Sunday, 18 November 2012

Age Concern Transparency

Former site of Age Concern Chatham before regeneration relocation to Hopewell Drive

It is deeply disappointing that the Conservative Council and MP have failed to secure a positive outcome for Age Concern in Chatham. This was a charity with a long and proud history in Medway with a forty year record of help in the community 

It is time however for their to be full transparency and scrutiny around the substance behind the offer to the charity and the provision of alternative services to be offered to those impacted by this closure

It is for that reason today that I have requested a Member's Item to be tabled at the Health & Adult Social Care Committee for December so that we can have full clarity on:

  • Extent of current Council contracts with Age Concern and future provision for elderly and vulnerable adults in future
  • The detail on the offer and a response from the Charity as to why they refused and background 
  • Background to financial insecurity leading to requirement for offer

I believe the public deserve to know from first hand evidence whether our Conservative administration and Parliamentary representatives got the best deal for this charity. 

Age Concern is a key service that many in Chatham use. Many of these are concerned about the level of services reductions and the potential impacts on some of our most vulnerable residents.

I do have concerns based on evidence that the government and its Conservative representatives have not treated the third sector with respect. Over the last 18 months we have seen how the Tory-led Council have treated charities through budget cuts; we have seen the watering down of service provision for elderly residents with dementia and key care needs, so making it more difficult for residents to get support for loved ones as the criteria get even tighter; we have seen threats to privatise and close local care services with Platters Farm and Nelson Court; all which cared for vulnerable adults.

I dont have confidence unless we get full transparency. 

Now that the offer has been rejected the public; those that use and work for Age Concern and the local community need to know why it was rejected; and more importantly that provision will be in place to safeguard some of our most vulnerable adults, when, on 1st January 2013 there is no centre for them to attend.

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