The ‘Don’t Cut Us Out’ campaign brought Friday’s (February 14th) West Sussex County Council budget meeting to a halt. The campaign group were protesting against a further £141 million cuts in the budget affecting adult care and support services.
When Leader of the Council Louise Goldsmith started her budge speech Margaret Guest Chair of the ‘Don’t Cut Us Out’ campaign interrupted her, decrying the cuts in a statement from the public gallery.
Amanda Jupp, Chairman of the Council called three times for Mrs Guest from Midhurst to sit down but supported by fellow members of the campaign Mrs Guest continued to address the Council. Mrs Jupp called for an adjournment and all the Cabinet and most of the Conservative members left the Chamber.
UKIP, Liberal Democrat and Labour Councillors remained to listen to Mrs Guest’s statement and to several disabled people who voiced their concerns for the future.
Mrs Guest said: “It was an emotive interval, with some disabled people, already at the end of their tether over the cuts, reduced to tears.
“ The Council has refused to debate these cuts with those worst affected, and the consultation programme they ran was a farce. We invited Mrs Goldsmith and her team to debate these cuts in public, and she couldn’t even be bothered to respond.”
When the debate resumed UKIP, Liberal Democrat and Labour members referred to the interruption accusing the Conservative members of not caring about the vulnerable.
Mrs Goldsmith said it would have been better if the campaigners had asked to have spoken.