I spoke at Monday’s Emergency Council Budget meeting about the dire state of Croydon’s finances and how the proposed 20% reduction in Adult Social Care packages would impact the most vulnerable in our borough. For me it has to be a priority that our elderly, vulnerable and disabled residents come first. It is the lack of strategic direction of the council and priority for these important services that in my mind has led to their downfall. Property speculation and other very unwise decisions has left the council on the brink of bankruptcy. I likened Cllr Tony Newman to the Captain of the Costa Concordia having driven the ship, the council, into the ground and he is now standing on the shore trying to protect himself whilst vulnerable residents will suffer.
I only briefly had the opportunity to bring in to my speech a real life impact of the proposed budget amendments and the devastating affect it would have on the resident that contacted me. So emotional was the resident (who is partially sighted) when they watched/listened to the webcast that she said in her email to me this morning: “I was very emotional and feel really sick because so many are so desensitized to people’s suffering. It made me cry”. She is the proud owner of Izzy a beautiful 13 ½ year old cat, her only companion and she went on to say: “We already go to the PDSA but we still have to pay for some of her medicines and to get there. Also not all services are covered by PDSA and she has to go to Nelsons for some of her treatment as the PDSA is now offering only emergency service even to eligible people like me. Also she is on a special diet as she has megacolon disease. It would break my heart if I had to give up Izzy.
Sadly my current care needs are increasing and listening to the meeting. I wonder how someone like me is expected to go shopping alone and clean their house with no support when I cannot even lift a kettle of water or self-propel my own wheel chair? My fridge and freezer are lifelines. I have to defrost them every week (with help) as they are so old. I keep insulin and other medication in the fridge. I am allergic to dust mites and have breathing difficulties! There is no way I am strong enough or mobile enough to do these things. Shopping online is still very unreliable even as a priority customer and inaccessible for some stores. It was impossible in the lockdown. Some of the shops I can afford to shop at do not do online shopping. Even if they do deliver they have to stand two metres away and you are expected to carry your own shopping indoors. Impossible for me. I also have a specialist diet and many foods have to be purchased from specialist stores. I think that a lot more people will be dying from the councils neglect never mind COVID-19.
Thank you so much Yvette for trying to help me and Izzy. I have included a picture of her. I love her so much”.
I of course opposed the budget and its amendments and support the resignations of Cllr Newman and Hall. Since 2014 they have not been able to meet any budget projection and certainly more residents will suffer under this regime if they are permitted to continue with the course of action. I call on Cllr Janet Campbell to rescind the policy of a 20% reduction in care packages and take heart at the plight of these vulnerable people in the Borough.
Help Izzy stay with her mum and oppose policies such as the reduction in Adult Social Care packages. Whatever your political persuasion this can’t be right.
Cllr Yvette Hopley
Conservative Lead for Adult Social Care and Health