AROUND half the 3,800 households supported by Somerset County Council in sheltered housing could lose out under plans to save £500,000.

The authority is looking at pulling assistance for people with “lower and medium support needs” and only keeping the most vulnerable on its books as it cuts the current £1.5million budget.

Funding will no longer be directed at anyone who is “very independent and requires little or no support or care” as the council concentrates on “people with higher level support needs”.

Sheltered housing consists of two elements - accommodation equipped with an interactive alarm system and support in the form of welfare checks and sometimes basic household chores.

Fears have been expressed that people who lose out could be “adversely affected” – in a survey of service users, there were claims it could lead to a loss of independence, people being “totally abandoned” and vulnerable people being “more isolated”.

The proposals are being discussed by the scrutiny committee tomorrow (Friday, January 31) before going to full council.