FEARS have been raised a lifeline for elderly and vulnerable people in the district could be cut.
Concerns have been voiced at the possible axing of the Lifeline Service – which provides 24 hour emergency aid at the push of a button – for some 1,200 elderly, disabled and people with health issues.
However council chiefs have assured private customers that they will continue to receive the Lifeline service. Some 3,000 people currently choose to pay for the service from Warwick District Council, and there will be no change to the service for these people.
It follows a cost-cutting move by cash-strapped Warwickshire County Council to withdraw a £500,000 annual grant paid to Warwick District Council to provide the potentially life-saving support services.
Also under threat from the county council cuts are housing-related support services for older people living in sheltered housing schemes in the district – from counselling to home security help and advice.
The district council has already sent out a newsletter to all who may be affected, and has reassured people there will be no changes before next March at the earliest.
The future however remains unclear for the services for non private users. Council chiefs say no decisions have been made on the way forward and plan a series of public meetings to give people the chance to have their say.
A resident, whose disabled wife uses the Lifeline Service, was angry.
He told The Observer: “Once again it is the elderly and vulnerable who suffer. This is going to cause a great deal of worry to a lot people.
“My wife is signed up to the Lifeline Service, and while it is obviously something we hope she never has to use, the fact that it is there, is a great reassurance.
“We don’t know if the service will continue. We just don’t know what is going to happen.”
A district council spokeswoman said some 1,200 people would be affected.
She said: “An initial newsletter has been delivered and further information will be sent out in June, which will include a questionnaire along with details of a series of local meetings which have been arranged so that residents, their families and carers can raise their thoughts and concerns.
“In the autumn we will send out our proposals for the future delivery of housing related support, which includes the Lifeline Service, and we will carry out a formal consultation, which will help shape our decisions on what services we will then be able to provide.”
Anyone with concerns in the meantime can call the district Housing Support Team on 01926 435012.
Visit www.warwickdc.gov.uk/lifelines, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01926 435012 for further details.