Norfolk

Norfolk plans £12m cuts to adult social care funding

County Hall, Norwich
Image caption Norfolk County Council could see about 260 jobs go each year, for the next three years

Services for the elderly, people with disabilities or mental health problems in Norfolk could be cut by £12m as part of a council's plan to save £189m.

The county council has started a 12-week consultation over ways in which money could be saved and is speaking to groups of people affected.

It has not yet highlighted any specific services which could be cut.

Council leader George Nobbs said a cut in government funding had forced it to examine all of its spending.

He said he believed the council, run by a Labour, Liberal Democrat and UKIP alliance, had achieved its required cuts.

However, he said the authority was now facing further cuts and another reduction in the government grant to the council.

Phil Wells, of Age UK in Norwich, said he feared groups could end up fighting each other for a dwindling amount of money.

'Normal life'

Mr Wells said: "The task is now to find alternative ways of helping people especially those requiring social care, suffering mental health conditions or social isolation.

"I fear the cuts will hit younger people and those with disabilities hardest. They get funding to help them live as normal a life as possible.

"Older people get help with feeding, shopping, washing, dressing or getting ready for bed and do not need a lot of funding.

"It may be that more volunteers will be needed to maintain services like these."

Alison Birmingham, from Unison, said staff had "continually been through reorganisations and changes and have played their part in trying to cut costs".

She added: "All the current talk in the NHS and adult social care is around reducing dependency and promoting independence but this takes investment, not cuts!"

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