City determined to fight sheltered housing cuts

January 18, 2007 9:00 AM

Executive City Councillor for Housing, Catherine Smart, has announced that Cambridge City Council will fight plans to cut 200 Sheltered Housing places in Cambridge.

A recent report on Sheltered Housing in Cambridgeshire has suggested that Cambridge close 200 of its Sheltered Housing places in order to equalise provision around the county. The Report follows a 2003/04 Review which found large discrepancies between Sheltered Housing provision across Cambridgeshire.

Councillor Catherine Smart commented:

"This latest report bears little resemblance to the thorough review of Sheltered Housing in Cambridgeshire which as carried out just a few years ago. The City Council accepted the 2004 review's findings that Cambridge had 120 more low-support sheltered housing places than it needed but now we're being told that we need to close a further 200 places. The new report does not reflect the situation in Cambridge at all. There are few empty spaces in any of our new and refurbished sheltered housing units and vacancies in the others suggests that the original figure of 120 was accurate. Where has this latest figure come from?

"We should not be downgrading the service in Cambridge to equalise services across the County. Instead areas such as Huntingdonshire, which currentl has fewer sheltered housing units, should be raised up to meet Cambridge's standards. It should not be Cambridge residents who have to suffer in order to bring all services down to the same level. We will fight any proposals to remove another 200 Sheltered Housing places in Cambridge."

The Labour Government has also announced that the Supporting People grant, which funds the care and support in Sheltered Housing as well as other services, will also be cut by one third over the next few years.

Councillor Smart added:

Councillor Catherine Smart

Councillor Catherine Smart

"Supporting People funding supports some of the most vulnerable people in our communities. Massive cuts to the grant will have very serious consequences in Cambridge and around the country. These are cuts that we must fight in order to defend crucial services in the City."

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