Elderly put a strain on council cash

THE massive cost of supporting the huge number of elderly people in the Weston area means everyone else is losing out, it has been revealed

THE massive cost of supporting the huge number of elderly people in the Weston area means everyone else is losing out, it has been revealed.Millions of pounds are being spent on care and support for the elderly, ultimately meaning there is less cash to go round for other Government services.The district has an aging population and North Somerset Council also has to look after the dozens of elderly people who move to the area to retire by the seaside.The council has already had to spend £1million more than it planned on its 'adult care' services this year, notably overspending on home care - where care workers visit people's homes to look after them.The authority is now starting to plan its budget for next year and admits it is facing massive financial pressures to support the number of elderly people.The last Government population survey found 72,000 people aged over 50 lived in North Somerset, compared to just 19,600 people aged from 25-34. The gulf between the two figures is likely to have risen since the survey took place in 2004.North Somerset Councillor Mike Bell, executive member for finance and resources, said: "We face two challenges, one is we have an above average elderly population, which is not reflected in the amount of funding we get from Government."Also across the country people are living longer and, understandably, they are choosing a place like here to retire."Although there is not normally a problem when they initially move, it is not long before they will require extra care. Recently demand for care services has been soaring, especially this year, and this has unfortunately led to an overspend of £1million in this financial year."* Cllr Bell also said the council would have to make a minimum of £4.5million in savings in its budget for 2007/8 to keep the council tax increase down to five per cent, at a meeting this week. The executive has promised to try to keep the increase below five per cent.


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