Bristol

South Gloucestershire's home care privatisation plan approved

Plans to privatise home care services in South Gloucestershire have been approved at a council meeting.

Members decided in favour of the proposal to contract council care services to private companies.

The decision to axe the authority's in-house service, which looks after the elderly and disabled, could see the loss of up to 130 jobs.

Rowena Hayward, from the trade union GMB, said she was "extremely disappointed" by the decision.

The move was first brought up in the autumn in an effort to save £1.1m from the council's budget.

But Councillor Matthew Riddle (Conservative) said it had been "a very tough decision".

"The individual care workers, it's not their fault at all, they're loyal members of staff and they provide a good service," he said.

"But unfortunately we are having to try and match spending against the income that we have and I do have a heavy heart that this has come about - but we do have to live in the real world."

Ms Hayward said she was "extremely disappointed for - the careworkers".

"Bottom line, what it means for them is that the majority will be out of a job - they will lose their job," she said.

"And the cuts come into place with effect from 1 April 2013 - I'm extremely disappointed for the people of South Gloucestershire and for our members - the care workers themselves - who are mostly part-time, low paid women workers."

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