Day care

THE proposed North Somerset Council budget increase for 2008/2009 is around two per cent and in general has the support of most councillors, including myself

THE proposed North Somerset Council budget increase for 2008/2009 is around two per cent and in general has the support of most councillors, including myself.However, within the Conservative budget there is a firm commitment to withdraw free day care for the elderly after May, in addition the elderly may also have to pay for their transportation costs to and from day care centres. The exact charges will be announced in due course.Some authorities do charge for day care, but there are other authorities who do not. North Somerset has a proud record of providing this vital service free of charge. I can not see any logical reason for introducing charges. Day care users now face extra expenditure they can ill afford. The proposal, in my view, will prevent the elderly attending free day care as frequently as in the past, because some senior citizens just won't have the income.North Somerset Council has just received a better than expected funding grant from central Government, retaining the status quo of providing a free day care service to some of the most vulnerable and least well off residents would have hardly altered the forthcoming council tax increase, it would still be around the two per cent mark. At this late stage I am still hoping the Conservative administration will reassess this proposal, but the indications are that there will be no change of mind.Andy Cole - District councillor for Nailsea East


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