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Councillor’s concern over cuts in day care
12:50pm Tuesday 9th October 2012 in Evesham
PEOPLE with learning disabilities “need to be reassured they won’t be turfed on to the streets” as a result of council cuts of £1.1 million.
That is the view of a leading Worcestershire councillor, who has urged Worcestershire County Council to make sure the measures do not alienate service users.
The council is aiming to cut spending at the 30 day care centres it runs across Worcestershire.
Councillor Ken Pollock, a Conservative, speaking before a meeting of the overview and scrutiny performance board, said: “This is such a complicated area, and with anything like this, when things are subject to change the people involved tend to get very scared.
“With the people who are the recipients of this service, they do need to be reassured they won’t be turfed out on to the streets.”
About 500 people use the centres, which offer a variety of social and educational activities for people with learning disabilities.
Part of the savings will be made by encouraging fewer people to rely on day centre centres, as well as turning some into ‘hubs’ operating with fewer staff.
A centre in Droitwich has only five regular users, and some councillors said it was not enough.
Councillor Maddy Bunker said: “For a lot of people, going into day care centres is not the best outcome for them.
“For many of them going out into the community, volunteering, possibly employment and so on is a much better way of life.”
As part of the review, pilots have been launched at centres in Droitwich and Evesham, where users are encouraged to find more opportunities outside of the facilities, including part-time work.
Some restructuring has also occured, although it is unclear how many jobs have been lost.
A report states: “Service users have told us they would like more employment and volunteering opportunities, but that they need support to find them and be trained.”
The scrutiny board agreed to note the report.