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Cabinet approves changes to home improvement service

Lancashire County Council’s cabinet has approved changes to the authority’s Integrated Home Improvement Service at its meeting today.

The Integrated Home Improvement Service provides practical help to people who want to improve their home including a minor adaptation scheme, which provides improvements such as ramps and hand rails up to the value of £1,000. This part of the service will continue.

The service also provides other support including a handyperson for small repair jobs, home visits to assess what improvement work is needed and advice to help people draw up plans. These services will be discontinued by 31 March 2020.

As well as agreeing these changes, cabinet agreed to:

• Run a procurement exercise to find a new provider or providers to deliver the minor adaptations scheme.
• Use £500,000 funding previously agreed by cabinet to help to manage the changes to the home improvement schemes.

This decision follows a consultation with people and partner organisations, which took place earlier this year.

County Councillor Shaun Turner, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “Taking decisions like this is not something we do lightly.

“We have lots of competing demands on our budgets, ranging from adult and children’s social care, through to highways maintenance.

“Although the consultation showed that many schemes we provide as part of the Integrated Home Improvement Service are highly valued, it is not a service that we are legally required to provide. Unfortunately, we are in a position where we can no longer afford to fund them.

“We will continue to provide the minor adaptations part of the service, which allows people to make adaptations to their home up to the value of £1,000 if they are eligible under social care legislation.

“Work such as installing handrails and ramps for people with mobility issues can be carried out under this scheme.

“We are also continuing to provide services such as the Lancashire Safe Trader scheme, which make it easier for people to find a trusted tradesperson to carry out work around their home.

“We will continue to work with our partners to find new approaches to help people to stay fit and well at home.”

To read the cabinet report relating to this decision, and view minutes and web cast footage from the meeting when they go online, see agenda item 11 on council.lancashire.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=122&MId=9430 our cabinet page

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