Tuesday, 28 August 2012
Thanet Scrutiny Chairman Frightened to Think about Future for Vulnerable Older Citizens
Thanet District Council Scrutiny Panel will be quizzing Kent County Council Social Services bosses on Monday 3rd September about their decision to means test and charge vulnerable older people up to £40 per day for using the Minnis Bay Day Centre, Birchington.
Scrutiny Panel Chairman, Councillor Ian Driver said “KCC tried to close the Minnis Bay Day Centre less than a year ago, but had to retreat in the face of massive public opposition”.
“ Some people have suggested to me that the decision to introduce fees is a deliberate ploy by KCC to cut down on the number of people using the Centre which will then provide an excuse to revisit the closure plans. I certainly intend to explore this theory with Anne Tidmarsh and Councillor Graham Gibbens of KCC and seek their assurances that there are no back-door closure plans”.
He went to say “According to the 2011 census 38,000 people in Thanet are 60 or over, that’s 28% of the total population. This is well above the national average and means that Thanet has the largest older population in Kent”.
“Many of our older people are extremely vulnerable and day centre care is a very important source of support for them. Sadly , Thanet has already lost much of its day centre capacity with the closure of Age Concern Ramsgate last year”.
“ If the Minnis Bay Day Centre was to close then it will be extremely difficult to find alternative services for the current users. I am extremely frightened about the future for Thanet’s vulnerable older people,their families and carers. How will they manage if important services are closed? We need to have a major rethink about how we can support our older people”.