Cost of council care set to go up by almost a third

  Posted: 03.02.21 at 18:44 by The Editor

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CHARGES for council care services in Thurrock are poised to shoot up by almost a third.

However, the increase will be phased in and will be means-tested says the borough’s portfolio for adult social care who says the increase – the first for several years, has to happen to ensure the future of care at home in the borough and to reward the carers with a pay increase.

The increase is one of several for a variety of charges and services across the borough that will be debated next week (Wednesday, 10 February) by the council’s cabinet.

Cllr Halden will propose the hourly rate that can be charged for these services be increased from £13 to £17.06 per hour.

Cllr Halden said: “As our care services continue to provide high quality care and support to residents in their homes, it’s important that we review our fees and charges accordingly.

“This phased increase will mean we can re-invest more money into domiciliary care in Thurrock and in particular our careers, who go above and beyond in delivering this vital frontline service. This means a pay increase, above inflation, to those who supply these vital key workers. Also, it means ensuring that we have the funds we need to continue to offer a great service to our residents who need it.

“Our recent consultation on this service heaped praise upon our carers for their dedication and kindness throughout the challenges of the pandemic, and we are proud to provide the high level of care our residents both need and deserve.

“All residents who receive domiciliary care are financially assessed to determine the amount they will be charged, with most people paying no or a very little contribution to their care due to their income levels. This small and steady increase over the coming years will impact very few residents, but allows our services to continue providing the best care possible for people in the comfort of their own homes.”

The report is available to view here.

Other charges set to rise will include a four per cent rise in allotment rent, rises between four and five per cent for use of outdoor sports facilities and open spaces (charges at Grangewaters will go up between two and three per cent) and the cost of burials and memorials will increase between one and three per cent.

The council has already said it will also be implementing a charging system from September whereby some post 16 special educational needs and disability (SEND) students will pay for their transport to and from school.

And later this month councillors will be asked to support a budget that shows a 4.99 per cent increase in council tax despite the fact that some neighbouring councils have frozen their tax precept at current rates.

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