St Luke’s and Islington Council in town hall clash over £26k early dementia cut
- Credit: Archant
St Luke’s Community Centre hopes the “penny will drop” over council cuts to its early dementia service.
The centre, in Central Street, Finsbury, runs groups five days a week for 11 recently diagnosed sufferers. It costs £52,000 a year, with £26,000 from Islington Council.
But the authority, suffering from “savage” government cuts, is withdrawing this grant next month – and St Luke’s chief executive Michael Ryan clashed with health leader Cllr Janet Burgess at a town hall meeting last night.
“We can’t understand how cutting £26,000 towards this service is going to save money.
“If that is withdrawn, our service will close. And even if one of the 11 has to go into residential care, it will cost more than £26,000 as a result.”
You may also want to watch:
Islington, for its part, already pays St Luke’s £60,000 a year for other services such as counselling and employment advice. It has also pledged to transport early dementia service users to St Luke’s.
And Cllr Burgess responded: “Our budget had been reduced by 50 per cent since 2010.
- 1 'No consultation': Anger Islington cricket pitch could replace park
- 2 'Obscene gestures and racist abuse' made at Islington Council meeting
- 3 Islington house prices rise £30k during Covid-19 pandemic year
- 4 Police search for man who exposed himself on Islington 393 bus
- 5 Five times Islington has featured in films and TV series
- 6 Appeal to trace missing Islington school girl, 14
- 7 Islington man charged with murder of shooting victim Taylor Cox
- 8 Jailed: Businessman bombarded Jeremy Corbyn and other MPs with 'vile' emails
- 9 'LTNs are killing us': Hundreds of Highbury traders sign petition
- 10 Man in hospital with potentially 'life-changing' injuries following stabbing
“We support people who suffer dementia, support their families and we continue to support service users.
“St Luke’s does have a lot of money – enormous reserves. The council doesn’t. We are struggling for money and we have to spend it where it will have the most impact.”
A petition of over 1,000 signatures against the cuts was handed to the council at last night’s town hall meeting.
And Mr Ryan is still hopeful “the penny will drop”.
He said after the meeting: “I was puzzled when told we had huge reserves. If anyone looks at our balance sheets, they will see we have four-and-a-half months of reserves.
“It was heartening that four councillors came up to me before the meeting saying they were shocked. We have to keep optimistic.”