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East Staffordshire mayor joins fight for Rethink home in Uttoxeter

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‘YOU can rest assured we will not stand by and allow this to happen’ East Staffordshire’s mayor has said after it was revealed funding could be cut from a residential home in Uttoxeter.

Ron Clarke has vowed to throw his support behind Bradley Court, a residential home for people with mental health issues run by Rethink, after it was revealed it at risk of being decommissioned if funding is pulled at the end of September.

The home is currently funded by the Supporting People fund, which is provided by Staffordshire County Council.

However, residents were told earlier this week that they could be left looking for somewhere else to live before the year is out.

Councillor Clarke, who is also responsible for mental health issues on the East Staffordshire healthy community scrutiny committee, said he was originally told that 50 per cent of the funding could be pulled by October next year with a further 25 per cent in April in 2016.

Now he has been informed that a letter was sent to Rethink stating 100 per cent of the funding will be pulled in September.

He was told that a meeting was due to take place yesterday to discuss the proposal in more detail and a final decision will be taken at the end of the month.

The mayor said: “If it is decided to cut the service then there is every possibility that it will be called in. If it is called in then it will delay the process and at the moment it is not as clear as it should be and we are getting conflicting information.

“I am extremely concerned about the cut backs on such vulnerable people.

“It does seem with mental health that we keep taking one step forward and two steps back. This would be the worst thing that could happen for the residents.

“You can rest assured we will not stand by and let this happen. I would urge all councillors to stand up and be counted on this issue.”

Alan White, the county council’s cabinet member for care, said a decision had not yet been made of the service.

He said: “We currently provide support through almost 200 contracts, with more than 40 different organisations as part of the national 2003 Supporting People Programme, which dates back more than decade.

“Earlier this year we agreed to look at all contracts due to expire in the next couple of years to ensure we are able to support the right services with the resources we have available.

“We are currently working closely with organisations to examine the contracts and the funding options available to them and our priority will be to focus on supporting the most vulnerable residents who have little or no access to other help or benefits.”

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