York & North Yorkshire

Care homes threatened in North Yorkshire council cuts

Generic caring hands
Image caption Care homes for the elderly are under threat as the cuts bite across the county

Care for vulnerable adults, library services, highway safety and the arts are all facing substantial cuts as North Yorkshire County Council tries to save £69m.

The county has to make the savings within four years as part of the government's spending cuts.

Some elderly care homes could close and 130 posts go as £20.5m is slashed from adult social care and libraries.

Age UK said the elderly should not be punished for the financial problems.

The county authority said the savings on its Adult and Community Services directorate had to be achieved by March 2015, but half of those savings had to be delivered before the end of March 2012.

Internal changes to the management and staffing of the department could see 130 posts disappearing.

Derek Law, the corporate director of the department said the cuts would lead to a poorer service for vulnerable adults and children in the county.

He said: "Is it possible to protect the same number of vulnerable adults and children in North Yorkshire communities for less money?

"The honest answer is probably not, but we can minimise the damaging impact if we think and behave differently.

Jane Farquharson, of Age UK in Knaresborough, said the elderly were not responsible for the economic problems, but were paying for them.

She said: "We all know that we're in a financial crisis and it's not the fault of adult and community care that there is no money to pay properly to support the vast numbers of older people that we have in the county.

"We need to look to find alternative ways of supporting those people.

"We need to support them adequately in their own homes, where they want to be."

As well as cuts to the adult services, the county authority is planning to cut £10m from highway maintenance, road safety, countryside and the arts, as well as bus subsidies.

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