A MEETING held in an attempt to review proposed day care centre closures last week ended with no changes being made to the initial plans.
Lorne Street and Avalon day centres in Oswestry are set to close along with numerous services across the county after Shropshire Council’s Cabinet decision last month.
Concerned councillors called for a meeting in an attempt to change the future for care in Shropshire, but the Health and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Committee rejected changes because of fears it would create anxiety for people currently using services.
Gerald Dakin, chairman of the Health and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Committee said the decision has been going on for too long, adding: “At this late stage it would have just slowed down the progress we had made.
“No centres would shut down without people being informed first and they would be given other opportunities.
“If it changed now it would cause people anxiety. People wouldn’t know what was going to happen with their care.
“It is about looking after people and making sure they get what they want. I hope we can get on now as we want people to see what they are getting.
“Social services are planning to provide the services to people. As personal budgets are given out people are not going to use day care centres any more to we want to make sure people have other options available,” he added.
John Gareth Jones, chairman of the Oswestry Senior Citizens’ Club, is saddened the council made the decision to shut the care centre in Lorne Street. Shropshire Council rented part of the building from the club and did not inform members they were planning to stop using the centre.
Mr Jones said: “I am sad it is closing for the people who use it and their carers. People don’t think about the carers as much as they should. It is a shame it is going but I think they have made their minds up.”
Councillor Tim Barker, Cabinet member for adult services, said: “People who use adult services at a day centre in future are likely to be those who need greater levels of support, and the facilities at Lorne Street are not ideal for that type of use in the long-term. Lorne Street is a building that we have enjoyed using over the years and it is with regret that we can’t continue to use it in future.
“Our service manager, Adrian Johnson, met with members of the senior citizens group to further explain why we need to make these changes, and agreed that it was unfortunate if some of the media coverage has led people to believe that the building itself was closing, which is clearly not the case as it continues to provide a valuable service for the community,” he added.