If you are looking for the beating heart of the campaign against social care cuts then look no further than West Sussex and an organisation called Don’t Cut Us Out.
It is challenging the £31m in cuts earmarked by West Sussex Council for adult social care from 2011-14, and in particular, the council’s decision to raise eligibility thresholds from moderate to substantial.
One of the people who will lose out from this change is Andrew Pickthall, a man with Down’s who receives services for his ‘moderate’ needs. Yesterday he presented West Sussex cabinet member for adult services Peter Catchpole with a petition bearing 10,000 signatures (collected in two weeks) against the cuts (pictured above).
Andrew was also interviewed on Saturday’s Today Programme on Radio 4, as part of a report on cuts to adult social care.
This reflects the profile that the campaign has built up in a very short space of time. This is thanks in part to spokesperson Barry Pickthall (Andrew’s father), who is used to dealing with the press as he runs a media agency.
It will be interesting to see what the campaign can achieve after building up such momentum, and also what others can learn from its success to date.