The government’s consultation on statutory duties placed on local authorities has closed – leading Mencap to claim that potential cuts to social care duties could be damaging to some of the most vulnerable people in society.

The consultation from the Department for Communities and Local Government aimed to give the government a full picture of the number of statutory duties placed on local authorities, and to give members of the public the chance to tell the government which statutory duties they felt were no longer needed.

But David Congdon, Mencap’s head of campaigns and policy, was worried by the consultation: “The government's consultation seems to start with the assumption that statutory duties are overly burdensome to local authorities, rather than being measures that ensure a minimum level of services for people with disabilities. “While some statutory duties are obsolete and need updating, many provide important protection for people with a learning disability. For example, they secure education for disabled children as a right, they make sure people with a learning disability get a Community Care Assessment and that people who need adaptations to their home to live independently are given a grant. “Mencap is worried that in an era of cuts to services, a wholesale removal of statutory duties could lead to fewer services that ensure the safety and wellbeing of vulnerable people.”