Cardiff Council has been blasted for cutting £3m from its supported living budget for people with learning difficulties.
The council said it could provide “better, more cost-effective” supported living services despite reducing the budget from £15m to £12m.
But John Gilkes, vice-chair of provider umbrella body Learning Disability Wales, said the move would mean lower levels of care.
He said: “Eighty per cent of providers’ costs are employing care staff and at the prices quoted we can’t provide the level of service to meet clients’ assessed needs.”
Gilkes also rejected the council’s claims that it had consulted fully on the plans.
This was echoed by service user Margaret Howard, who said that despite sitting on many council committees such as its advice and planning group she and everyone else “were kept in the dark”.
John Dixon, Cardiff ’s executive member for social care and health, said a projected £5.9m overspend in the council’s adult social services, was not the reason for the supported living budget cuts.
He did admit that a £2.3m reduction in the council’s Supporting People grant was a factor. He added: “Providers exist in a
marketplace and we have a responsibility to commission high-quality, cost-effective services.”
But service user Peter Lewis said that clients would suffer without support workers and he could lose his home.