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PENSIONERS living in supported housing in Aldershot have been told one-on-one meetings are being arranged with Hampshire County Council to allow them to voice their fears about funding being withdrawn.
Around 200 residents of Alma House, in White Road, along with others in First Wessex accommodation, signed a petition to say they feel abandoned after it was announced that funding for support workers and emer- gency alarm chords was being cut.
The council’s Supporting People funding has been severely impacted upon due to reduced government funding and it is therefore discussing reducing the number of people supported financially and ceasing the service that provides help when a resident pulls the chord in their home in the event of a fall or other emergency. First Wessex operations director Carol Williams wrote to the leader of the petition, Sheila Cartwright, last week to explain the ‘difficult position’ the housing association and council found themselves due to ‘significant changes in government policy’.
She added that First Wessex, along with other landlords, had lobbied for the alarm service funding cuts to be postponed long enough for meetings to be held with residents to discuss alternative arrangements and were waiting to hear back from the council.
“Our first concern is the impact that these decisions may have on each of our residents individually and for this reason we are meeting with everyone on a one-toone basis so that we can establish each person's needs and how these can be best addressed. In some cases the council will continue to fund an individual’s support services but for others we will have to have discussions regarding what services are needed and whether the individual would want to pay for these themselves.”