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Chairman resigns over cuts

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Chairman of the Torbay and Devon Safeguarding Adults Boards, Bob Spencer, has resigned from both boards following government cuts to the budgets which he feels could lead to “a serious incident or death”. Mr Spencer became head of the Torbay board in 2009 and the Devon board in 2013. He said that he had “serious concerns” about the “relentless budget cuts”, and stated that he feared that the most vulnerable people would be “hardest hit” by the cuts to the agencies. In his resignation letter, he stated: “with another four years of cuts, Devon and Torbay will struggle to provide a safe service”. He also stated that he felt that due to the lack of funding for appropriate care, there may be a serious incident or even death.

Boards set up to ensure vulnerable people get the care they deserve

The safeguarding boards were set up as statutory organisations which work to bring together councils, the police, and the NHS. They were brought into being to ensure that care for vulnerable people, such as the elderly and those with learning difficulties, is delivered appropriately.

Mr Spencer announced that he has decided to run for the crime commissioner for Devon, Cornwall, and the Isles of Scilly as an independent candidate at the next election. He said that this decision was an acknowledgement of the “tireless” work done by staff and volunteers within the partnership safeguarding agencies.

A spokesperson for the Department for Communities and Local Government stated that by the end of the parliamentary term, funding for local council amenities should be financed locally through council tax and business rates. Which should go some way to improving services. He said that local government had been campaigning for decades to take funding away from central government.

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