Oxford

Oxfordshire County Council revises £1m mental health cut plan

Oxfordshire County Council Image copyright Robin Sones
Image caption Oxfordshire County Council said its human resources team was now checking all records

A proposal to reduce the mental health services budget by £1m has been revised by Oxfordshire County Council.

The authority intended to reduce its contribution to the local mental health budget from £8m to £6.4m by 2022.

But after a public consultation it said it would only cut £600,000 from its mental health social workers budget.

Oxford West and Abingdon MP Layla Moran said she was delighted the council had thought twice about its "reckless cuts to mental health funding".

Conservative councillor Lawrie Stratford said: "We are grateful for the reasoned feedback we have received from Oxfordshire people and organisations, and we have listened."

The cabinet member for adult social care and public health added: "Our newly configured proposals will protect spend on mental health services, particularly those delivered by the voluntary sector."

The council said the £600,000 staffing reduction would be delayed by a year until 2020.

It would also invest £624,000 in special education needs and employing safeguarding social workers between 2019 and 2020, a council spokesman added.

Liberal Democrat Ms Moran welcomed the council's "u-turn", but added it was "by no means at all sufficient".

She called on the council to also scrap its plans to make cuts to staffing.

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