Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Merton Tories push ahead with Fairer Charging policy

At last night's Cabinet meeting at Merton Council, the minority Tory administration agreed to implement huge increases in home care, day centre attendance and day centre transport charges. This is despite scrutiny recommending at a recent meeting for the proposed charges not to go ahead.

The charges when implemented will see home care charges rise from £12.28 to £15.48 along with the introduction of day centre transport charges of £2.50 per day for those assessed of being able to only make a partial contribution . On the day centre attendance charge, a u-turn took place and they decided to reduce the proposed charge from £9 per day to £6.50, whilst they'll be no increase for these assessed to make the full charge, for those assessed to make a contribution it will increase from £4 maximum amount per week to £6.50 per day which will equate to £26 per week, an increase of over 500% per week. The new policy will make no difference between those assessed to make a full contribution and those assesed to make a part contribution, so much for fairer charging!

At the meeting, Cllr Margaret Brierly admitted that "the consultation had not been handled well and that the consultation was perceived to be faulty", at least she was being honest though it is little comfort to those who will now be faced with these huge increases. From speaking to people in my local area, may were unaware of these increases and were genuinely shocked on being informed of the increase. I've no doubt it will also have an effect on attendance at the lunch club which provides avaluable service to many elderly people in my local area and it is one of the only opportunities for some to get out of their home each day and meet others.

By making the decision it is clear that the Tories do not see "Caring Merton" as a high priority.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"at least she was being honest"....but isn't that a major breakthrough and a refreshing change for a politician. Can you cite a single example of our local MP ever admitting to a mistake or an error of judgement? Extreme Party loyalists like her turn voters away from involvment in politics. Three cheers for the honest Cllr Margaret Brierly !

8:30 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very disappointingly, your own Labour Party didn't seem to kick up much fuss on this issue either: there was no campaigning, as you did for St.Helier Hospital. Does only Siobhan McDonagh work in your Party?

1:33 am  

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