All over the Leicester City community related services are facing the chopping block. The Douglas Bader Centre is a forty year old institution that has provided a creative space for people living with disability with appropriate care and dedicated staff. Staff that get paid a living wage. This place existed before the boom of the nineties and onward and now is being sacrificed because of the bankers crimes and national and local government complicity.
On many levels the most vulnerable are being betrayed by the local council and MPs that are paid by the community to advocate on their behalf and act in their interests.
Many people living on disability are struggling to cope under the pressure of decreased spending power and increased prices for essentials like heating, now provision is being severely restricted. Add the bedroom tax and the Atos corporate and government manslaughter of tens of thousands of vulnerable community members through their target driven, non medically informed assessments, plus disability allowance considered as a wage in assessments instead as a subsidy to cover the extra costs that living with a disability has is beyond indecency. It is cowardice, it is creating a life of uncertainty and unnecessary suffering.
Outragiously people are in the dark with regards to the move to personalised budgets, which is being sold as giving more choice, the people living with disability are not being told how much that might be, so nobody can plan. They don’t even know if assessments will prescribe an adequate budget to meet people’s needs. With the contemptuous treatment being visited towards the community as a whole it is not irrational to expect the worse.
After attending an open event for outside providers at the Peepul centre to show users of the Bader Centre what’s available and conducting a rough calculation of alternate provision it was clear their was not the capacity to absorb all the Douglas Bader Centre users.
It also became clear that users were denied access to the centre because it was claimed there was not enough money in peoples budget. This then on official council reports has been interpreted as a decline in demand.
What a damning indictment of our priorities. Millions of pounds are being spent on aesthetic beautification projects, the City of Culture prize and a dead king. I’m sure king Richard could wait as we have the living to see to. Honor the living.
The community grass root services are the reason why the community pay council tax. They are the jewels of our culture and lead the way in the evolution of social relationships of treating people whom live at a economic disadvantage or with disability with the respect and dignity every person deserves. What are we paying for if we refuse to channel the money into the appropriate provision for our community benefit? Ego perhaps? What ever it is keep our disabled services funded because this is part of our culture we can’t afford to lose.