I AM not surprised at what I see emerging from the recent round of local authority budget proposals across Scotland and particularly in social care ("City residents face hike as spending slashed", The Herald, January 16).
Where cuts are concerned, it really is time to start calling the knife a chainsaw.
Where now are the wonderful initiatives emerging from, for example, the pipeline of the Change Fund – a main tool in the big business of the Reshaping Care for Older People agenda?
Here, new ways were to emerge to demonstrate a redesigning of new and better care services at less cost: every £1 spent would bring about a saving of £3. These initiatives would then be translated into mainstream service provision where the people would be receiving more and more care at home rather than in hospital.
Don't forget all the other underpinning activities in terms of the integration of social care and health services – with some lip service to housing – where the funding for care needs would come from one large single pot capable of being tracked to show how, where and when money was being spent. This is not to forget all the bureaucracy surrounding the principle of partnership working between all involved community interests.
This is a very complex matter which grows more complicated daily and I and others might begin to understand things better if we were shown tangible evidence of where, when £1 is cut from the care budget, this manifests itself in better outcomes for the greater good of all. After all, another objective of the Government's Single Outcome Agreement with councils was to provide outcome-focused services and move away from those service-led. Another strange development, at least with the Glasgow situation, is the hit at the voluntary sector agencies which provide care services. It is all very odd, when these bodies generally deliver at a cheaper cost than councils with their democratic overheads and recent aims to pay staff the living wage – unlikely to be achievable in other sectors.
A bit of honesty all round is needed before we propel ourselves into the situation we seem to be ever talking about trying to prevent – the demographic explosion of the elderly and others and underfunded care needs.
11 Dhalling Park, Dunoon,
Glasgow's budgetary cuts should have been headed up with the parking of the proposed £15m makeover of George Square, which could be re-examined when the current austerity madness is relinquished at the 2015 General Election, or earlier if the rotten Coalition implodes. Even then, I am sure that the council's land services department could beautify the square at a fraction of the suggested cost.
The 100% increase in the charge for breakfast clubs is particularly disingenuous, (unless closure was the intention). A mother sending two children to school will face a weekly charge of £10, against the background of a raft of welfare cuts to be implemented in the current year.
However, it is the council tax freeze, allied to the 0.5 % bank rate, that is keeping hundred of thousands of us afloat.
38 Merryland Street,