Care campaigners urge Norfolk County Council to spend more Icelandic bank cash on saving services

Council bosses have today been urged to spend more money recovered from Icelandic bank investments on protecting care services for the elderly.

Norfolk County Council is estimating it will recover more than �30m of the �32.5m it held in three banks, which collapsed in 2008.

But preventative care services, designed to spot the early signs of illness in people, are facing cuts of �11m in the next two years.

Campaigners supporting the elderly are preparing to quiz council officials next month, as part of the Age UK Norfolk and Age UK Norwich Cut Cake Not Care campaign.

Lady Joyce Hopwood, chairman of both the Norfolk Older People's Strategic Partnership Board and Norwich Older People's Forum, said the remaining council cuts will have a 'massive effect' on people.

And she told today's Norfolk Council on Ageing Meeting: 'We think more of the Icelandic money should be used to make sure none of the preventative services should be cut.'

Budget papers say the county council estimates it will recover �32.114m. But the documents add: 'However, there is still some uncertainty regarding the amounts and timing of the repayments, especially for Landsbanki, which is likely to be made over a period up to and including 2018. A prudent approach should be taken in releasing these funds, while there is still some ongoing uncertainty.'

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David Harwood, the authority's cabinet member for adult and community services, said �2.5m of Icelandic bank cash had already been put aside to help support day centres and voluntary groups during changes to services.

But he said it would not be right to take more money out of the reserves. He said: 'It's one-off money - once it's gone, it's gone. We have all said right from the start we need to redesign the services.'

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