Page last updated at 19:22 GMT, Monday, 8 June 2009 20:22 UK

Pensioners in warden cuts protest

David Young, local campaigner
David Young accused Barnet Council of being "inhumane"

Hundreds of pensioners are protesting in north London over plans to cut the number of wardens from sheltered homes.

Demonstrators have gathered outside a meeting at which Barnet Council will decide whether to cut back on wardens living in 52 homes across the borough.

Campaigners say the wardens help with security, health and social needs and give a rapid response in emergencies.

But Barnet Council insisted services for elderly people must adapt to cater for greater demand.

'Peanuts'

The council is proposing using a greater number of "floating" wardens and fewer live-in ones.

Local campaigner David Young accused the authority of being heartless.

"Barnet Council is inhumane in the method in which it is practising its penny-pinching exercise and what do they want to save? - £950,000 a year.

"Now that is peanuts at the cost of these people."

But Councillor Mike Freer, council leader, said the authority was not being influenced by finances alone.

"The council's finances are actually in quite robust shape so that's not the driver.

"The driver is making a service fit for purpose."

A decision on the issue is expected later on Monday.

Pensioners in warden cuts protest



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