Care plan to offset grant cut

COUNCILLORS have approved plans to change services for vulnerable and elderly residents of Hucknall and the rest of Ashfield — as part of a bid to cope with the fallout of £10 million spending cuts.

Notts County Council has rubberstamped proposals to reduce its Supporting People grant from £22.5 million to £12.5 million over the next three years.

The cash helps elderly and disadvantaged people, such as the disabled and residents with mental-health problems, live independently in their own homes.

But the budget has been reduced as part of the council’s drive to balance its books.

County council bosses had asked residents to decide if the grant should be cut by £10m, £12.5m or £15m.

Now members of Ashfield District Council’s Cabinet have agreed to allow Ashfield Homes to reshape its community alarm-monitoring service, care co-ordinator visiting service and tenancy support visiting service.

Ashfield Homes will be expected to come up with a business plan to ensure the services it provides will be sustainable once the Supporting People funding finishes.

Coun Steve Carroll (Lab), of Ashfield Council, said: “Taking £10 million out of that budget will have a devastating effect on the most vulnerable people.

“It shows a shame on the county council. They are really attacking the most vulnerable.”

About 85 council-house residents in Ashfield currently use the tenancy support service. A total of 1,800 people use the care co-ordinator visiting service, while 2,000 older folk make use of the 24-hour alarm-monitoring service.

Coun Kevin Rostance (Con), of Hucknall, who is the county council’s Cabinet member for adult social care and health, said: “Some funding for older people’s services is due to end as part of the savings.

“However, we continue to work with agencies who provide those services to ensure that the most vulnerable people are still supported. We are also helping to make savings by identifying any duplication in service provision and better ways of working.

“In addition, the county council is introducing a range of new services for older people, such as night response and telecare, to help keep them independent in their own homes.”