Enough is enough

Salisbury Journal: Manager Angela Bryant with one of the children at the John McNeill Opportunity Centre. DC4591P5 Manager Angela Bryant with one of the children at the John McNeill Opportunity Centre. DC4591P5

A CENTRE that supports young children with special needs and a care home for disabled adults are the latest victims of swingeing funding cuts hitting the most vulnerable people in south Wiltshire.

Following last week’s announcement that the efforts of parents to save Hillcote, Salisbury’s only respite care home for children with severe disabilities had failed, it has now been confirmed that the city’s Douglas Arter Centre is to close at the end of the year, while the John McNeill nursery has had its funding slashed.

And the Journal is saying “enough is enough” as we launch our SOS: Save Our Services campaign.

Cuts in central Government funding are being passed on to the services in the city that protect and support those who need it most in our society, and it is feared more could be on the way as the economy struggles to recover.

The John McNeill Opportunity Centre, in Odstock Road, helps 60 children and has a waiting list of 15. It’s funding was slashed by £13,000 two years ago, and now it is set to lose another £10,000.

“The need is getting more as the money is getting less,” said manager Angela Bryant. “If we can't raise enough we'll have to cut spaces, which means there are going to be families that are not going to have anything.

“Most of the children at Hillcote came here and we have staff that also work at Hillcote - it just has a knock-on effect. The parents and the children need a break from home.

“These children need to be together, to socialise.”

And the Douglas Arter care home caters for disabled adults, many of whom can’t speak up for themselves and who have lived there for years.

“We know of no other suitable homes in the Salisbury area where the residents could live, and many have needs that are far too complex for them to be able to move home,” said Merrin Holroyd, whose husband Nick worked at the Douglas Arter Centre for seven years and whose daughter Megan attends a Scope-run day centre in Salisbury.

“They won't understand what is happening and why they have to move.”

Comments (7)

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3:08pm Thu 13 Feb 14

Friend of the People says...

This is the typical sleight of hand contained in the Wiltshire Council Budget. The Coalition Government deliberatley cuts the grant funding for disabled children when it provides Wiltshire Council funding. But Wiltshire Council makes no effort to make up the difference.

So two levels of government pass the buck between themselves. The result being that disabled children across the county are the losers. The decision not to support was msade by the same Conservative councillors in Cabinet who voted a week or back to trouser massive increases in allowances.

If parents of these children turn up at County Hall to lobby councillors, they are likely to be subject to the same boorish behaviour from Conservative councilloors that the public faced at the previous meeting.

Truly the nasty party is in charge nationally and locally - with the help of some Lib Dems.
This is the typical sleight of hand contained in the Wiltshire Council Budget. The Coalition Government deliberatley cuts the grant funding for disabled children when it provides Wiltshire Council funding. But Wiltshire Council makes no effort to make up the difference. So two levels of government pass the buck between themselves. The result being that disabled children across the county are the losers. The decision not to support was msade by the same Conservative councillors in Cabinet who voted a week or back to trouser massive increases in allowances. If parents of these children turn up at County Hall to lobby councillors, they are likely to be subject to the same boorish behaviour from Conservative councilloors that the public faced at the previous meeting. Truly the nasty party is in charge nationally and locally - with the help of some Lib Dems. Friend of the People

7:43pm Thu 13 Feb 14

John Todman says...

Yet again we see resources that are of value to the community being denied the support of local government. What was it Cameron said when he came into office - I am a family man etc. etc. etc. At that time he also had a severely disabled son, sadly passed from this world. I wonder what his reaction would be if his son had been attending any of these facilities? Would he just shrug his shoulders and walk away???? arguments will rage about responsibility but at the end of the day it is the individual families that have to make dramatic changes to lifestyle - not the [politicians. Let us hear from councillors just exactly WHAT they intend to put in place for these closures/cutbacks???
??
Yet again we see resources that are of value to the community being denied the support of local government. What was it Cameron said when he came into office - I am a family man etc. etc. etc. At that time he also had a severely disabled son, sadly passed from this world. I wonder what his reaction would be if his son had been attending any of these facilities? Would he just shrug his shoulders and walk away???? arguments will rage about responsibility but at the end of the day it is the individual families that have to make dramatic changes to lifestyle - not the [politicians. Let us hear from councillors just exactly WHAT they intend to put in place for these closures/cutbacks??? ?? John Todman

11:07pm Thu 13 Feb 14

FreeBornJohn says...

I totally support this campaign. The cuts are far too extensive and are now causing extreme hardship to the most vulnerable. At a time when we have spent billions on banks and wars, we need to reconsider our priorities.

You need to also understand that this is all driven by Tory policies, they have chosen to withdraw this money and destroy lives.

Remember that at the general election.
I totally support this campaign. The cuts are far too extensive and are now causing extreme hardship to the most vulnerable. At a time when we have spent billions on banks and wars, we need to reconsider our priorities. You need to also understand that this is all driven by Tory policies, they have chosen to withdraw this money and destroy lives. Remember that at the general election. FreeBornJohn

11:55pm Thu 13 Feb 14

Grampie says...

The nasty party has just got nastier.

Nobody voted for the cuts that affect these children.

These people are despicable and they have just voted themselves a big pay rise.
The nasty party has just got nastier. Nobody voted for the cuts that affect these children. These people are despicable and they have just voted themselves a big pay rise. Grampie

10:48am Fri 14 Feb 14

gingin says...

I cannot understand where compassion has gone. These people are despicable "I'm alright jack never mind about you"!!

I expect we will have Councillors say cuts need to be made so where else can we make savings. I have no idea where cuts can be made and I am not about to go through pages and pages of Council blurb set out in the budget agenda. After all the cabinet have just received by self vote a big increase in their allowances so I suggest they do a better job and help the most vulnerable instead of taking the path of least resistance when deciding on "cuts".
I cannot understand where compassion has gone. These people are despicable "I'm alright jack never mind about you"!! I expect we will have Councillors say cuts need to be made so where else can we make savings. I have no idea where cuts can be made and I am not about to go through pages and pages of Council blurb set out in the budget agenda. After all the cabinet have just received by self vote a big increase in their allowances so I suggest they do a better job and help the most vulnerable instead of taking the path of least resistance when deciding on "cuts". gingin

9:19pm Fri 14 Feb 14

nesspah says...

Heartless, callous, unkind, pitiless, uncaring, cold, unfeeling but the councillors voted themselves increased allowances so all’s well.

I shall watch as our MP follows the lead of his Devizes colleague and vows to find the funds to support the genuine disadvantaged.
Heartless, callous, unkind, pitiless, uncaring, cold, unfeeling but the councillors voted themselves increased allowances so all’s well. I shall watch as our MP follows the lead of his Devizes colleague and vows to find the funds to support the genuine disadvantaged. nesspah

5:17pm Thu 20 Feb 14

Friend of the People says...

Does John Glenn realise that it is his government that has cut the grant that funds these highly valued centres for children with learning difficulty across the county. Is he in a similar state of denial as Devizes MP Claire Perry when told why they were being cut - after she commented on what good work they were doing - said, "No one told me".

At least Andrew Murrison said "There is nothing I can or will do about it".

Westminster or County Hall - it is the same old NASTY PARTY. Supported by the Lib Dems.
Does John Glenn realise that it is his government that has cut the grant that funds these highly valued centres for children with learning difficulty across the county. Is he in a similar state of denial as Devizes MP Claire Perry when told why they were being cut - after she commented on what good work they were doing - said, "No one told me". At least Andrew Murrison said "There is nothing I can or will do about it". Westminster or County Hall - it is the same old NASTY PARTY. Supported by the Lib Dems. Friend of the People

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