Gardeners and handymen jobs at risk under new council cutbacks

Cllr David Harrison

Cllr David Harrison

First published in News
Last updated
Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

GARDENING and handymen services are under threat of disappearing from sheltered accommodation and frail pensioner's homes under £7.6million of county council cut backs.

It comes as the future of wardens are in doubt as pensioners living in older people’s homes in Hampshire are set to lose their emergency alarms when the system is replaced with telecare sensors.

As previously reported only those deemed in the greatest need will receive a sensor, meaning that hundreds of elderly people across the county could lose the ability to summon help.

Now it has emerged that older people in their homes and scores of sheltered homes in Hampshire face losing gardening and handymen support as the county plans to pull the plug on funding.

A final decision will be made by county chiefs tomorrow.

But opposition county Lib Dem councillors fear that removing this service will leave pensioners vulnerable to exploitation.

Speaking at a scrutiny committee today, Totton south and Marchwood county councillor David Harrison said: “I am very concerned about reducing the funding for general maintenance and gardening services.

“I think that will make them more vulnerable to the legions of cow boy traders who don’t always deliver good value and frankly sometimes rip people off.”

With the funding removed for the alarm system, it is unclear how wardens will be funded by housing associations, alms houses or other charitable sheltered housing providers.

The new telecare system will contact a “monitoring centre” that uses state-of-the-art technology to detect if someone is in trouble.

It includes automatic fall alarms where the user does not need to press the button to trigger an alert, devices to discourage dementia sufferers from leaving the house at night and sensors that can tell if a frail person is up, and active or not, in their home.

A nominated person such as a carer or family member would then be contacted.

Baddesley county councillor Alan Dowden said the cuts were “depressing”.

He said: “Over the years, I believe older person’s services have improved.

“I believe it’s a major step backwards in the quality of care for Hampshire’s older people.

“You cannot cut 80 per cent of a budget and expect a similar provision. It does not matter innovative you are. It is going to be a difficult time for older people in Hampshire and it saddens me.

“I think this is a change that is wrong.” After being told to make savings following the passing of a £100 million budget cuts earlier this year, council officers have homed in on areas they do not have to provide by law. Under plans funding for support services for homeless and young people will also be ditched.

This includes those in Two Saints for a homeless hostel in Gosport, In Touch Support for a hostel in Blease Court in Lymington, and Alabare for a hostel in Winchester Road in Romsey.

Cllr Liz Fairhurst, Adult and social care and public health boss, is set to decide on the cuts to alarms, handymen and proposals tomorrow.

Comments (9)

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3:57pm Tue 29 Jul 14

Linesman says...

A Tory-run County Council, so its odds on that, even after more than four years, they will still blame Gordon Brown.
A Tory-run County Council, so its odds on that, even after more than four years, they will still blame Gordon Brown. Linesman
  • Score: -5

5:28pm Tue 29 Jul 14

Quizbook says...

How can the Liberals complain ?

The Liberal Party is part of the government making the cuts.
How can the Liberals complain ? The Liberal Party is part of the government making the cuts. Quizbook
  • Score: 3

5:48pm Tue 29 Jul 14

eurogordi says...

Perhaps it would be preferable to cut the costly councillors and highly paid senior managers!
Perhaps it would be preferable to cut the costly councillors and highly paid senior managers! eurogordi
  • Score: 4

8:05pm Tue 29 Jul 14

IronLady2010 says...

Here we go again, hit the vulnerable!

Here's a suggestion, build a Hotel near Westminster, scrap all the second home allowances for MP's and make them stay in the Government run Hotel. Place a restaurant in there so they can BUY there meals etc.

Imagine how much we'd save on second homes that these people hardly use. Make the MP's rough it rather than our elderley.
Here we go again, hit the vulnerable! Here's a suggestion, build a Hotel near Westminster, scrap all the second home allowances for MP's and make them stay in the Government run Hotel. Place a restaurant in there so they can BUY there meals etc. Imagine how much we'd save on second homes that these people hardly use. Make the MP's rough it rather than our elderley. IronLady2010
  • Score: 1

11:08pm Tue 29 Jul 14

sass says...

IronLady2010 wrote:
Here we go again, hit the vulnerable!

Here's a suggestion, build a Hotel near Westminster, scrap all the second home allowances for MP's and make them stay in the Government run Hotel. Place a restaurant in there so they can BUY there meals etc.

Imagine how much we'd save on second homes that these people hardly use. Make the MP's rough it rather than our elderley.
"buy their meals". There or their, they're not the same!
[quote][p][bold]IronLady2010[/bold] wrote: Here we go again, hit the vulnerable! Here's a suggestion, build a Hotel near Westminster, scrap all the second home allowances for MP's and make them stay in the Government run Hotel. Place a restaurant in there so they can BUY there meals etc. Imagine how much we'd save on second homes that these people hardly use. Make the MP's rough it rather than our elderley.[/p][/quote]"buy their meals". There or their, they're not the same! sass
  • Score: 0

11:23pm Tue 29 Jul 14

IronLady2010 says...

sass wrote:
IronLady2010 wrote:
Here we go again, hit the vulnerable!

Here's a suggestion, build a Hotel near Westminster, scrap all the second home allowances for MP's and make them stay in the Government run Hotel. Place a restaurant in there so they can BUY there meals etc.

Imagine how much we'd save on second homes that these people hardly use. Make the MP's rough it rather than our elderley.
"buy their meals". There or their, they're not the same!
Well spotted. Your input to the article is?
[quote][p][bold]sass[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]IronLady2010[/bold] wrote: Here we go again, hit the vulnerable! Here's a suggestion, build a Hotel near Westminster, scrap all the second home allowances for MP's and make them stay in the Government run Hotel. Place a restaurant in there so they can BUY there meals etc. Imagine how much we'd save on second homes that these people hardly use. Make the MP's rough it rather than our elderley.[/p][/quote]"buy their meals". There or their, they're not the same![/p][/quote]Well spotted. Your input to the article is? IronLady2010
  • Score: 1

12:54am Wed 30 Jul 14

andysaints007 says...

sass wrote:
IronLady2010 wrote:
Here we go again, hit the vulnerable!

Here's a suggestion, build a Hotel near Westminster, scrap all the second home allowances for MP's and make them stay in the Government run Hotel. Place a restaurant in there so they can BUY there meals etc.

Imagine how much we'd save on second homes that these people hardly use. Make the MP's rough it rather than our elderley.
"buy their meals". There or their, they're not the same!
What an utterly boring reply!
[quote][p][bold]sass[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]IronLady2010[/bold] wrote: Here we go again, hit the vulnerable! Here's a suggestion, build a Hotel near Westminster, scrap all the second home allowances for MP's and make them stay in the Government run Hotel. Place a restaurant in there so they can BUY there meals etc. Imagine how much we'd save on second homes that these people hardly use. Make the MP's rough it rather than our elderley.[/p][/quote]"buy their meals". There or their, they're not the same![/p][/quote]What an utterly boring reply! andysaints007
  • Score: 1

8:56am Wed 30 Jul 14

skeptik says...

Tax freedom day UK - 28 May 2014 - until that day you were not earning for yourself - can we afford anymore savings? The more we save the more we pay. We are certainly out of kilter, -one man digging the hole and an army of suited 'enablers' looking on with higher salaries, perks and pensions. The burden placed on business is plain wrong - wealth creators carry too much deadweight. Think of how many levels of 'political' interference exists from parish councils up a long ladder to the lords - a drag anchor on UK Plc.
Tax freedom day UK - 28 May 2014 - until that day you were not earning for yourself - can we afford anymore savings? The more we save the more we pay. We are certainly out of kilter, -one man digging the hole and an army of suited 'enablers' looking on with higher salaries, perks and pensions. The burden placed on business is plain wrong - wealth creators carry too much deadweight. Think of how many levels of 'political' interference exists from parish councils up a long ladder to the lords - a drag anchor on UK Plc. skeptik
  • Score: 1

9:01am Wed 30 Jul 14

Tony Blair's Accountant says...

Don't worry. Once these people have been unemployed for 6 months the government can force them to do "voluntary" work for their benefit money. Maybe a bit of gardening, or handyman work.
Don't worry. Once these people have been unemployed for 6 months the government can force them to do "voluntary" work for their benefit money. Maybe a bit of gardening, or handyman work. Tony Blair's Accountant
  • Score: -1

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