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PRESS RELEASE: Lib Dems fight KCC over enhanced sheltered housing cuts

October 27, 2015 6:41 PM

Canterbury Lib Dems have joined local residents voicing concerns over Council plans to cut Enhanced Sheltered Housing for the elderly.

Two weeks ago, elderly residents were stunned when told by East Kent Housing that a 'consultation period' had begun with the view of closing enhanced care schemes in Canterbury by the end of this financial year.

Canterbury is unique in having more local residents over the age of 65 than any other district in Kent and also in running four "enhanced sheltered schemes " - three in Canterbury itself and one in Whitstable.

These homes are staffed 24 hours a day, provide more support and a strong community life than general sheltered housing does.

"I was asked to attend the first consultation as a friend of one of the residents " said Ida Linfield". We were told that there were funding reductions four years ago and this decision was made by both KCC and the city council some years ago. I know of a local resident who sold their their flat so they could move into Whitgift Court within the last year. What is the morality of not telling this elderly person what was being planned?"

The consultation is continuing until the city council makes a final decision in the New Year.

"Enhanced schemes provide needed comfort for elderly residents - to take this away from those who need it most is unacceptable," said former Westgate councillor James Flanagan. "This is one of the worst cuts to make, and we will be joining residents to fight against this."

Local Lib Dem Cllr Michael Dixey has met with the City Council Department involved in this decision. "One of the worst aspects of older life is isolation and the fear of being alone. These schemes are vital in that they provide a true community for older people. I am joining our local Kent County Councillor Martin Vye who is also fighting this cut at County Hall."

Meanwhile staff at these four sites are also under notice of redundancy as 40 jobs are being reduced to 10.

The housing schemes involved are Cranmer House, Collard House and Whitgift Court in Canterbury and Lang Court in Whitstable.