Green councillors are calling on Brighton & Hove City Council to respond to the recent closure of a fund set up to provide vital support for disabled people to live independently.
In a motion being presented to the Full Council Meeting at Brighton Town Hall, on Thursday 16th July, the Green Group propose that the acting chief executive should “write to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions appealing for the reinstatement of the Independent Living Fund” and, failing that, to “ring-fence funding to individual ILF users in Brighton and Hove up until the end of financial year 2019.”
The Independent Living Fund (ILF) was a national fund which enabled disabled people with the highest support needs to live independently in the community. The government ended the ILF on 30th June, as part of £4.6bn cuts to social care services, devolving responsibility and equivalent funds to cash-strapped local authorities.
The disability charity, Scope, has described the fund’s closure as “likely to lead to fewer disabled people being able to live independently”.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has warned it will “result in loss of dignity and independence for many ILF recipients”.
Disabled People Against Cuts say it will have a “devastating impact” on disabled people.
In December 2014 High Court Judge, Mrs Justice Andrews, found that as a consequence of the closure of the Fund “independent living might well be put seriously in peril for… most ILF users”.
The Green Group Convenor, Cllr Phelim Mac Cafférty, who is proposing the motion, said: “The effect of these decisions will be to undermine the autonomy of disabled people who should be entitled to live independently. There is currently no indication of whether funding for ILF recipients will continue to be transferred from national to local government beyond 2015/16. The consequences are that some disabled people previously in receipt of ILF funding will no longer receive any support at all, while others may find their support package reduced. Our motion to council aims to highlight this unacceptable situation so that it can be challenged.