Councillor Elaine Willmore
Councillor Elaine Willmore

Labour City Councillor Elaine Willmore has issued a rebuke to both the Green and Conservative parties following temporary suspension of top ups to the Disabilities Facilities Grant.

In a letter to Worcester News responding to comments from Green Cllr Alex Mace, Councillor Willmore drew attention to the council’s financial situation, while highlighting the Green party’s “abdication of responsibility.”

Top ups to Disabilities Facilities Grants can be used to help with larger work such as house extensions or smaller sums to help people leaving hospital, with things such as deep cleaning or moving a bed downstairs. The top up fund was available from a historical underspend accumulated during COVID but this has now been exhausted. To ensure the council can meet the cost of its statutory obligations for this year, on 5th June Communities Committee voted to temporarily suspend top up grants until March 2025.

In her letter, Cllr Willmore identified this cut to funding as being “in keeping with the Conservatives’ trend of starving local Councils of the money they need.”

She also stated that –

”As a governing body, the City Council must safeguard statutory Council services to ensure it can fulfil its legal obligations. Green Party Councillors abstained from the vote while also offering no alternative solution. This was an abdication of responsibility to the people of Worcester to run a viable and sustainable council. So, whilst the decision was made with a heavy heart, it was reluctantly voted through by members from all other parties in recognition of the harsh financial reality the City Council is facing.”

Echoing Cllr Willmore’s remarks, Leader of Worcester City Council Lynn Denham said –

“For fourteen years, cuts made by the Conservatives in Westminster have fallen heavily on local government, and like so many other councils, Worcester City Council has been hit hard. We must now make very painful decisions just to ensure the council can meet the cost of those services it is legally obliged to provide. Labour is a party of responsible government so will not shy away from those decisions.”

Contact Details:
Mike Stafford
Worcester Labour Party
07500 877493

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