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Trafford residents hit after alarm system funding is cut
9:00am Wednesday 13th February 2013 in News
RESIDENTS in supported housing across Trafford are faced with a new charge after funding for the community alarm system was cut.
Residents will be asked to pay £2.91 per week from April, rising to £3.91 next year.
Those wishing to opt out of the system will be forced to pay an £80 disconnection fee, and will be faced with a £175 charge if they use the alarm in an emergency.
Matthew Gardiner, chief executive at Trafford Housing Trust, said: “For the past 10 years we have been able to provide our community alarm service to customers on benefits for free thanks to funding provided by Supporting People.
"Unfortunately this funding was reduced in 2012 and is expected to end completely in 2014.
We are therefore offering to provide the service for a small weekly fee, but we are no longer able to subsidise payments for those on benefits.”
Trafford Council’s director of communities and wellbeing, Deborah Brownlee said the council would be providing further investment for its Telecare telephone alarm linked equipment.
She added: “While no budget proposal decisions have yet been made, everyone involved appreciates difficult choices have to be made.
"The views of local people we have consulted with are being carefully considered before final decisions are made.”
But Stretford and Urmston MP Kate Green expressed concern over the changes.
She said: “These systems protect some of our most frail and vulnerable neighbours. I’m very worried that those who can’t afford to pay will be left without this essential protection.”