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Care Services (Somerset)

Volume 487: debated on Tuesday 10 February 2009

The Petition of the residents of Bridgwater and others,

Declares that the Petitioners are concerned about cuts to funding by Government which have resulted in Homes in Sedgemoor, and other housing organisations, reviewing the arrangements in their warden-controlled accommodation so that wardens will no longer be resident on site, and the implications that this has for elderly residents and others who have made arrangements to be in warden-controlled accommodation as part of their long-term future care.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to review and reconsider funding arrangements to local authorities so that funds are available to allow the continued employment of resident wardens to assist elderly residents in retaining a degree of independence and the peace of mind a warden on site brings them.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Mr. Ian Liddell-Grainger, Official Report, 22 October 2008; Vol. 481, c. 415.]

[P000277]

Observations from the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government:

The Secretary of State acknowledges the concerns of the petitioners regarding the funding of resident wardens in warden controlled accommodation.

We are aware that a number of older people are concerned about changes to the warden systems in some sheltered housing schemes, and the implications that such changes might have. I should like to emphasise that the Government are very mindful of the housing and support needs of all older people—wherever they live—whether in their “own homes”, or with family, or in supported housing, like sheltered or extra care accommodation, or residential care establishments. The Government wants to ensure that our older citizens should get the best housing and support services that can be made available locally and in the most effective way.

It is, however, for local authorities to determine how to best meet the support needs identified in their communities - we do not prescribe any particular model of support. My Department has given local authorities £1.686 billion of Supporting People funding. Authorities use this funding to provide housing support to a whole range of people, focusing their spending to best meet local need. All decisions about how the services are funded and monitored, which includes satisfaction with the service, are therefore made at the local level.

Once my Department has had a chance to review the report and meet with representatives from Age Concern and Help the Aged as mentioned above, we can then decide how to best work with and support the sector and service users going forward.