PLANS to axe funding for gardening and handyman services to sheltered accommodation and frail pensioners’ homes across Hampshire were rubber-stamped yesterday.

Hampshire County Council’s adult social care and public health boss Cllr Liz Fairhurst approved recommendations to pull the plug on the service in a bid to save £7.6m. It comes as the council faces a £102m budget black hole.

Other plans that were agreed included replacing emergency alarms fitted in properties with state-of-the-art telecare sensors.

When a pensioner is in trouble the sensors automatically contact a call centre, which in turn phones a nominated helper.

But only those in the greatest need will receive telecare, leaving hundreds of elderly residents across the county without the ability to summon emergency help.

Cllr Fairhurst said: “Adult services must make £43m of savings by the end of 2015/16 – and with our limited means, ensure that our services can continue to support those with the highest need, and are sustainable for the future.”

Hampshire Age Concern chairman Chris Perry said he understood that the council had to balance its budget but the loss of services would impact negatively on older people.