Only one councillor turned up to support pensioners as they handed over 45 letters of objection against the council’s decision to double the cost of life-saving community alarms.

Eleven members of Clydebank Seniors’ Forum, including one 90-year-old Bankie, made the journey yesterday to Church Street in Dumbarton to meet with Beth Culshaw, the chief officer of West Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership.

The forum are deeply worried about the price hike from £2.62 to £5 per week, which has led to a flood of vulnerable people giving up the potentially life-saving devices.

They also argue that many of the users are housebound, which entails higher energy bills to keep warm and say the increase could result in them turning down their heating to the detriment of their health.

But only Councillor Jim Bollan made the meeting, despite the forum’s chair Daphne MacKay inviting all 22 in the hope that they would come along and listen to their concerns.

READ MORE: Outrage after cost of life-saving community alarms DOUBLES

Daphne, who has had an alarm since 2012, said: “It’s a lifeline, which allows people to stay in their own homes instead of going into care. It’s there because you need it. It’s dreadful if you are forced into a position of handing it back.

“An increase in price is inevitable, but everything is going up – rents, tax, gas and food – all the things that essential to keep comfortable in your own home. This massive increase is too much.

“It’s the straw that broke the camel’s back. I hope that as a result of this, of consultations, it can be brought down to a more reasonable figure, one that is within reach.”

Her comments were backed by former forum chair Rhona Young (90), who also attended the meeting.

She said: “In 1948 we were promised that we would be looked after from the cradle to the grave. I’m afraid as far as nonagenarians are concerned it’s not working like that.

“This increase is beyond the reach of many pensioners. The increase now means it’s a choice between hot meals and safety.”

Following the discussion, which was also attended by Richard Heard from the Council’s Home Care Service, Daphne said: “I do not think we are going to get anywhere, but we are not finished yet.

“I think they were quite sympathetic. Many of the things I took up with them they have already been dealing with.

“They say they have interviewed everyone thinking of giving it up and if it’s for financial reasons, seeing if they are eligible for any help.

“It’s a bit of stalemate, but we’ll keep going. The more people we can get to come and stand with us the better.”

A spokeswoman for West Dunbartonshire Council described the meeting as very productive.

She told the Post: "We heard great examples of the benefits of having a Community Alarm and how it has helped members to remain at home with the confidence and reassurance that help is there if needed.

"WDHSCP is committed to keeping residents at home in a safe environment and before removing any alarms will conduct a full risk assessment. It is wrong to suggest that residents will have to wait 18 months for equipment to be removed from homes as this will be done without delay.

"Of the 197 residents who initially cancelled their Community Alarm, 37 have, on reflection, decided to keep the service. Unlike other authorities, WDHSCP offers a range of additional services including smoke and fall detectors, bed and chair sensors, property exit sensors, bogus caller and panic button trigger and GPS Buddi system, which we do not charge.

"We will continue to monitor the impact of the decision and a report will come to a future HSCP Board meeting."

Councillor Bollan, meanwhile, insisted the price hike is scandalous for a vital life-saving service used by some of the most elderly and vulnerable in the community and called on the council to revisit the decision and overturn it.