Councillor hits out at lack of consultation over Gale Farm Court charges

Gale Farm Court sheltered accommodation

Gale Farm Court sheltered accommodation

Liberal Democrats have criticised a lack of consultation on price increases for residents in sheltered housing who use the council’s warden call service.

At this week’s Decision Session Labour’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Services, Cllr Tracey Simpson-Laing, rubber-stamped proposals to increase the charges for residents using the 24-hour support service.

12 months ago Cllr Laing refused to meet Gale Farm Court residents but tried to blame the LibDems for her plans to increase warden call charges

12 months ago Cllr Laing refused to meet Gale Farm Court residents but tried to blame the LibDems for her plans to increase warden call charges

The report admitted that the price increases could “result in financial hardship for vulnerable elderly tenants”.

 

Despite these concerns, no consultation was undertaken with sheltered housing tenants on the proposed changes and there are fears that the first residents will know about the plans is when they receive a letter from City of York Council.

Cllr Lynn Jeffries the Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Equalities, attended the meeting and criticised the lack of engagement with tenants. She commented:

“This change will affect some of the most vulnerable residents in York and it is unacceptable that neither they nor their families were asked for their views on the price increases.

“Even council officers were forced to admit at the meeting that there had been no consultation with sheltered housing tenants. Once again it shows that this is a Labour Council which doesn’t listen to residents and in this case doesn’t even ask residents.

“I am also concerned that under the original plans the first the tenants would have heard about the changes is through a letter. I raised this issue and hopefully they will now be told personally by the sheltered housing managers – who should be able to answer any questions and address any concerns. However, my colleagues and I will also be contacting tenants separately to explain the changes.”

The impact on residents who are not in receipt of Housing Benefit will be up to £2.88 per week.

Full details of the decision taken can be found here:

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