New council must stop cuts to Learning Disability Service

Learning Disability staff are expecting to receive a letter this week outlining reduced terms and conditions, including pay cuts that could mean some staff losing up to £1798 per year.

At the same time the new group of Somerset County councillors are meeting today (Wednesday 24.05.17) for the first time after the elections on May 4 2017.

Over 5,300 people in Somerset have signed a petition calling on the County Council to reverse the cuts.

Public service union UNISON is urging the new administration to listen to their constituents and change course on planned cuts to the Learning Disability Service.

UNISON organiser in Somerset Tom Kennedy-Hughes said:

“Local people made it clear during the election that they did not want to lose the personal bonds that make the Learning Disability Service so valued. But the cuts planned so far by Discovery will risk the quality service with continuity of staff local people were promised and deserve.

“Now at this meeting the new council leader has the chance to give service users, carers and staff a fair deal. David Fothergill needs to end the uncertainty and guarantee that funding will not be taken away from this vital service.

“The last set of council bosses ignored public outcry over their choice to hand the Learning Disability Service over to Discovery while cutting the funding. More than 5,300 people have signed a petition against these cuts. It’s time for the new leaders in Somerset to listen and provide enough money to deliver the quality service with a continuity of staff that was promised.

Further info

  • “Discovery” is the social enterprise now employing over 1200 Learning Disability staff who were transferred over from the County Council
  • The cuts come from the decision by the last administration to reduce funding for the Learning Disability Service by £4m over the six year contract