Borders Council to charge for social work services

CASH-STRAPPED council chiefs on Thursday agreed to start charging some of the region’s most vulnerable residents for services many currently get for free.

It follows a review of local social work services.

Around 600 residents, mainly the elderly, will be affected – including those attending Day Services and those living in 24 hour supported accommodation.

Councillors agreed the revised charges at a full meeting of Scottish Borders Council in Newtown St Boswells. They are due to begin on November 1.

However, opponents of the review have accused the local authority of “daylight robbery”.

And an appeals panel is being put in place for those who refuse to pay.

Council leader David Parker said: “It’s only reasonable that we charge for services that we haven’t charged for before.”

Adults who receive round the clock care will in future be required to pay a new flat rate charge of £77.55 per week. And those who have more than £22,750 in the bank will have to pay double that – £155.10 per week.

A flat rate of £2 per day has also be introduced for day care, which is currently provided for free. While users of Tweedbridge Court and Station Court short break facilities will now be charged £15 per day.

Independent Councillor Tom Weatherston, Kelso and District, said: “I think it’s totally unfair and savage. It gives no incentive to someone who has saved all their life.”