West Berkshire Council

Start date: 2015-11-03
End date: 2015-12-14
Results: 2016-03-03

[ARCHIVED] Budget Proposal 2016/17 - Phase One: Short Breaks for Children with Disabilities

Part of the range of West Berkshire Council's budget proposals for 2016/17, with supporting information and Equality Impact Assessments.

If you haven't already seen our video explaining why these changes are being proposed, please visit our Budget Proposals 2016/17 webpage.


At present, our support for families with disabled children is provided through contractual arrangements from a range of partners. These partners are largely from local or national charity organisations and help provide a range of services, including short break residential respite, local activities and groups for children with disabilities and their families.

Much of this activity is non-statutory and can take different forms, such as:

  • supporting children returning home from their out of district, residential school during the holidays
  • offering activities at weekends within peer group settings 
  • providing regular respite care so children can be cared for close to home
  • supporting parents or carers in looking after their children at home

This activity is provided alongside the support families are able to receive through Direct Support Payment arrangements, and gives opportunities for many of the activities on offer for disabled children, to be subsidised.


At present, the service provides a range of support in different amounts and at different levels to children with additional needs and their families. This support is provided through a range of different contract arrangements, funded by the council, but delivered predominantly through external providers.

The proposal is to cease all the current contractual arrangements, in order to rationalise these arrangements; revising and reducing the breadth of the current provision and refocusing support to those children and families assessed to be in the greatest need.

It is also proposed to reduce council funding and deliver significantly more limited short breaks provision, whilst working with the community based organisations and charities to help provide support for those families who are most able to manage their own support arrangements for their disabled children. This will save the council £345,000.

What do we think the impact will be?

Children with disabilities and their families may not be able to receive the same range and level of support and activities as is currently available. They would have to adjust to considering a reduced range of options from other organisations and through different arrangements rather than the same range of more familiar providers.

What else have we considered in arriving at our proposal?

 We are planning to approach the current local providers to help develop the potential for different levels of support and consider what alternative arrangements may be able to be provided, both locally and at a regional level.

This consultation is now closed.

What you told us

We received 58 responses to this consultation.

We have condensed all your comments into the 'Summary of Responses' and everything you said, word for word, is contained in 'Verbatim Responses'.

These can be found in 'Documents' below.

What we did

A recommendation on how to proceed with this proposal was made to the Executive Members on 11 February 2016.

This can also be found below in 'Overview and Recommendation'.

Following this, at the Full Council Meeting on 1 March 2016, all Members discussed this proposal as part of setting the Revenue Budget for 2016/17.

At the vote, the budget was agreed with the suggested amendments.

It was agreed to provide £170,000 in transition funding in 2016.

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