11:00am Friday 17th January 2014
PLANS to close a day care centre for disabled adults in Pershore have been labelled “a mess” by angry families.
Just five years ago, battling parents won a High Court ruling to keep the day centre in Station Road open.
But now the centre and another in Davies Road, Evesham, could be closed and relocated as part of cost-cutting plans by Worcestershire County Council.
Worried parents have hit out at the council, saying they have been left in the dark since a 12-week consultation to discuss the plans ended in December.
They have even threatened to take legal action if they do not receive reassurances.
Last month the Journal reported how users could be moved from the state-of-the-art facility in Davies Road to a library garage in Oat Street while in Pershore the facility would be moved across town to a site that needs upgrading.
John Bradley, whose 44-year-old son Mark has used the Pershore centre for 26 years, has since written to the councillor with responsibility for adult social care, Sheila Blagg, warning if the drastic cuts do not comply with legal guidelines they would take legal action.
He said: “In 2006 they tried to close the care centre. It went to High Court in 2009 and it went in our favour. We are in exactly the same situation now, it is deja vu. They are planning to close the Station Road centre and they are going to plonk them in Three Springs Road, which isn’t equipped properly. It’s a right mess.”
Judy Hall, who is the mother of another user, Matthew, 41, said: “I am not against moving buildings but I want to know what it is going to cost, what are the facilities going to be. I want to be able to be constructively involved in what’s going to happen to my son’s care.”
Tony and Ann Horner, parents of Evesham user Michael, said they met with Coun Blagg in December but have since heard nothing.
They are demanding more information on the consequences of cutting the spend on learning disabilities from £965,900 a year to potentially just £286,700.
“We don’t know whether we are coming or going,” the concerned couple added.
But the county council insists the views of all carers and service users are being fully considered. It says the proposals are not just about saving money but also offering a wider range of services.
Coun Blagg said: “It is important to say no services are being reduced or removed, but may be provided in different locations.”
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