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Weekly bids to save wardens for elderly on its patch

A weekly newspaper is bidding to stop “heartless” plans to scrap a warden service for elderly people on its patch.

The Milton Keynes Citizen is campaigning to save the service after Milton Keynes Council revealed proposals to axe wardens from sheltered housing in the town.

If the proposals go ahead, 7674 elderly people would be left with an on-site warden at their accommodation.

The council has argued government cuts mean it needs to find £22m of cuts from its budget.

The piece which launched the Citizen's campaign

The piece which launched the Citizen’s campaign

Citizen editor Olga Norford said: “If the plans are passed by full council, wardens will scrapped by April 2016. Elderly people are scared and vulnerable – we cannot let this happen.

“Axing wardens will be putting the elderly at risk, creating a continuing sense of unease in their lives and have a detrimental effect on their health and wellbeing.”

The campaign has been backed by Milton Keynes MPs Iain Stewart and Mark Lancaster.

In a joint statement, they said: “We have received a wave of emails and phone calls from residents terrified about the proposals to withdraw wardens.

“Whilst we appreciate that this is driven by the intention to be financially sensible, the consequential long term costs of doing this would be huge.

“Wardens are pivotal to the whole idea of sheltered accommodation and offer an invaluable source of comfort to those that need it.”

The Citizen launched its campaign last month and the plans are currently out to public consultation until Wednesday.

If the proposals are passed by full council, they will be implemented in April.