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Hang heads in shame over care cuts plans; Mailbag letters also appear online at

ON the proposed cuts to services for the disabled, every single councillor and council officer who has had anything to do with these proposals should hang their heads in shame.

The suggestion that very significant cuts to the support for the most vulnerable section of our community can be made reveal an alarming cynicism and an atrocious ignorance of the needs of the disabled and of the pressures on their families. The disabled and their families are the group least able to defend themselves when the political going gets tough. This is particularly the case when compared to the highly articulate and well organised voices of groups such as education and the police. To make cuts of this magnitude to support for the weakest is both cynical and cowardly.

Councillors and council officers should remember the principles that brought them into their current roles. I am certain that, regardless of political persuasion, one of their principles was the protection of the weakest and neediest members of our community.

It requires political courage to do this in the current climate - now it is the time to display this.

To take from the disabled the opportunities to meet with others is to take from them the stimulation and the sense of purpose that gives the sense that 'today is going to be worth living'. This is a crime.

To take from their families the chance to have a break from the enormous burden of caring - at the same time to reduce their employment opportunities and so to reduce their income - is to massively increase the pressure under which these families of the disabled live.

Anyone who knows anything about the families of the disabled will know that this increased pressure will inevitably lead to an increase in family break-up - condemning the disabled to further stress and misery. This, too, is a crime.

The council has got to base its approach to the budgetary crisis on principles. The principles that 'cuts should be made where there will be the least opposition' must not be one of these; neither should the principle that 'the burden should be equally shared'.

The first and driving principle that should govern our behaviour in times of difficulty is that 'we will look after the needs of our most vulnerable.' This requires councillors and council officers to have political courage and political skill - but that is what they are there for and certainly this first and driving principle is one that all of us in Kirklees would recognise, applaud and support.

M A NOLAN Father of a disabled adult
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Jan 27, 2011
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