Still time for county’s voices to be heard

Derbyshire County Council has cut the grant of £33,074 to the Derbyshire Unemployed Workers’ Centres (DUWCs) and given the money to fund specialist services in Mid Derbyshire and South Derbyshire.

Many readers of the Derbyshire Times will have friends or family who have been made redundant, or have at some time needed the services of the DUWCs in the last three decades.

Last year the centres dealt with over 8,000 enquiries. We have 700 appeals tribunals pending, where people are challenging decisions made by the Department for Work and Pensions.

The County Council, if this decision to cut is ratified by the full council on February 2, is shifting resources from the areas of greatest need, in the north and the east of the County, to plug gaps in services caused by years of neglect by District Councils in the more affluent areas of Derbyshire.

This does not make sense and can only be seen as a politically motivated exercise.

When economic forecasts point to higher unemployment in the near future, the Derbyshire County Council’s proposal to cut support to the organisation most closely connected to those affected will be remembered by all who have needed our services.

Producing the report and its proposals on the December 23 and placing it before Cabinet on January 4 shows the desperate attempts by the Conservative County Council to bury the bad news and limit the damage.

Such activities bring politicians and politics into disrepute.

The full council will discuss the cabinet recommendation in February so there is still time for the people of Derbyshire to be heard.

We were there for you all, with advice, help and representation, when you needed us in your time of crisis.

We now appeal to our supporters to come to our aid so that we can continue our vital work into the future regardless of the manoeuvrings of petty politicians.

COLIN HAMPTON

DUWC