13 November 2019
Green councillors have responded to Lambeth Council’s proposed changes to Adult Social Care fees, labelling them “distressing” and “damaging”. The proposals would see residents pay more for adult social care services, such as Meals on Wheels and community alarms. The council also intend to charge individuals for a second carer when two carers are required at the same time, resulting in some residents paying twice what they currently pay for the same service.
The Council closed their consultation on the Adult Social Care fees and charges on Sunday 20th October. A decision on how to proceed with the changes is likely to be made in the coming months. 
Lambeth Council claim these changes are necessary due to “financial constraints faced by the borough”. However, Green councillors have suggested that the £600,000 a year that the cuts will save for the council do not justify the damaging financial and psychological impact they will have on Lambeth’s residents.
Councillor Becca Thackray (Herne Hill) said:
“The saving that the council claim to be making from cuts to adult social care are just a drop in the ocean as a percentage of the total budget but a considerable amount for the individual disabled recipient. The increase to Meals on Wheels charges would equate to a cost of almost £400 a year more for some individuals, whilst the reduction to the level of the standard Disability Related Expenditure allowance will mean individuals could receive around £780 less per year. This will have a huge financial impact on already vulnerable residents and is likely to cause a high level of psychological distress.
In it’ss endeavour to save money, this council wants to place the burden of budget cuts on the shoulders of Lambeth’s most vulnerable residents. During the consultation, I met with residents with learning disabilities who were clearly anxious over the impending changes to fees. The increase in fees are significant, particularly for those on a low income when sick, in need of meals delivered, an alarm, two carers or have conditions such as incontinence which put a strain on their budget. It does not need to be this way. Lambeth Labour Councillors can make savings with less dramatic and damaging impacts We have suggested making cuts to the huge amount spent by the Council on marketing and communication and to Special Responsibility Allowances paid to councillors. If we want vulnerable residents to thrive in society, they must have peace of mind and dignity.”