I HAVE been appalled by the recent decision of the Tories at County Hall to sell off the welfare rights service to One Connect, the county council’s business partnership with British Telecom.
This move flies in the face of what people entitled to welfare need. At a time when the Government is making major changes to the system, this upheaval will only add to people’s legitimate worries and confusion.
The welfare rights service has been around for over 20 years and has provided advice to thousands of residents when dealing with the benefits system. It has reduced the North-South wealth divide in the UK by bringing hundreds of thousands of pounds into Lancashire by helping people claim what they are entitled to. Now BT will make profits out of the most disadvantaged people in the county at their time of greatest need.
Despite thousands of people signing a petition against the unpopular plan to sell off the welfare rights service, the Tories have gone ahead, turning a blind eye to our concerns.
In Pendle, we already know the abject disregard the Tories at County Hall have for petitioners such as those against the closure of the Colne household waste recycling centre. In Colne, we’ve seen again their contempt for poor people with their closure of the Social Services Office on Market Place.
With less than six months to go to the county council elections and with the opinion polls leaning heavily towards Labour, I hope your readers will take note that the Tories may be throwing caution to the wind with some of their final acts of social vandalism.
Pendle Central Division, 201