On Wednesday I sat down with representatives of most of the Day Centres and Lunch Clubs who will be affected by some of the decisions we took in last week's budget. The meeting was chaired by my colleague Cllr Dora Dixon-Fyle, the Cabinet Member for Adult Health and Social Care.
Although we were discussing some really difficult funding cuts I was pleased with the tone and substance of the meeting. There was a clear understanding from all of the groups about where the blame for these cuts really lies - i.e. with the Government; and a fantastic spirit and commitment to co-operation with the Council and amongst the groups themselves to find a way that they might continue to provide services in the future, but without the method and level of financial support which the Council currently provides.
We agreed to get together in about 6 weeks time to see what progress has been made, but in the meantime Council Assembly's decision to provide an additional £500,000 of funding to the groups means that some of the panic and urgency of those discussions has been eased.