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Council cuts could leave Wyre Forest OAPs 'on the scrapheap'
ELDERLY people in Wyre Forest say they have been "left of the scrapheap" after being targeted in plans to slash council spending.
More than 1,000 pensioners across the district have been warned by Wyre Forest Sheltered Housing, part of the Community Housing Group (WFCHG), if Worcestershire County Council budget proposals get the go ahead, warden and support worker schemes and call alarm services will come to an end in April.
As part of those programmes, vulnerable elderly people - including those who are prone to falling or cannot eat or dress themselves - are visited by a member of staff.
The council funding currently subsidises those services but if that stops, WFCHG will have to look for a way to provide an alternative service which, even in the best-case scenario, would mean the most vulnerable would be visited less often.
Fears arose after the council announced it wanted to slash its supporting people budget from £15 million to £6.5 million.
Pensioners at Purcell House, Westminster Road, a block of flats for retired people, have spoken to The Shuttle about how the proposals could affect them.
Army veteran Frank Clements, 92, said: "I use it all the time because I am getting on a bit. Several times I have fallen over and cannot get up and they come round then if it is serious they send for an ambulance. I find it disgraceful, they are cutting the wrong things."
Betty Hibbert, 85, added: "I honestly cannot see how it is going to work here with no warden. She gives us so much care and attention and saves a good many of us having to look for nursing home places."
Jean Waldron, 84 and husband Derick, 82, said they were concerned the elderly would need to become carers themselves which they were "not trained for".
John Farquahr, 74, added: "Who is going to look after us? Pensioners are being put on the scrapheap."
A WFCHG spokesman said: "We are currently negotiating with the council and attempting to find other sources of funding to be able to continue to offer services to our tenants. We have set up a series of meetings to speak to all our tenants affected by this and are doing everything possible to respond positively to these sweeping cuts to funding."
Meanwhile, a petition has been started by Kidderminster resident Colin Foxall and Sam Davies from Stourport, to oppose the possible warden cuts. To contact Mr Foxall for more information call 07584 626514.
A final decision is expected to be made in February. Conservative councillor Sheila Blagg, cabinet member for social care, said all views would be listened to and encouraged people to participate in the consultation at worcestershire.gov.uk/futurelives or by visiting libraries and other public buildings.
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