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An extra care service which enables vulnerable tenants to live independently is set to be outsourced by Redditch Borough Council after a 75% cut to funding.

Through a contract with Worcestershire County Council, the Borough Council currently delivers services for its tenants at St David’s House & Queens Cottages which are above its statutory duties.

These include domiciliary and personal care packages activities & entertainment, 24/7 response including on-site staff overnight and access to a care provision and a full catering kitchen providing hot lunches to residents and their guests.

Previously this was funded to the tune of £200k by the Supporting People Fund but in 2014 this was replaced by the County Council with a £58k grant which forced the Borough authority to make up the deficit with cash from its Housing Revenue Account.

On 7th September Redditch’s Executive Committee are set to consider a paper which asks Members to resolve outsourcing the Extra Care Scheme to an external provider.

In advance of this the paper will be scrutinised by its Overview & Scrutiny Committee.

Cllr Craig Warhurst, whose portfolio covers Housing, said: “We are committed to continuing to provide this much needed Extra Care Scheme and taking this decision will allow us to do so.

“We want our tenants to be able to continue to live independently behind their own front doors and their health, safety and well-being are paramount. This, along with quality of service, will be considered when procuring the successful provider.”

The Council would continue to be the landlord for St David’s House and the Queens Cottages and would monitor the new contractors to ensure the quality was maintained.

Staff would also be transferred to the specialist care provider which would gain through the economies of scale through operating multiple facilities whereas the Council only has one.

Council Leader Matt Dormer said: “I want to reassure our tenants that while price is obviously a contender when it comes to procurement, that the consideration of quality of service will be equally considered.

“We just cannot continue to fund this service from out of the public purse which is under considerable pressure so this seems like the ideal solution for the Council, its residents and most importantly, our tenants.”