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Disabled kids could be hit by budget cuts

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Services for disabled children are under review as Derbyshire County Council tries to save £157million over the next four years.

Next Tuesday, councillors will be asked to agree to consult on a number of proposals, including ending one-off funding for summer play schemes for disabled children and stopping short-break grants to youngsters aged five to 17.

Councillor Kevin Gillott, the council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for children and young people, said he was having to think the “unthinkable”.

He said: “The unrelenting budget cuts that are being forced on us by the Government mean we have to cut our spending on services by more than a third.

“I don’t want to be in a position of having to consider making these cuts but we have been left with no choice.

“I realise the impact these proposals will have on Derbyshire families with disabled children – many of whom have been receiving this support for years. But we simply don’t have the money to provide everything we’d like to and we’re being forced in to a position where we have to put money where it is most needed.

“However, no decisions will be taken until we’ve had the chance to speak to families and we’re keen to hear their views.” If agreed by cabinet, a consultation would take place during autumn 2014. A council spokesman said: “These proposals would not affect vital services the council must provide to give essential support to families of disabled children and young people with the highest levels of need to enable them to care for their child at home.

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