Social work evaluation goes to full council

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Aberdeenshire SNP Councillors have referred an evaluation of the council’s Sheltered Housing Review to the full council, after Administration Councillors narrowly rejected proposals to enhance the scope of an ongoing review into the service.

The debate, which took place at last week’s meeting of the Social Work and Housing Committee, saw members divide 8-6 over an SNP amendment, which would have committed officers to carrying out a full assessment of the needs of sheltered housing residents.

Earlier, SNP councillors had expressed concerns over the impact on residents resulting from cuts in the level of housing warden cover.

The controversial changes to warden cover, which were implemented between November 2011 and January 2012, have seen the replacement of full time warden cover with mobile warden teams. The number of permanent sheltered housing officer posts has reduced from 110 to 75 (full time equivalent) over this period.

During the debate, SNP Councillors voiced anxiety that the different needs of sheltered housing complexes, particularly those in rural areas, would not be considered adequately under the administration’s proposals.

Speaking afterwards, SNP Spokesman, Councillor Anne Allan, said she was concerned that current recommendations didn’t go far enough.

“The changes to sheltered housing provision, particularly the move to mobile warden teams, have brought to the fore the different problems now being faced by residents in different complexes.”