Nearly £3million-worth of support for the most vulnerable people in Surrey could be axed as the county council tries to balance its budget.

Surrey County Council has launched a consultation on the future of housing-related support – funding provided to support residents in their own homes – which closes on August 13.

The council proposes scrapping this funding to those who do not qualify for assistance under the Care Act.

The £2.8million cut – 70 per cent of the council’s budget for housing-related support – is being considered due to “continued cuts to funding and increasing demand for key services”, a spokesperson stated in the overview of the consultation.

Tory Government cuts to the Conservative-led council total more than £170million since 2010.

From March: Surrey County Council plans to cut millions of pounds from frontline services in face of Conservative austerity

But the opposition Liberal Democrat party argue axing housing-related support to make savings is a false economy as vulnerable people will require more expensive intervention.

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Councillor Angela Goodwin (pictured above), Liberal Democrat spokesperson on adults and health said: "Housing Related Support is a lifeline - it helps people to cope and manage in their own homes, and supports those with mental health issues or people recovering from addiction with everyday tasks such as shopping, cooking and cleaning.

“Furthermore, it saves money by helping people before problems start to escalate and so preventing a more expensive intervention further down the line.

"These proposed cuts would hurt some of the most vulnerable people in Surrey and so I am calling for the county council to drop these proposals.”

Cllr Goodwin added: “Central government clearly has the funds to help Northern Ireland to the tune of £1billion - we desperately need better funding so that we can protect these essential services for vulnerable Surrey residents.”

From December 2016: Surrey County Council forced to dip into 'largest ever use of reserves' to address £15 million overspend

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Nearly 4,500 people currently receive help from the council.

Vulnerable people may still be able to claim a personal budget if they qualify for support under the Care Act’s eligibility criteria, a county council spokesperson advised.

People who already receive personal care services funded by Surrey County Council will not be affected by the proposal.

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Surrey County Hall

In the consultation, a Surrey County Council spokesperson stated: “Continued cuts to funding, rising costs and increasing demand for key services means that the need for Surrey County Council to find savings has reached unprecedented levels.

“This year alone we need to make savings of around £150million – that’s about 10 per cent of our overall budget.

“We are determined to meet our responsibilities and will continue to support our residents as effectively as we can, but despite having achieved £450million worth of savings since 2010, changes to services are still needed. One of those services is Housing Related Support and Surrey County Council is now consulting on its future funding.”

For more information, and to take part in the consultation, visit