Monday, January 29, 2007

"No Minister"

"Dr Ladyman is a victim of his own Government’s broken promises on Disability Facilities Grants", says Laura Sandys, The Conservative Parliamentary Spokesman for South Thanet.

“I feel sorry for Dr Ladyman" adds Laura, "Having stuck his neck out for disability facilities grants, he has found that he has been let down by his own Government. He gave clear and very specific reassurances to Thanet District Council that the Government would match to the tune of 60%, the funds that the council allocated for these important investments – and then was betrayed at the last moment."

"Our local council came up trumps with a 100% increase in grant monies totalling £400,000. They responded to the needs of the residents despite very tight budgets. But where is the Government when the people of Thanet need them…

Either Ladyman has been ignored by is own Government or he took his eye off the ball. Whatever the reason, it is the people of Thanet who are being subjected to yet more broken promises and dashed expectations with only £478,000 provided for the most needy.

Having had a disabled father myself I know how important these grants are. It is the families who live with disability across Thanet who will feel abandoned at the last moment by our MP’s Government!"

Ed: The caption in Russian reads, "New Thanet - New Labour."

What's your view on the disability debate? Has Dr Ladyman been hung out to dry and has TDC been short changed?

4 comments:

Dissillusioned ex-labour said...

Of course it has and Dr Ladyman has just been posturing. There is real need in Thanet but TDC is a Tory council and Kent is a Tory County. That means money this corner of Kent should be getting is directed for political consideration only to Labour areas of 'need' elsewhere; to Hastings, Brighton, Wales, Scotland; anywhere in fact will do as long as Tory administration is not involved and perceived to be spending it.

Anonymous said...

For those that dont know, Disability Facility Grants are the system by which public money is provided to enable changes to be made to peoples homes to enable them to live with disabiities. The principle of the award is that it is part funded by the local council, and part by government.
The government has estimated from income support figures that £925,000 is needed in Thanet to meet requirements. There was a general understanding that the local council should provide 40% of the total and that Government would match this 40:60% upto the estimate of need.
In the last few years Thanet Council has not met its 40% so though the goverment has honoured the 40:60 match funding the total has fallen well short of the need. This has led to reports that residents have to wait months and years for their grants.
Last year, the Labour Group on Thanet District Council welcomed the award of £450K from Central Government towards Disabled Facilities Grants. This, when put with the £300K allocated by the Council for that year adds up to £750K. However The Labour Group were disappointed that the original £300K was based only on 81% of the estimated needs for disabled residents and their carers in Thanet.
This year, under considerable pressure from the Labour Group, the Council has for the first time met its 40% figure(£400,000) . The government, through GOSE (government office of south east) have offered £478,000, so the total is £878,000, a 17% increase on last year.
All this is good news of course for those waiting for these facilities.
A number of things remain to be acheived:
To persuade the government to find the other £75,000 to make up its 60%
To contine to press the Council to sustain its allocation in future years
And most importantly to improve the efficiency with which the Council awards these grants and carries out the work. Too often this grant allocation has remained underspent at end of financial year.
Past experience has shown that it is efficiencies in this area that causes most delays rather than cash allocation.

Anonymous said...

Cllr Green seems to support the point made by Anon of 11.32 that a Tory council is short-changed by Labour Crentral Government. If TDC put up £400,000, then GOSE, to make its share 60%, needs to put in £600,000. If, as Cllr Green states, GOSE has only put in £478,000 then GOSE is short-changing the disabled needy in Thanet by £122,000; a 20% shortfall on £600,000. Last year GOSE made its share 60%;so why is its share this year, short?

Anonymous said...

The Conservatives are very trigger happy on this issue very much in line with the New New Blue Labour image.But what are they going to do if Steve Ladyman gets the money from the government, agree with him or praise him or retract accusations. Talk about boxing yourself in a tight corner in a marginal constituency.