Campaigners join forces to fight cuts

United in protest Don't Cut Us Out Campaigners
United in protest Don't Cut Us Out Campaigners

A MIDHURST led campaign group is joining forces with protest groups across West Sussex to fight against £141m further cuts to public services across the board.

‘Don’t Cut Us Out’ (DCUO), which campaigns on behalf of vulnerable people has teamed up with other campaigning groups, to protest against plans for ‘cynical’ cuts from West Sussex County Council and the NHS.

They will launch their battle at County Hall in Chichester on Tuesday at 5pm, at an Information Roadshow and the south area County Local Committee at 7pm.

They claim recent cuts have already left individuals and community groups stretched to the limit but they will be called on yet again to ‘plug the funding gap’.

“This is a cynical shift of cost and responsibility for public services to others and is particularly shameful in that it hurts most those who are least able to manage,”

said DCUO chairman Margaret Guest, who is also a Midhurst town councillor.

“Already more than half of elderly people have had their care packages cut, 20 per cent of disabled people have lost all their support, A& E departments report being under pressure from increased attendances by elderly frail people, Youth Services have been decimated, bus subsides cut and voluntary services are under enormous pressure.”

Campaigners say the council is ‘rushing ahead’ with plans for more cuts, having ignored the voices of those already affected.

And they are claim the council is ‘running scared’ of an ‘open and transparent ‘consultation north of the Downs after the 2010 fight against the axing of day services.

“Where is the promise of public engagement when they are only providing information on the cuts in the next two weeks through committees which few people know about or attend? It seems the council is running scared of reactions as people have been denied an opportunity to speak and have to Chichester to know what is planned.”