District council shelves plan to replace sheltered housing wardens
A COUNCIL is set to do a u-turn and drop controversial plans to axe on-site sheltered housing wardens. South Cambridgeshire district council sparked fury among elderly residents in November last year when it announced plans to replace dedicated on site wa
A COUNCIL is set to do a u-turn and drop controversial plans to axe on-site sheltered housing wardens.
South Cambridgeshire district council sparked fury among elderly residents in November last year when it announced plans to replace dedicated on site wardens with a roaming team covering the whole district.
The changes would have saved the cash-strapped council �800,000, but a reduction in monies that need to be paid to the government, together with a higher than expected rent increase, mean the current system can be maintained.
A district council spokesman explained: "The council is being allowed to increase rents by 2.7 per cent, rather than the usual maximum of 1.7 per cent, because rent rises in the district have been low in the past.
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"It had also been anticipated �12million would have to be paid to the government in housing subsidies, but the figure is actually �11.7million, freeing up another �300,000."
Some of this cash will also be used to pay for improved disability access in properties.
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The news will come as a relief to Crow Country residents in schemes such as the John Impey way accommodation in Melbourn, who had feared they would lose their wardens.
But the council has come under fire from Cllr Deb Roberts, district councillor for Fowlmere.
She said: "What a way to treat your staff. The council announce that they'll probably lose their jobs then change their mind and say it's all going to be alright.
"And it has caused so much worry among elderly people who were scared they would lose their wardens. I find the council's conduct in this matter utterly despicable," she added.
The new plans will be discussed by the district council's cabinet tonight (Thursday), and will then need to be approved when the full council meets on February 25.