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Seven day care centres in Lincolnshire could close by April

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: January 24, 2013

Lincolnshire County Council offices 2

Almost a quarter of Lincolnshire County Council-managed centres could close by April 2

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Seven day centres across Lincolnshire could close by April.

Facilities in Lincoln, Sleaford, Louth, Boston and Market Rasen will close if the recommendations are approved.

The move would see almost a quarter of Lincolnshire County Council-managed centres close by April 2.

The Conservative-led authority says the centres are rarely being used following the introduction of personal budgets – and that the cuts would save the council more than £72,000 a year.

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The news comes 10 months after the council said it had safeguarded the future of adult day care provision.

In 2011, the council revealed plans to close day centres. More than 8,000 people across Lincolnshire signed a petition opposing the proposals.

In light of that, the council's cabinet, led by Martin Hill, decided to support the centres over a two-year period.

The aim was to help centres gain interest from private firms and social enterprises, if they were financially viable.

Graham Marsh, executive member for adult social care at Lincolnshire County Council, said: "As the use of seven-day centre buildings becomes increasingly unviable, a solution has been recommended which does the right thing by service users, taxpayers and the staff.

"The number of people visiting seven centres has significantly decreased.

"This is largely due to 90 per cent of eligible people being on personal budgets."

But opposition councillors and service users have criticised the council's recommendation.

John Hough, a labour county councillor for Louth, said: "This is just the very start.

"Lincolnshire County Council wants rid of all 31 day centres in the county, there is no doubt about that.

"What is most concerning of all is the lack of transparency.

"There has been no consultation, making a mockery of the system."

"Within 10 months of the county council's project to try to save day centres, it looks like they are already shutting seven."

David Watson, who has campaigned heavily to save day centres over the last 12 months, said: "It is a panic measure by the county council.

"The feeling is that the county council has been running these services into the ground.

"A lot of questions need to be answered. The council claimed to have saved day centres last March, but we always knew that wasn't going to be the case."

It is recommended for day centres in Sincil Bank and Melville Street, Lincoln, to both be discontinued.

Eastgate and Pinfold Way, in Sleaford, could both close also.

Also under threat are Manning Court in Boston, plus The Warren and Warwick Road centres in Market Rasen and Louth, respectively.

Users would see their care transferred to other centres in the area.

Ed Moody, 66, who cares for his 31-year-old disabled son Rob in Metheringham, said: "This is terrible news.

"All we are now hearing from the council is how these centres are not viable but users loved them before."

A final decision on the plans will be made by Cllr Marsh.

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