BUDGETARY decisions are currently being made by councils, which could impact on the lives of pensioners.

Many older people depend on local services and, indeed, for the more vulnerable this can mean life and death.

So, has the social services budget been cut, which would effectively reduce the quality of social care and could result in closures of residential care homes? What about the extra cash made available to local councils to improve their concessionary fares for pensioners?

What about community and home security schemes; clean and safe pavements (there is a pressing need to improve street lighting); benefits take-up campaigns and traffic management schemes (older people are more frequently the victims of pedestrian deaths)?

Ask the chief executive of your local council for a breakdown of where your council taxes are going.

ALAN BURNETT (Dr), Policy Unit, Help the Aged, Pentonville Road, London N19.