Madge Blames Budget For Social Services Hike

Amman Valley councillor Kevin Madge has defended himself over allegations that an increase in the social services charges for 2008/2009 was “not acceptable”.

The decision to raise the charges by nearly four per cent was made by Cllr. Madge, the director of social care and housing and a democratic services officer.

However, Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths has attacked the rise which, he says, will hit some of the most vulnerable people in the county.

“The increase of 3.91% will affect charges for respite care, home care, meals, transport and laundry and a whole host of other items,” said Cllr Griffiths, leader of the Plaid Cymru group.

“It is another financial attack by the council, this time on the most vulnerable people in our society.

“Slapping this increase on the most needy and those who rely on care and support is not acceptable.”

However Cllr Madge, who is the executive board member for health and social care, argued that the increase in charges was necessary to prevent cuts to the service.

“With a rise in fuel and food charges since the budget, there was no other option but to increase the charges or cut something from the service,” he said.

“People would prefer that the charges increase and the service continues as before, rather than cutting valuable items from the service because we don’t have the money.”

Cllr Griffiths has pledged that he will be asking for the issue to be addressed in the next full county council meeting to discuss the increase in social service charges.