Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Barnet UNISON host Public meeting on Individualised Budgets

Helga Pile Pat Stack Alan Desborough

On Monday night our branch arranged a meeting on Individulised Budgets (IB) . We invited staff, services users, carers, employers from the private and voluntary sector. It was interesting to note that our meeting cooincided with the government launch of IB
There is a interesting quote in th eabove article from Gordon Lishman, director general of charity Age Concern, welcomed the initiative but warned: "The project has an ambitious agenda and it will need very substantial funding if it is to deliver what it promises."
If IB means more people will have more choice and increased independence then this will be a great initiative and must be welcomed. What we must look out for is that it is used to cut money and tick boxes. politicians have been known to hijack good initiatives.

After the platform speakers finished the Chair invited contributions from the floor. There was a widwe range of issues raised but the general feedback was support for IB
We finished the meeting with a committment from Barnet UNISON to organise further meetings in the new year. It is important that IB works for the needs of residents living in Barnet and the best way to do that is to engage as many stakeholders as possible.
UNISON reps from other boroughs made a request for a Londonwide meeting on IB as it was felt local branches needed to get involved early in the process.

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