More cash for aiding disabled

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AN extra £374,000 is to be made available to make it easier for elderly and disabled people to get around their homes.

Calderdale Council already spends £1.2 million a year on aids and adaptations.

But the cabinet has agreed to set aside extra money to help keep pace with the growing demand for assistance.

“In the wake of the Paralympics, it is clear that we must do more to improve facilities for disabled people and make sure there is enough in the budget to pay for adapting people’s homes,” said Coun Barry Collins (Lab, Illingworth and Mixenden).

Councillor Bob Metcalfe (Lab, Town) said enabling people with disabilities to live longer in their own homes might reduce longer term costs to the council.

Every year, about 450 requests are made for property alterations and 2,200 for minor adaptations.

The number is growing due to the ageing population and the increased life expectancy of young people with disabilities.

Some people move to new properties before they actually have their homes improved.

The council maintains 825 pieces of lifting equipment and installs at least 100 more items each year.

The cabinet was told that to meet the demand for assistance, the council would need a budget of £1,840,000 but that the new total of £1,560,000 would help keep a lid on the waiting list.

Minor adaptations to properties, costing £1,000 or less require no client contribution, but larger projects demand an assessment of financial need.