Day care centres closed by council

Christine Illingworth, who has suffered from multiple sclerosis for 29 years, and her husband Bruce are just one of the families who will be affected if Kirklees Homecare Service is privatised. They are speaking out for those who can't and backing the campaign to save the service. (d28091166)
Christine Illingworth, who has suffered from multiple sclerosis for 29 years, and her husband Bruce are just one of the families who will be affected if Kirklees Homecare Service is privatised. They are speaking out for those who can't and backing the campaign to save the service. (d28091166)
0
Have your say

TWO council-run day centres for disabled adults are to be closed.

Red Laithes Court in Ravensthorpe, Dewsbury, and Paddock Village Hall in south Kirklees are used by dozens of physically disabled people each week.

But Kirklees Council says demand for the services has fallen too low.

The services were earmarked for closure as part of the last budget, but it was only on Tuesday that cabinet members voted on the issue.

Coun Molly Walton, cabinet member for communities, said: “Some people have been voting with their feet.

“As the number of people using these two centres fall, it becomes more costly.

“We have to think about money. We don’t have the luxury not to do so.”

The centres are used by 41 physically disabled people, compared to 58 in 2008/09.

Mirfield man Bruce Illingworth urged councillors to vote against the plans.

He said: “The people attending these centres are senior in their years or the most vulnerable people we have. My wife, who has multiple sclerosis, is devastated.”

He said news of the potential closures had come as a ‘complete shock’ when they were told last month.

But Sue Richards, head of the council’s Care Closer to Home team, said they would be given full support in choosing how their personal care budgets were spent.

She said the council could commission a similar service on their behalf.

“If they want a similar style of day opportunity, we will support that,” she said.

Council officers will now draw up personalised plans with all the people who currently use the two centres.

Options include hiring a personal assistant, going to day services run by voluntary organisations or using council services for people with complex needs.

The centres will close as soon as the new arrangements are in place.