BOURNEMOUTH council is being urged to dip into its £18m "rainy day fund" rather than impose £1m worth of funding cuts on its most vulnerable residents.

Proposals to slash £1.1m from the cost of supporting elderly, sick and frail residents have been drawn up following the news that the Government is cutting the council's funding in this area by a massive 44 per cent.

But Bournemouth-based charity BCHA, which is set to bear the brunt of the cuts, is warning they unfairly target vulnerable people and could potentially leave more than 100 people homeless.

Services including the BCHA's Hannah House, which is for people with alcohol problems, and the YMCA's Trafford House, for single homeless people, are having their council funding cut completely from the end of March and face closure.

And further cuts being proposed threaten the specialist accommodation currently provided for teenage parents, people with mental health problems, frail elderly people, people with drug problems, disabled people and women fleeing domestic violence.

Martin Hancock, chief executive of BCHA, said: "We work with the most vulnerable people, we take whoever turns up on the doorstep. These cuts mean there is the potential that all of these schemes will have to close.

"We have around 114 units of accommodation set to be affected by these recommendations. That means there's over 100 people that could end up being homeless or the local authority will have to find them housing in the private sector.

"Vulnerable people are an easy target. It's the consequences of this that haven't been thought through."

He added he was disappointed the council didn't discuss many of the proposed cuts with them before putting the information in the public domain.

Other cuts put forward for consideration include reducing the amount of respite care and support provided to adult carers, reducing the funding given to Aids support group Body Positive and cutting support provided to people leaving hospital following a stroke.

The council said it is not passing on the full £4.2m of the Government's cuts but is drawing on its balances to absorb three quarters of the deficit.

But Independent Cllr Anne Rey is calling on the Tory administration to use its £18m reserves to cover the entire amount.

"People I speak to ask me why the council spends thousands of pounds on reducing the Imax, the palm trees in Holdenhurst Road, the ivy screening at the Cooper Dean roundabout and the Town Centre Master Vision when vulnerable people in our town will be having their care, support and basic needs cut," she said.

"I have always said that if the cake isn't made, you can't put the icing on. It's time now to bring some common sense and compassion into this administration."

Council leader Peter Charon last week described the cut in funding as a devastating blow but said every effort would be made to protect the most vulnerable.

But in a blog in December he explained that "we will not begin to consider dipping in to [rainy day] reserves until every other avenue has been exhausted, because once that money has gone, it has gone for good."

The proposed savings will be considered by Bournemouth's health overview and scrutiny panel on Wednesday, January 12. See the report by clicking the link below.

Budget Savings 2011-12.pdf