Dorset

Poole Council agrees changes to adult social care

About 300 people living in Poole will no longer be entitled to social care services, the council has said.

Borough of Poole councillors approved proposals to change the way people are charged for care and who is eligible for it as part of plans to save money.

The Conservative council said it would focus care services on people with the "greatest need".

It said that people who could afford to pay for their own care would be required to do so from now on.

Those on low incomes will continue to pay little or no contribution towards the cost of their care, the council said.

'Best support'

Councils will see a 7.1% annual fall in their budgets over the next four years, following Chancellor George Osborne's Spending Review.

A recent poll for Poole council found that 62% of service users agreed the new eligibility criteria were reasonable and fair.

But concerns were raised about additional pressures on carers.

Council Leader Elaine Atkinson said: "The demand for social care services is rising, but at the same time the council is facing significant cuts to its budget.

"Therefore, it is important the council take steps now to manage the increasing costs of social care.

"Throughout these changes we will be looking at how best to support those people affected."

Changes are expected to happen in early 2011.

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