Closure of three centres announced
Three centres for vulnerable adults in Ealing and Acton are to close despite huge opposition.
Elm Lodge in Greenford and Sycamore Lodge in Acton which provide services for adults with dementia will shut in May - generating savings of
£261,000 a year. Users will be given the option to transfer to the Michael Flanders day centre on Church Road in W3.
Carlton Road Day Centre, in W4, provides a day service for adults with profound and multiple learning difficulties. The summer closure will generate savings of £494,000 a year.
There has been much anger about the decision and Lib Dem Councillor Gary Malcolm, said:
"All of the Labour councillors should hang their heads in shame. The service that the profoundly disabled users and carers will get, will not be anywhere as good as they are currently provided with. The Liberal Democrats will challenge the decision even if it just delays this decision. The cost of running the service is only a small share of the overall Council spend and they clearly have not investigated all the options for users. This is probably the most immoral decision that Ealing Council has ever made."
Last night, cabinet heard that a decision on the future of the Solace Centre, a mental health drop-in facility in West Ealing, has been deferred. As part of the consultation, the council invited local community and voluntary groups to come forward with alternatives to closure. A number of proposals have been received which are now being developed before they are brought back to cabinet at a future date.
Councillor Hitesh Tailor, cabinet member for health and adults services, said:
“The council is being forced to make some very challenging decisions as a result of the huge cuts to our government funding. The scale of these cuts means the services we deliver, and how we deliver them, is changing.
“I fully understand the concerns that have been raised during our consultations as the council moves away from directly providing social care services. However, we are supporting hundreds of customers to take control of their own personal budgets and helping them to choose care and support services from a range of different groups and providers and we will continue to actively work to increase the choice available.
"It is important for the council to acknowledge the role of carers and families of users of Carlton Road, Elm Lodge and Sycamore Lodge and we will work with them to help make the transition as smooth as possible.”
Shadow Portfolio Holder Cllr Mark Reen says:
“It all comes down to choices and priorities. Labour has chosen to deliberately set an excessively high savings target this year and Labour has decided to prioritise their Property Strategy and land sales over services.
''There is also a very political whiff to the desire to cut faster and harder than is necessary driven by the General Election in May.
''In our view, Labour keeps making the wrong choices and has the wrong priorities. Residents in the Borough are regrettably having to take the brunt of overtly political decisions over services."
21st January 2015