Barnet Conservatives are reverting to Tory type, with their scheme to cut sheltered housing wardens, hitting the vulnerable — the least able to fight back.

The Conservatives say it is about making sure all the elderly get the same equality of access to services.

But they are levelling down, not up — the axed cash is not being redistributed.

And this ignores the assessments of every sheltered tenant, that they needed such accommodation before being awarded their flat or room in the first place — and also ignores the legal rights of many who have the warden service written in as a term of their tenancy agreement.

In their consultation, they ask the elderly: “Well, what would you cut instead?”

Ridiculous. How possibly could a sheltered pensioner be aware of the full range of possible economies across the council?

That is the Conservatives asking the tenants to do the job they were elected to do, and are paid for.

I can suggest the first cut — the Conservative councillors’ self-awarded 22 per cent pay rise.

And if they hadn’t lost £27 million in Iceland, the interest alone would have made up the difference — so perhaps they should pay that back out of their wages too.

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been visiting sheltered tenants, to hear first-hand what this cut would mean to them.

I’m doing my own simple survey too. The results are pretty sobering. These cuts will cost lives — and cost more in hard cash in the long run, too.

Lives? Like the epileptic pensioner, who has been found by the warden three times, unconscious after a fit.

He couldn’t call for help himself, as the condition strikes too quickly.

Or the lady with a laryngec- tomy valve in her throat.

If it comes out, she can’t speak, to phone or call for help — she has just one hour to get to the hospital.

Or those on upper floors with lifts, who can’t use the stairs unaided. If there’s a fire or lift breakdown, they can’t rely on the residential warden to help if they are not there.

Cost? People like these will inevitably have to move to more expensive residential care, also affecting their quality of life.

Quality of life? Comments like, “Who’ll put up the Christmas decorations?”, “Who’ll organise our outings?”, “Who’ll clear the path of snow and ice?”, “Who’ll deal with late-night intruders?” tell it all.

Of all the crass decisions taken by Barnet Council under the Conservatives, this must rank as the most heartless and unfair.

But that of course is where the Tories are coming from nationally, as they quietly put forward the agenda of public service cuts across the board, should they win the next election.

Be warned. Same old Tories, same old cuts.