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Care alarm service will not suffer under £1m cuts - council
A COMMUNITY alarm service will not suffer under proposals to save £1m from its annual running cost, councillors have insisted.
Durham County Council’s Labour cabinet today (Wednesday, December 18) agreed a range of changes to Care Connect, a round-the-clock alarm monitoring service used by thousands of old and disabled people.
The number of times a person’s needs are assessed each year will fall from four to one and there will be various back-office efficiency savings.
Also, the 4,700 people who pay for the service will see the charge rise from £4.10 to £4.50 per week.
But it will still be available free to 13,400 households across County Durham.
Council chiefs hope the changes will cut spending on Care Connect from £3.3m a year to £2.3m.
Councillor Eddie Tomlinson, the cabinet member for housing and rural issues, said: “Care Connect currently provides an essential service for 17,000 households, helping some of the most vulnerable of our residents and there’s a likelihood this will grow in future.”
In those circumstances, he said, it was important the council retained a round-the-clock service.
Deputy leader Alan Napier said the changes were designed to protect this.
Ian Thompson, the council’s corporate director of regeneration and economic development, said it was talking to trade union representatives to try to minimise the number of compulsory redundancies arising from the cutbacks.
The cabinet agreed the changes during a meeting at Durham Town Hall today (Wednesday, December 18).
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