Vulnerable people in danger if council cuts go ahead, says warden

Cititzen's campaign to save our wardens
Cititzen's campaign to save our wardens

Lives will be lost if the council takes away help from sheltered housing, according to a warden.

Debbie Batham, who looks after residents in Newport Pagnell, has spoken out against plans to force 674 residents to live without on-site warden support.

It follows the launch of a Citizen campaign to save this vital service.

Ms Batham said: “We think people will be found dead in their rooms because they are too proud to call for help.

“A lot of the time we’ll know something is wrong and can do something about it before it develops.

“We keep them independent because of that support.”

This week the councillor in charge of sacking wardens to save £560,000 from next year’s budget came under fire.

Nigel Long admitted he had “made a mistake” and regretted telling residents about the plans two weeks before Christmas.

Speaking to the Citizen, he said: “In retrospect we should have done a consultation first and then put a proposal forward.

“It was a mistake and I hold my hands up.

“We aim to develop a better modern service and we will see what the consultation says before moving forward with any ideas, but I can assure people we are flexible in what our final budget may bring forward.”

Despite severe backlash from protesting pensioners, the plans were still referred to public consultation on Monday night.

Ms Batham added: “I have been so touched by all the comments of support - it has been very emotional.

“But we have never thought about our jobs being at risk. We have only ever cared about the residents, so we will carry on with our job.

“We have lots of Christmas events - and we do not want them to be overshadowed by this.”

> Sign our petition to force MK Council to scrap its proposal www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/mk-sheltered-housing