Devoted Southampton mum to lose allowance for vulnerable sons

Daily Echo: DEVOTED: Margaret Tobutt, 72, with her twin sons, Allan, left, and Mark, right, at home in Southampton. DEVOTED: Margaret Tobutt, 72, with her twin sons, Allan, left, and Mark, right, at home in Southampton.

IT has been her full-time job every day for almost 50 years.

Margaret Tobutt has devoted her life to caring for her twin boys, who have severe learning difficulties and disabilities.

The 72-year-old has saved Southampton City Council hundreds of thousands of pounds by keeping Mark and Allan, 49, at home when she could easily have put them into the system where they would be found accommodation and given carers to look after them.

But the small yet significant weekly rent allowance they both receive has helped her to carry out essential repairs from damage they cause, from broken chairs and toilet seats to wornout carpets and broken banisters.

Now council chiefs are planning to remove that vital £40 a week from each of her son’s benefits – leaving Margaret worried about how she and her sons will afford to continue to live together.

Changes have been made to the adult social care budget, which will see Margaret and 90 other families who care for vulnerable adults hit by funding cuts.

Council chiefs say a review of the finances unearthed the payments which they claim they should never have been making in the first place, as it was unfair compared to other care users in the city. Under the proposals, home day care, used by 2,300 mainly elderly people, will also be hit, with huge hikes in the cost of the service.

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It’s a decision that has angered both families and opposition councillors so much that it has been called in for review in the hope it can be put on hold.

Margaret, who has lived with and cared for her sons singlehandedly for the past 30 years, said: “I am very angry with the council because they are attacking the wrong people – the vulnerable people.

“They need to listen to us and rethink this, and if they are in any doubt they want to come and try it for themselves first.

She added: “They say they’ve had a consultation, but I had no knowledge of any meetings about this and I would have liked to have known. We are saving the city council millions of pounds by choosing to care for our children, who are adults, at home.”

As well as severe learning difficulties, Mark and Allan also have conditions which affect their limbs, balance and coordination.

Tasks like washing the dishes, cooking and loading a washing machine are impossible for them.

The twins spend several days a week visiting day centres, but need constant supervision when they are at home.

Margaret said: “I only put the heating on when the boys are home, because I cannot afford it the rest of the time, and I have to budget for everything we want to do. I am worried. I don’t know how I will cope once the money has gone.”

More stories about Southampton's cuts

Comments (21)

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11:02am Tue 19 Feb 13

southy says...

Uncaring Capitalist what do you expect they dont want a fair system, 1 good thing is, at lest she was not sent to prison yet like what happen in Brighton
Uncaring Capitalist what do you expect they dont want a fair system, 1 good thing is, at lest she was not sent to prison yet like what happen in Brighton southy

11:09am Tue 19 Feb 13

massimoosti says...

Yet put a head scarf on her head and learn an eastern european accent and theyll roll out the red carpet and print a leaflet in her language telling her how to claim on arrival.


Twisted FUBAR UK
Yet put a head scarf on her head and learn an eastern european accent and theyll roll out the red carpet and print a leaflet in her language telling her how to claim on arrival. Twisted FUBAR UK massimoosti

11:15am Tue 19 Feb 13

St Retford says...

massimoosti wrote:
Yet put a head scarf on her head and learn an eastern european accent and theyll roll out the red carpet and print a leaflet in her language telling her how to claim on arrival.


Twisted FUBAR UK
What?
[quote][p][bold]massimoosti[/bold] wrote: Yet put a head scarf on her head and learn an eastern european accent and theyll roll out the red carpet and print a leaflet in her language telling her how to claim on arrival. Twisted FUBAR UK[/p][/quote]What? St Retford

11:20am Tue 19 Feb 13

On the inside says...

massimoosti wrote:
Yet put a head scarf on her head and learn an eastern european accent and theyll roll out the red carpet and print a leaflet in her language telling her how to claim on arrival. Twisted FUBAR UK
racist scum
[quote][p][bold]massimoosti[/bold] wrote: Yet put a head scarf on her head and learn an eastern european accent and theyll roll out the red carpet and print a leaflet in her language telling her how to claim on arrival. Twisted FUBAR UK[/p][/quote]racist scum On the inside

11:34am Tue 19 Feb 13

bazzeroz says...

Hardly racist when its true.
Hardly racist when its true. bazzeroz

11:39am Tue 19 Feb 13

Dasal says...

Does it make it any less racist......even if true ??
Does it make it any less racist......even if true ?? Dasal

12:17pm Tue 19 Feb 13

eurogordi says...

Dasal wrote:
Does it make it any less racist......even if true ??
No comment can be racist if it is backed up by factual evidence.

If there is no evidence to support comments then it would be racist.
[quote][p][bold]Dasal[/bold] wrote: Does it make it any less racist......even if true ??[/p][/quote]No comment can be racist if it is backed up by factual evidence. If there is no evidence to support comments then it would be racist. eurogordi

12:19pm Tue 19 Feb 13

southy says...

eurogordi wrote:
Dasal wrote:
Does it make it any less racist......even if true ??
No comment can be racist if it is backed up by factual evidence.

If there is no evidence to support comments then it would be racist.
even if it is back up by evidence (which is highly unlikely) it can still be a racist remark.
[quote][p][bold]eurogordi[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Dasal[/bold] wrote: Does it make it any less racist......even if true ??[/p][/quote]No comment can be racist if it is backed up by factual evidence. If there is no evidence to support comments then it would be racist.[/p][/quote]even if it is back up by evidence (which is highly unlikely) it can still be a racist remark. southy

12:20pm Tue 19 Feb 13

St Retford says...

I don't think it's true or even relevant. Mrs Tobutt isn't losing her £40 payment because of people from Eastern Europe. She's losing it because we have a political class that would rather make the poor and the vulnerable pay for the crimes of the bankers than they would the bankers themselves.

It's a useful divide and rule tactic to blame foreigners or the public sector or the benefit "scroungers" or whoever. But really, in an age in which there are no natural scarcities of anything, the only reason for anyone to go poor is because people at the top are rubbish at sharing.
I don't think it's true or even relevant. Mrs Tobutt isn't losing her £40 payment because of people from Eastern Europe. She's losing it because we have a political class that would rather make the poor and the vulnerable pay for the crimes of the bankers than they would the bankers themselves. It's a useful divide and rule tactic to blame foreigners or the public sector or the benefit "scroungers" or whoever. But really, in an age in which there are no natural scarcities of anything, the only reason for anyone to go poor is because people at the top are rubbish at sharing. St Retford

12:22pm Tue 19 Feb 13

ohec says...

Yet another bleeding heart story, the only thing that disgusts me is the fact they have been paying out all of this money for years and nobody knows why or when it started. We have a welfare system in this country that should be responsible for all such payments thus ensuring that everybody gets treated equally. The article implies that she has done us all a favour by looking after her own offspring ?? there will be plenty of time for the state to look after them when she has gone.
Yet another bleeding heart story, the only thing that disgusts me is the fact they have been paying out all of this money for years and nobody knows why or when it started. We have a welfare system in this country that should be responsible for all such payments thus ensuring that everybody gets treated equally. The article implies that she has done us all a favour by looking after her own offspring ?? there will be plenty of time for the state to look after them when she has gone. ohec

12:29pm Tue 19 Feb 13

Shoong says...

southy wrote:
Uncaring Capitalist what do you expect they dont want a fair system, 1 good thing is, at lest she was not sent to prison yet like what happen in Brighton
Why don't you visit them at home and deliver some empty promises? Sounds like they need a boost.
[quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: Uncaring Capitalist what do you expect they dont want a fair system, 1 good thing is, at lest she was not sent to prison yet like what happen in Brighton[/p][/quote]Why don't you visit them at home and deliver some empty promises? Sounds like they need a boost. Shoong

12:31pm Tue 19 Feb 13

St Retford says...

ohec wrote:
Yet another bleeding heart story, the only thing that disgusts me is the fact they have been paying out all of this money for years and nobody knows why or when it started. We have a welfare system in this country that should be responsible for all such payments thus ensuring that everybody gets treated equally. The article implies that she has done us all a favour by looking after her own offspring ?? there will be plenty of time for the state to look after them when she has gone.
You sound LOVELY.
[quote][p][bold]ohec[/bold] wrote: Yet another bleeding heart story, the only thing that disgusts me is the fact they have been paying out all of this money for years and nobody knows why or when it started. We have a welfare system in this country that should be responsible for all such payments thus ensuring that everybody gets treated equally. The article implies that she has done us all a favour by looking after her own offspring ?? there will be plenty of time for the state to look after them when she has gone.[/p][/quote]You sound LOVELY. St Retford

12:32pm Tue 19 Feb 13

sotonboy84 says...

eurogordi wrote:
Dasal wrote: Does it make it any less racist......even if true ??
No comment can be racist if it is backed up by factual evidence. If there is no evidence to support comments then it would be racist.
People are far too quick to jump on the band wagon screaming 'RACIST'! Any negative comment involving somebody that isn't white British does NOT make it racist.

If it's an attack on anybody then it's an attack on the misguided mess that this country is in, and not a racist remark.
[quote][p][bold]eurogordi[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Dasal[/bold] wrote: Does it make it any less racist......even if true ??[/p][/quote]No comment can be racist if it is backed up by factual evidence. If there is no evidence to support comments then it would be racist.[/p][/quote]People are far too quick to jump on the band wagon screaming 'RACIST'! Any negative comment involving somebody that isn't white British does NOT make it racist. If it's an attack on anybody then it's an attack on the misguided mess that this country is in, and not a racist remark. sotonboy84

12:33pm Tue 19 Feb 13

Walter K says...

Hardly a "bleeding heart story"!
In current times, individuals with far less on their plate than this poor woman extrapulate every last penny they can from the "safety net".
Hardly a "bleeding heart story"! In current times, individuals with far less on their plate than this poor woman extrapulate every last penny they can from the "safety net". Walter K

1:53pm Tue 19 Feb 13

stay local says...

southy wrote:
Uncaring Capitalist what do you expect they dont want a fair system, 1 good thing is, at lest she was not sent to prison yet like what happen in Brighton
Absolutely right Southy I am sure your union based candidate would agree.....










that this women has taken the job of a union member.
[quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: Uncaring Capitalist what do you expect they dont want a fair system, 1 good thing is, at lest she was not sent to prison yet like what happen in Brighton[/p][/quote]Absolutely right Southy I am sure your union based candidate would agree..... that this women has taken the job of a union member. stay local

1:59pm Tue 19 Feb 13

bigfella777 says...

massimoosti wrote:
Yet put a head scarf on her head and learn an eastern european accent and theyll roll out the red carpet and print a leaflet in her language telling her how to claim on arrival.


Twisted FUBAR UK
I don't know why I am even commenting on this. "Put a head scarf on her head" What as opposed to a foot scarf?
You show me any Eastern Europeans in council accommodation claiming benefits and I will personally give you £10 for every household you can prove.
IDIOT!
[quote][p][bold]massimoosti[/bold] wrote: Yet put a head scarf on her head and learn an eastern european accent and theyll roll out the red carpet and print a leaflet in her language telling her how to claim on arrival. Twisted FUBAR UK[/p][/quote]I don't know why I am even commenting on this. "Put a head scarf on her head" What as opposed to a foot scarf? You show me any Eastern Europeans in council accommodation claiming benefits and I will personally give you £10 for every household you can prove. IDIOT! bigfella777

4:33pm Tue 19 Feb 13

Aisha1 says...

The majority of people that comment on this website take life far too seriously.
The majority of people that comment on this website take life far too seriously. Aisha1

5:45pm Tue 19 Feb 13

10 Minute Man says...

Look times are hard, especially with the 6 billion pounds of unpaid tax which Vodafone were excused from paying on the basis of a nod and a wink from one individual in HMRC.

We'll all have to tighten our belts, its only fair. If we get too tough, all these valuable businesses will leave and take their minimum wage jobs and tiny tax contributions away to some other lucky country.

From the look and sound of it, this woman is by no means at the worst end of what is about to happen to the poor and disabled of our country. After IDS' reforms kick in a bit more, I suspect the result will be more suicides and civil unrest.
Look times are hard, especially with the 6 billion pounds of unpaid tax which Vodafone were excused from paying on the basis of a nod and a wink from one individual in HMRC. We'll all have to tighten our belts, its only fair. If we get too tough, all these valuable businesses will leave and take their minimum wage jobs and tiny tax contributions away to some other lucky country. From the look and sound of it, this woman is by no means at the worst end of what is about to happen to the poor and disabled of our country. After IDS' reforms kick in a bit more, I suspect the result will be more suicides and civil unrest. 10 Minute Man

6:32pm Tue 19 Feb 13

Outside of the Box says...

Some of the comments are laughable, this Tory Government has sucked you in, they have used the fear factor of European migration to inflict cuts to the Welfare State, the Welfare Reform changes (coming to home near you soon) will have a more devastating affect far beyond the sums of money mentioned in the report.
Some of the comments are laughable, this Tory Government has sucked you in, they have used the fear factor of European migration to inflict cuts to the Welfare State, the Welfare Reform changes (coming to home near you soon) will have a more devastating affect far beyond the sums of money mentioned in the report. Outside of the Box

12:46am Wed 20 Feb 13

wake up says...

I've always wondered what ever happened to the


"PROCLAIMERS"

good to see they still live at home with their mum,,

"I would walk 500 miles & i would walk 500 more "

" no benefit no more,
sky no more ,
a giro no more
, pies no more"
I've always wondered what ever happened to the "PROCLAIMERS" good to see they still live at home with their mum,, "I would walk 500 miles & i would walk 500 more " " no benefit no more, sky no more , a giro no more , pies no more" wake up

5:19pm Wed 20 Feb 13

solomum says...

massimoosti wrote:
Yet put a head scarf on her head and learn an eastern european accent and theyll roll out the red carpet and print a leaflet in her language telling her how to claim on arrival.


Twisted FUBAR UK
Do not believe everything you read on Facebook, which is where pictures of this leaflet have been shown. The camera most certainly does lie nowadays with photoshop etc.
[quote][p][bold]massimoosti[/bold] wrote: Yet put a head scarf on her head and learn an eastern european accent and theyll roll out the red carpet and print a leaflet in her language telling her how to claim on arrival. Twisted FUBAR UK[/p][/quote]Do not believe everything you read on Facebook, which is where pictures of this leaflet have been shown. The camera most certainly does lie nowadays with photoshop etc. solomum

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