Residents angry over home changes

Elderly residents at a sheltered accommodation complex in mid Suffolk fear budget cuts will leave fewer wardens on duty at the site.

STOWMARKET: Elderly residents at a sheltered accommodation complex in mid Suffolk fear budget cuts will leave fewer wardens on duty at the site.

The concerns have been raised by people living at Weston Court, off Iliffe Way in Stowmarket, after they were told there would be less money available to pay for services.

The site is run by Mid Suffolk District Council and a spokesman admitted there had been a cut in funding for such schemes from the Government.

Resident Eleanor Jones, known as Rose, is 84 and moved to Weston Court from London a year ago.

She said: “It's a lovely place but this would ruin it all. The council are trying to either do away with half the wardens or cut the place right down.

“This is sheltered accommodation and it's not sheltered without wardens. They've already cut the place down.”

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There are 29 flats at the property and Mrs Jones said she had been told that the warden hours was being reduced - something that all the residents were against.

She said she had even written to MP David Ruffley in a bid to garner support for the residents' cause.

She added: “I came up from London to be in sheltered accommodation - now they're going to ruin it all; ruin my life.

“It's reassuring to know that they (the wardens) are there.”

A council spokeswoman said the uncertainty was down to a reduction in funding from the Government but no decision about cutting the warden provision at Weston Court or any other sheltered housing scheme in mid Suffolk had yet been made.

She said: “Our funding to run sheltered housing schemes is mainly provided through a Supporting People Grant.

“This grant comes directly from the Government and is managed by Suffolk County Council, in partnership with all other borough and district councils in Suffolk, via a Supporting People Board.

“The Government has already told us that Suffolk will be receiving less money but not how much or when the reduction will happen.”

She said funding was “already tight” and with no increases over the last four years, Mid Suffolk had had to find extra funding to keep the sheltered schemes running.