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Most councils will not ringfence ILF resources

07 August 2014

Analysis of FOI (freedom of information) requests to local authorities in England on the transfer of the independent living fund

Disability Rights UK opposes closure of the Independent Living Fund (ILF) unless and until an effective alternative approach is in place that really enables independent living of people with high support needs. In our view, all disability policy changes should be judged against the acid test of whether they enable independent living in practice. Of course the ILF only served some disabled people, it has not been perfect – so it would be possible to devise a stronger approach, enabling more people to live the lives they choose. But current plans do not convince us that they meet the acid ‘independent living in practice’ test

Our freedom of information inquiries to local authorities have found that most do not have robust  plans to ring-fence resources for social care support to people who would have received ILF support. As human beings we all have rights to live where we choose, to participate in our community – but without support, disabled people are locked out of those basic rights and opportunities. This is completely unacceptable.

Freedom of Information requests were sent to all local authorities in England with social care responsibilities over 3rd – 5th June 2014.  Two questions were asked: -

  1. Will the monies transferred from the closure of the ILF to your local authority be ring fenced to ILF recipients in your area?
  2.  What plans are being made, or have been made to co-produce the transfer process with ILF recipients in your area?

Responses: 106

No response: 47

Total 153

Results

Local authorities who answered ‘yes’ to ring fencing transferred funds to ILF recipients - 10

Bedford Borough Council, City of London, Durham County Council, Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council, Hartlepool Borough Council, London Borough of Islington, Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council, Stoke on Trent City Council, West Berkshire County Council (at the point of transfer until people have their next care review), Westminster Council

Local authorities who will ring fence to adult social care only - 10

Brighton and Hove Council, Cambridgeshire County Council, Cheshire East Council, London Borough of Ealing, Hertfordshire County Council, London Borough of Lambeth, Lincolnshire County Council, North Somerset Council, Oxfordshire County Council, Sunderland City Council

Local authorities where no decision has been taken - 40

Birmingham City Council, Blackburn with Darwin Council, Bolton Metropolitan Council, Bradford Metropolitan Borough Council, London Borough of Bromley,Bury Metropolitan Council, Calderdate Metropolitan Council, Cornwall County Council, Cumbria County Council, Derby City Council, Essex County Council, Gloucestershire County Council, London Borough of Greenwich, London Borough of Hackney, Halton Borough Council, London Borough of Haringey, London Borough of Harrow, Herefordshire County Council, Kent County Council, Kirklees Metropolitan Council, London Borough of Lambeth, London Borough of Lewisham, Liverpool City Council, Medway Council, London Borough of Merton, Middlesborough Council, Northamptonshire County Council, Nottingham City Council, Plymouth City Council, Sandwell Metropolitan Council, Sheffield City Council, Stockton on Tees Council, City of Wakefield Council, London Borough of Wandsworth, Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council, Metropolitan Borough of Wirral, Wokingham Borough Council, Wolverhampton City Council, Worcester City Council

Local authorities awaiting further guidance from central government before making a decision - 8

Birmingham City Council, Blackburn with Darwin Borough Council, Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council, Bradford Metropolitan Council, London Borough of Greenwich, London Borough of Hackney, London Borough of Hillingdon, Middlesborough Council

Local authorities without plans to co-produce the transfer arrangements with ILF recipients in their area - 20

Central Bedfor Council, Blackburn with Darwin Council, Bournemouth Borough Council, Cornwall County Council, Cumbria County Council, Gloucestershire County Council, Halton Borough Council, London Borough of Haringey, London Borough of Havering, Herefordshire County Council, London Borough of Lewisham, Northamptonshire County Council, Nottingham City Council, Redcar and Cleveland Council, Sheffield City Council, Stoke on Trent City Council, London Borough of Wandsworth, West Berkshire borough Council, Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council, Wokingham Borough Council

Local authorities who record that they are undertaking joint visits with the ILF to ILF recipients and are committed to involving them and their families - 86

 

Local authorities going beyond working with individual ILF recipients to co-produce all the transfer process and giving ILF recipients the opportunity to meet together  - 10

Derby City Council, Hampshire County Council, Liverpool City Council, London Borough of Newham, Oxfordshire County Council, London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames, Southampton City Council, Sunderland City Council, Wiltshire County Council, Metropolitan Borough of the Wirral

Additional Points of Note

1 local authority, Cambridgeshire County Council, make the point that the amount to be transferred from the ILF will be insufficient to meet the needs of ILF recipients in their area.

Group 1 ILF recipients (that is those who received an ILF award pre 1993 and whose care package is entirely ILF funded) will not be contacted by their local authority unless they give consent for this to happen.

A number of local authorities are not planning to re-assess ILF recipients to let them know what their care package will be after the Fund closes at the end of June 2015 until early in 2015, and in the case of 1 council, April – May 2015.  This will add considerably to the anxiety already being felt by ILF users.

Although on the whole it seems that local authority representatives ae attending ILF reviews these are not local authority assessment and reviews with the result that many ILF recipients will have to go through the whole process again.

Only 1 local authority, North Yorkshire County Council, record that they are working in accordance with the Code of Practice that has been agreed between the ILF and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS).

Disability Rights UK: Issues of Concern

  • Only 10 local authorities are saying that they will ring fence the transferred money to ILF recipients with the result that in all other areas ILF recipients face a potential reduction in their care packages
  • There is no guarantee that the transferred money will even find its way to adult social care, let alone ILF recipients.  This reflects what happened last time there was a transfer of ILF monies to local authorities in 1993 when in many authorities the money was spent in other areas of the Council
  • Although some Councils would like further guidance from Government currently there is no indication that guidance will be forthcoming
  • 40 Councils, getting on for half of those who have responded, are yet to make a decision yet the transfer is less than a year away.  This will just add to the anxiety felt by many ILF users
  • Although most local authorities are attending joint visits with ILF staff to users of the Fund there are mixed messages about whether the care package will continue to be funded at the same level, or above, once the transfer has taken place, again adding to the anxiety of ILF recipients
  • It is disappointing to see that only a handful of local authorities are making an effort to co-produce their transfer plans by bringing ILF users together and involving their local representative organisations
  • We are very concerned that the closure of the ILF at this time will do nothing to ease the crisis in social care funding and will have a negative impact on many ILF recipients who are likely to see their support reduced or lost altogether.