Northampton

Voluntary group concerns over cuts in social budgets

Voluntary groups fear county council cuts will lead to more nursing and care homes closing in Northamptonshire.

The authority is aiming to save £68m from budgets and wants to renegotiate a deal under which it shares costs.

Its budget statement said: "As the county's population ages it is absolutely critical that we develop sustainable models."

Financial pressures could mean the council only provides adult and children's social care in the future.

Voluntary organisations told a scrutiny committee on Wednesday that they feared for the future of their work.

The council admitted some services would have to close or reduce but under the consultation process residents would choose.

Fears for refuges

Dominic McLean, from the Northampton Volunteer Centre, said he was concerned about the future for voluntary organisations and job losses.

He said more than 60 organisations had told him they were facing closure by the end of March.

"I would guess there will be about 600 redundancies in the sector."

Carol Jones is from CAN - the organisation which works with people with drug and alcohol problems.

"Our main concern is for people who perhaps do not have a voice or find it difficult to access services when in crisis.

"We help them to move on and find accommodation in the community."

Anne Bodsworth is from Northampton Womens Aid who fear that places where vulnerable women and their children can find refuge would reduce.

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