Don’t take away my guardian angels

Billy Ross
Billy Ross
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A disabled Newarthill pensioner has pleaded with North Lanarkshire Council not to take away his “guardian angels”.

Billy Ross (77) was left paralysed after a swimming pool accident in Tunisia 27 years ago.

He is now dependent on five visits a day from the council’s home support service and says he doesn’t want to go back to using the private sector.

Billy said: “Without the home support workers I wouldn’t be able to stay at home. I’d be in a care unit somewhere.

“A lot of people don’t understand what they do. Most assume it is just making a cup of tea and perhaps doing some light dusting, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

“They visit me five times a day and give me a bed bath, make my meals, get me dressed, let me use the toilet and get me in my chair. They give me a quality of life.

“I have had experience of the private sector in the past and there was just no comparison with how well the council workers are trained. More than once I had to tell a worker from the private sector to leave and never come back, but that has never happened with the council service.

“The nature of home support has changed so much in the last few years, and it has only changed for the better. In North Lanarkshire we are offered a wonderful service so I appeal to the council not to take away my guardian angels.

“I know they have to find cuts in the budget, but I urge them not to make the savings here as the thought of having to deal with the private sector again is worrying. I know I am far from alone in thinking so.”

A special meeting of the council’s policy and resources committee tomorrow (Thursday) will discuss the findings of the budget consultation.

Dozens of council workers held a protest outside Motherwell Civic Centre last week, calling for public services to be protected.