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    • Changes which will mean increased home-care charges for some in Northumberland have been approved in the face of criticism from opposition councillors.
      A number of amendments to Northumberland County Council's charges for care and support services for adults were given final approval at the full council meeting on Wednesday, by 36 votes to 26 with one abstention.
      Setting out the "complex" recommendations which include six main changes to the charging policy for non-residential care and support services, Coun Veronica Jones, cabinet member for adult health and wellbeing, said: "I don't think any of us will be welcoming these changes, but in the overall financial context, I believe they are necessary."
      But Labour's Coun Susan Dungworth said: "I don't want to get bogged down in what is a very detailed report, I want to focus on who it is we're talking about here and what we are talking about again is very, very vulnerable people in our communities.
      "It's like the proposals that have already gone through this council in terms of reducing council-tax support, we are attacking the most vulnerable in this community, people who are already struggling."
      To illustrate her point, she read out a series of consultation responses from those receiving the care that were included in the report to councillors.

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