A SHOPPING service which acts as a lifeline for some of Liverpool’s most vulnerable and elderly will be cut as part of plans to save £11m from the council’s budget.
The Post has received calls from a number of older people saying they are greatly distressed by the prospect of losing their shopper, which will save contribute around £600,000 of the budget savings.
The council insists other arrangements will be made for those most in need, but Age Concern – which provides the service – called on the city to “follow through on the Mayor’s promise to protect the most vulnerable people during this and future rounds of budget reductions.”
Barbara Tunstead, 69, of West Derby, who suffers from a lung disease and osteoporosis and cannot leave her home, said: “They’re wonderful people, these shoppers, and really kind.
“Some people have them every fortnight, but mine come every week because I have so much medication that I have to keep in the fridge that I wouldn’t be able to fit the food in if they came once a fortnight.
“It’s a lifeline, and without it, I don’t know what’s going to happen. I’m so worried about it that it’s put me to bed with depression.”
Her friend Dorothy Gregory, 94, who lives nearby, added: “I don’t know what it’s going to mean for me.
“My sister comes over sometimes but she’s nearly 80 and lives all the way over in Formby.”
The cuts must be made to cope with massive reductions in funding given by central government. Liverpool is the worst affected authority in the country.
At a recent town hall meeting, Mayor Joe Anderson warned that the cutbacks would mean “people would die – end of.”
Dil Daly, chief executive of Age Concern Liverpool and Sefton, added that the charity was working with officers and members of the council to try to find a solution.
A council spokesman said: “We will ensure that those who receive the assisted shopping service are not left at risk. We will be exploring alternative arrangements with supermarkets and housing providers and will signpost people wherever possible to other sources of support.”
Liverpool council approved £11m of cuts from its budget for the coming year at the town hall last week.
City leaders stressed there may still be some changes to the plans.
Savings are also being made from