THE government was urged yesterday to “address the crisis in local councils’ funding” hitting disabled people and their families.
Learning disability charity Mencap spoke out after two families from Newbury won a High Court battle over a council’s decision to cut spending on services which allow parents with disabled children to take a break.
Ms Justice Elisabeth Laing ruled West Berkshire council had unlawfully cut its “short breaks” services.
Despite the acknowledgement of the council suffering “an exceptionally difficult financial position” because of cuts imposed by central government, she cited that the council was under a legal duty to provide services assisting individuals caring for disabled children.
Mencap campaign chief Rossana Trudgian said the judgement acts as a “reminder of the damning effects” disability cuts impose on disabled children.
She said: “Short breaks are a lifeline for many families who care 24 hours a day, seven days a week for their loved ones with a disability.
A march is being held in Bromley in London today to protest against cuts and privatisation by a Tory-run local authority.
Unite leader Len McCluskey, who will speak at the rally, said: “Bromley Council is failing the people of Bromley. I am proud that Unite is opposing the cuts.
“In Bromley alone, we have members who have taken over 30 days of strike action in defence of the services they provide.
“Just this week Unite members working in the libraries of Bromley stood up and fought back because they oppose plans to sack staff and cut library services.”