Home helps for 630 Angus residents are to be axed within six months in a £755,000 cost-cutting move.
The money-saving step has been in the pipeline as part of council efforts to shave millions of pounds from its annual budget.
The service had not been due to end until April next year but officials have accelerated the date to October this year because shrinkage of the set-up would lead to it becoming “unsustainable”.
Almost 45 full-time posts are involved. Unions have been advised of the closure but the exact fate of staff is not known. The council is also examining the possibility of the home help service being provided as a ‘social enterprise’.
Social work committee member David May said he was “very unhappy” about the potential wider impact of the move.
He said he was concerned frail pensioners would be hit hard by the removal of the regular contact home helps provide.
The new timetable for the cessation of the service has been set out in a report from strategic director (people) Margo Williamson.
It states: “The home support service provides a domestic cleaning service to approximately 630 people within Angus with 43.8 FTE staff. The service has reduced over time from a budget of £951,000 in 2007-08 to £605,000 today.”
The director adds: “All current service users will receive a Self Directed Support assessment and may choose to purchase home support through their SDS delivery package.”
Mr May said: “I’m very unhappy. So many people depend on the support they get from home helps. For many it is perhaps the only face to face contact they will have with someone on a regular basis.”