Day centre closures in Solihull will be 'like bereavement' for elderly residents - The Solihull Observer

Day centre closures in Solihull will be 'like bereavement' for elderly residents

Solihull Editorial 9th Apr, 2019   0

DAY centre closures in Solihull will be ‘like a bereavement’ for some vulnerable elderly residents, an opposition councillor says.

As we reported, three Solihull day care centres are set to close next month in a bid to save about £400,000 over the next two years.

Green Party Councillor Karl Macnaughton has said the ‘jury is out’ on the changes which the council says will streamline and improve services.

After the final closure of three centres next month, only two authority-run centres will remain to cater for the borough’s rapidly ageing population.

The services will continue to be operated from Park View Day Centre in Monkspath Hall Road, Solihull, and Colebrook Day Centre in Chelmsley Wood – and the two buildings will have a revamp totalling £500,000 as part of the plans, the council says.

But Green Hill Way, Oak Trees and Roundmead day centres are all set to close their doors.

Coun Macnaughton said: “The jury’s out on the impact of these changes.

“They’ve been driven by the Conservative government’s cuts as much as anything else.

“I know that many service users have attended the same day centres for many years, and seeing them closed will be like a bereavement for many.

“I’m worried that standards at the remaining centres may drop, and that there may not be enough day centres so that everyone can get to one.

“If this means more vulnerable people being lonely, given the loneliness crisis we’re already facing, then that would be a tragedy.

“Time will tell.”

The council claims the number of people using day care services has massively reduced and at the beginning of 2018/19 fewer than 60 people were registered – with many users supporting the proposed changes.

It also says the services were no longer profitable as the costs of running the centre and providing care dwarfed the money they brought in.

The council said all service users have been informed of the changes.

The centres:

A council officer’s report claims Green Hill Way Day Centre’s building in Shirley is dated, and will be vacated.

Oak Trees in Balsall Common is a modern and valuable building but it is inconveniently positioned so it will also be closed.

Park View will now cater to people with learning difficulties, disabilities and elderly people in the south of the borough.

It is a large, purpose-built, fully accessible building with a cafe and spacious grounds and will cater to people from Green Hill Way and Oak Trees – after the renovation to increase its capacity.

In the south of the borough Roundmead Day Centre in Chelmsley Wood will also close.

The report adds that the remaining Colebrook centre is a well located building in the centre of Chelmsley Wood, with a garden and kitchen facilities.

The savings plan will mean 11 potential job losses, including compulsory redundancies, and savings on travel costs.

Total savings are projected to be £95,000 in 2018/19 and a further £326,000 in 2019/20.


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