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SNP Bid To Reverse Sheltered Housing Cuts Defeated

>> 9 February 2012

A bid by SNP councillors on Aberdeenshire Council to reverse some of the cuts in sheltered housing services imposed last year was defeated at today’s Budget Meeting of Aberdeenshire Council.

SNP councillors had argued that the changes in sheltered housing officer provision – resulting in many complexes losing their full-time ‘warden’ and being covered for a few hours per day by mobile officers – had resulted in an inferior service for sheltered housing residents.

Many residents in complexes across Aberdeenshire have complained at the cuts, claiming they had resulted in less social contact with staff and checks on their welfare not being carried out until later in the day when previously these were done first thing in the morning.

Commenting, Councillor Rob Merson (Ellon & District) said:

"It is often said that the mark of a civilised society is the way in which it cares for the more vulnerable members of that society. That is why the SNP Group identified alternative savings in last year’s budget which could be made in order to preserve the level of front-line sheltered housing officer cover across Aberdeenshire.

“While being supportive of a review of sheltered housing, what we have ended up with is the pressing ahead with plans by the Liberal/Tory administration to reduce cover, which is a matter of concern for the safety and security of many of our more elderly and infirm residents.

“At today’s Budget Meeting, the SNP proposed putting £300,000 identified from other savings back into the sheltered housing budget. I am therefore very disappointed that when the various budgets put forward were voted on, this was defeated by the Liberal/Tory administration.”

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