The Isle of Wight council announced earlier this week their consultation on the future of the Cross Solent Travel Scheme, a scheme that helps the some of the most vulnerable Islanders needing medical care on the mainland.
Isle of Wight councillor for East Cowes, Karl Love, responded to the announcement, saying,
“This is a monstrous, immoral and outrageous consultation which deeply hurts families and stretches the principals of human rights and the World’s Health Organisation’s principals to the limits. Anyone who has experienced cross-Solent Travel while fighting for their lives will be hugely emotionally affected by this suggested cut to travel grants and especially those on low incomes.
“To even consider implementing a consultation to remove this basic funding on such an emotive issues just highlights a total lack of compassion and comprehension by this Tory Administration.”
Love: Will create “additional inequalities”
“Do the Tories and Cllr Clare Mosdell in her explanation not understand what their Austerity has already inflicted on people and how their policies and agenda is creating additional inequalities in health for many Island people?
“They seem not to understand the hurt and distress they now cause people through conducting this consultation.”
Love: An “empty deception strategy”
Cllr Love added,
“It’s a disgraceful action which significantly damages our population’s confidence in access to high quality healthcare services on the mainland. We Islanders have ‘the Right to Life’ and our health service accessibility is already disadvantaged by the sea and cancellations to services.
“The Tories try to justify their decision by consulting, when in reality they are not doing this at all. It’s simply an action which they must take to use as mitigation and justification. It’s an empty deception strategy politically posturing and we can all see this for what it is.
“What is our Council about if it cannot support its own Island peoples Health first?”
Love: Can’t compare with other authorities
He went on to add,
“Our Island’s Administration also tries to justify its action by making comparatives with other Local Authorities across England, but we are different to them and running a consultation is clearly just a lip service response when added to the quite frankly disgusting explanation provided by Cllr Mosdell.
“It’s time for our Island people to rise up and protest about this and other savage Austerity cuts to services.
“It shows a complete lack of moral and professional judgment in understanding how significant life-threatening illness affects the whole family unit when diagnosed and having to cope with what can be an horrendous journey for treatment.
“It does rack up significant costs and every penny counts for those on low income.”
Love: Tories “trying to neutralise any opposition”
He went on to say,
“If our council cannot support its own people when they are at their most vulnerable, then this council has no business to exist.
“I now truly understand why the Tories removed me from the Adult Social Care Scrutiny Committee a few weeks ago.
“I believe it was because they were deviously preparing the way for implementing savage cuts and trying to neutralise any opposition to their plans.”
Love: “Tories should hang their heads in shame”
Cllr Love finished by saying,
“I survived Cancer and yes it was a financial struggle too. I cut corners with my health trying to balance the cost of illness and loss of income. I know others will take even greater risks and it is for them that I object to healthcare cuts as it creates inequalities.
“Dangerously ill people should not have to be battling with balancing the books and trying to stay alive.
“What’s proposed here will see more people sitting at home in the cold trying to economise. I’m pretty disgusted at this consultation even being considered and the Tories should hang their heads in shame.”
Have your say
If you wish to respond to the consultation, follow the link to complete the online survey.
Image: © With kind permission of Allan Marsh