Government attempts to curb council duties to support disabled people would be fought “tooth and nail”, the architect of many of those duties has warned.
Labour peer Lord Alf Morris made the vow in response to a government review of all council duties, including those relating to adult care, launched last week.
In 1970 Lord Morris, then a Labour MP, oversaw the passing of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act, which placed the first duty on councils to support disabled people in the community. He later became the first minister for disabled people.
“They would need legislation to remove these duties and believe me it will be fought tooth and nail,” said Morris. “It’s not just irresponsible and ill conceived – it’s indefensible.”
Morris said he could see no benefit in reducing the duties on councils. He argued councils were already under pressure from government spending cuts and any cut in people’s rights to services would likely lead to the services themselves being reduced.
“I’m campaigning for increased provision and I will engage in battle with those who wish to reduce it.”
He said the announcement of the consultation had intensified his scrutiny of the government’s plans for disabled people.
He thanked Community Care for bringing the threat to people’s rights presented by the consultation to attention of service users and those in social care more generally.
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