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WELSH OFFICE BACKING FOR 'CARE AND REPAIR' TO CONTINUE

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The Welsh Office will continue to fund 'care and repair' schemes at existing rates to help elderly and disabled peo...
The Welsh Office will continue to fund 'care and repair' schemes at existing rates to help elderly and disabled people to improve their homes, the minister for housing in Wales, Jonathan Evans, has announced.

The funding arrangements were examined recently as part of a consultation exercise on redefining the relationship between the Welsh office and local authorities.

Speaking at the launch of the Denbighshire Care and Repair Agency at Denbigh on Friday, Mr Evans said: 'Comments we received on the scheme were very constructive and underlined the good work which agencies are achieving in Wales by working closely with local authorities.

'While we are still considering responses on other issues, I can announce that as far as 'care and repair' is concerned, we will not be changing the current funding arrangements.

'This means that the Welsh office will continue to fund new schemes such as Denbighshire at the rate of 50% for the first year of its operation - a period when extra pressures are normally generated - and 35% for subsequent years, the balance being found by other funders and fee income.'

Denbighshire Care and Repair is one of 24 home improvement agencies in Wales. The service provided is wide-ranging and may include practical support with renovation grant processes, management of building work or advice on suitable contractors. The scheme plays an important part in ensuring that people who wish to remain in their own homes are able to do so for as long as practical.

Mr Evans said the care and repair movement had developed an impressive track record since starting up almost 10 years ago.

'The gathering together not only of the voluntary sector, but also of those from the housing, health and social services sectors is very encouraging.

'It demonstrates that successful inter-agency co-operation can take place and this is vital because the delivery of out social and community care policies depends on such interaction,' he said.

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