth its weight in gold

The cost doesn’t justify cutting, it is the opposite of excessive. It’s a preventative measure. It handles problems effectively for everyone. We need measures to handle crises, they won’t just go away.

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Thursday, 8th November, 2018 10:49am

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Filed under: Budget Cuts, Community, Health, Island-wide, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight News, Top story

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2 Comments on "Cuts to Local Area Coordinators ‘a false economy’, says councillor"

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Colin

The tories don’t care. They want the £400,000 they propose to save to pay for the new tier of management at the council, which costs surprise, £400,000.

Which would you rather have?

Braveheart

To all the Aging Cabinet Members:
I would say but one thing, before you start cutting the funding for our Local Area Coordinators just remember one thing, you are going to get a lot older and when you are in the position of needing help, it won’t be there for you! So don’t be so short sighted now.