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Council attempts 17% care cuts by back door

posted 10 Feb 2010, 07:24 by myEdinburgh Admin
Despite saying they “regret” the mistakes made during the scrapped tender for care and support services, campaign groups say Edinburgh Council is still trying to make disastrous cuts to the sector.

In response to the secret independent report on the care tender (leaked to the Edinburgh Evening News) Council Chief Executive Tom Aitchison announced in a report to the Finance and Resources Committee on the 4th February that the tender process would be scrapped.
He put forward proposals allowing service-users to keep their chosen providers but setting new funding at a lower rate of £15 per hour.
  A final decision will be made at the full council budget meeting on the 11th February where the Lib Dem / SNP proposals can only be defeated if the Conservative group of councillors back amendments put forward by Labour and the Greens.
 Campaign groups have accused the Council of trying to make amendments by the back door. Danny Oliver from Edinburgh Support Workers’ Action Network (SWAN) said

 “Our service-users are happy that they will no longer be transferred to cheap private companies against their will. However, despite saying they regret the mistakes they have made, the Council plans to pass the same massive cuts onto existing providers which will seriously affect their capacity to deliver a quality service”

Labour intend to propose that the decision to set the new funding rate is delegated to the Health and Social Care Committee pending consultation with affected groups. It is thought that the Green group will back this motion but the position of the Conservative group is unclear. Mr Oliver of SWAN stated
 “the last time this was discussed at a full Council meeting the Tory group voted against the administration saying that, although they would support cuts of up to 10% outlined in the original tender process, they thought no department should be asked to make cuts of 20%, especially one responsible for vulnerable people. If funding rates are set at £15.04 it will mean a cut of 17.5%. We hope that the Tories will not go back on what they said in November. If the cuts are to be limited to a less disastrous 10% the new funding rates would be set at £16.50 per hour – a significant difference for service-users and voluntary sector organisations”

For more info contact Danny on 0759 531 9572, e-mail or see

Edinburgh Support Workers' Action Network (SWAN) is a network of care and support workers set up to fight the budget cuts and competitive tendering being imposed by Edinburgh Council which threaten our jobs and our service-users' quality of care.