Plans to charge for care services

DOZENS of vulnerable people could be asked to pay for council services which they currently receive free.

Cash-strapped Denbighshire County Council is also expected to put up charges for day care services, meals on wheels and residential accommodation.

Members of the authority’s social services and housing scrutiny committee will tomorrow discuss a report by commissioning and contracting manager Anne Hughes-Jones.

She says it is proposed to increase charges for domiciliary and day care services by 3.75%, slightly above the rate of inflation.

Ms Hughes-Jones says that of the 968 people who currently receive chargeable services, 366 will not be charged at all and 267 will not pay any more, while 162 will pay between £1 and £2 a week more.

Those most affected are the 173 who already pay the full cost. Their bills will rise by up to £13.

Ms Hughes-Jones also proposes introducing charges for mental health services; Cornerstone services, for people with early onset dementia; adult placements, a new service of 24-hour care by a landlord; and Supporting People services, which includes wardens, alarm monitoring and housing support.

Charging for mental health services is a tricky issue, as some services are provided jointly with the Conwy and Denbighshire NHS Trust which owns some of the buildings used.

Yesterday, the council’s cabinet considered budget proposals which would result in a 3.3% rise in council tax. The recommendations will be discussed by the full council on February 12.