Wiltshire chief calls for voluntary help

The man charged with managing Wiltshire Council’s adult social care funding crisis wants to use volunteers to help people affected by cuts to services.

Ian Davey, the council’s interim director of adult and community services, said this would provide continued support so people could carry on with activities undertaken through direct payments for leisure.

These ended last month as part of Wiltshire’s efforts to tackle a near £7m funding shortfall in adult care.

He said: “It would be possible to assist people if we could look at some volunteer support.”

Davey, formerly interim director of adult services and housing at Sutton Council in London, joined Wiltshire just over a month ago and will stay in the post for six months.

The council has secured £700,000 from primary care trusts for services for people with learning difficulties in this financial year, cutting its overall adult care deficit to £6.1m.

Davey said other savings would be made by service providers becoming more efficient.

Meanwhile, Unison has claimed adults’ services staff in Wiltshire are being placed under huge stress.

Janet Dapson, secretary of the union’s Wiltshire Council branch, said front-line staff were “taking all the flak” for officials’ decisions as they passed “unpalatable” news to service users.

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