Doubts Cast Over Council Consultation

After thousands sign petition against closure of Chiswick Day Care Centre

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Chiswick Day Care Centre At Risk of Closure

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With close to 2,000 people signing petitions against the closure of Chiswick Day Care Centre, serious doubts have been cast over Hounslow Council's Budget Consultation.

In the document sent out to residents, the savings proposal was entitled 'Reconfiguration of day care services' with the following wording:

This proposal would see an ongoing commitment to increased choice with services provided to the most vulnerable service users and those requiring specialist services. Seven day coverage would be retained with front line services being redeployed into existing care vacancies. Two management and 17 other posts would be deleted or redeployed. Potential for Savings 2011/2012 - up to £790,000

Residents were asked to 'please indicate how strongly you agree that savings should be made in then following areas' with a range of five marking boxes beginning at 'Strongly Agree' and ending 'Strongly Disagree'

Approximately 55% of respondents to the Consultation agreed that savings should be made and 32% disagreed.

Chiswick Day Care Centre was not named in the consultation document.

"In my view no one would be able to interpret this item in this publicly circulated document with the closure of the Chiswick Day Centre," said Councillor John Todd. "It follows too that the collated interpretation of the residents returned consultation views / preferences in respect of CS 13-15 mentioned above was fatally flawed."

He added: "I believe that if the closure of the Chiswick Day Care Centre had been properly and clearly stated in the publicly circulated consultation document the public response would have been overwhelming against its closure."

His view is shared by more than 2,000 local people who have signed either the online or the paper petitions against the Centre's closure.

In a letter to the Leader of Hounslow Council, fellow Chiswick Councillor Paul Lynch wrote: "It is a very drastic change to impose upon vulnerable older people, particularly those needing Dementia day support service. I know from personal experience that Dementia sufferers have huge problems with change. I have seen such changes worsen sufferers’ condition to the extent that they can no longer live independently, and need to move into residential placements. It is possible that the cost of extra residential placements could negate the proposed saving."

Chiswick Councillors are calling on Hounslow Council to provide detailed figures showing the consequential costs incurred by transporting elderly from Chiswick to Heston as well as keeping elderly residents out of long-term care which is a possibility if the day centre is closed.

The final decision will be made on 1st March at the Borough Council Meeting. The agenda has now been published on-line and can be found at

February 22, 2011