A COUNCIL’S adult services department which provides services for pensioners and vulnerable groups is looking to make budget cuts of £1.3m.
Hartlepool Borough Council is looking to take out £1.325m from its adult services budget for 2014-15 as a result of severe cuts from the central Government.
The local authority needs to save a total of £16m over the next few years and councillors have once again hit out at the cuts being imposed on the town.
A total of five jobs are at risk as a result of the adult services budget cuts, but councillors were warned the impact on front-line services will be even greater the year after.
The saving proposals were discussed by the council’s adult services committee.
Labour councillor Carl Richardson, committee chairman, said: “This is horrendous and I find it absolutely abhorrent of central Government that we are having to cut budgets to these services.
“Sadly, I can’t see an alternative.”
Independent councillor Keith Fisher added: “We are going to be providing less services. That is the brutal fact.”
Resident Evelyn Leck said: “We have tightened our belts too much, Joe Public is fed up.”
Both Putting Hartlepool First councillor, Geoff Lilley, and Stephen Thomas, of Healthwatch, raised concerns that increased pressure on hospitals to free up beds on wards would put even more pressure on adult services.
The proposals are to cut the following service budgets:
l Carers Services; £200,000
l Review of Contributions Policy; £188,000
l Day Services for Older People; £100,000
l Low Level Services; £150,000
l Housing Related Support Services; £165,000
l Occupational Therapy Service; £108,000
l Review of Management Structures; £171,000
l Disability Services & Provider Services; £143,000
l Mental Health Day Services; £50,000
l Workforce Development; £50,000
Total proposed savings: £1,325,000
Jill Harrison, assistant director of adult services, said: “The proposed savings will result in a small number of posts being deleted.
“All avenues will be explored for those people affected.”
Of those five posts, one is currently empty leaving four people at risk of redundancy, but officers said there has been one expression of interest in voluntary redundancy.
The committee’s comments will now be fed back to the finance and policy committee.