Council Moves a Step Closer to Closing Day Centre
Carlton Road facility for adults with learning difficulties could shut in May 2015
A consultation exercise has begun over a proposal to close the Carlton Road Day Centre in north Chiswick.
The facility caters for adults with learning difficulties. Users and their carers were sent letters about possible closure earlier this month and a presentation was made last Friday (14th November) at Ealing Town Hall giving more details. The Liberal Democrats say they were not informed in advance about the consultation, despite assurances that they would be, and they have accused Ealing Council of going about the process 'quietly' to minimise opposition.
Southfield Lib Dem Councillor Andrew Steed said: “We do not know what the sudden rush is and why up to now the Council have not communicated their plans with users of the centre.
"There are currently 32 users of the site and the impact will be felt on them, their carers and their families who rely upon the Day Centre. Liberal Democrats oppose these plans and aim to work with the groups to challenge the proposal. It looks like Labour are selling this well managed day centre to raise a few million pounds.”
Opponents of closure say the current users all have severe problems and have been attending the centre for many year and have have built relationships with fellow users and the staff. All seventeen staff have been told that their jobs are at risk.
They launched a petition against closure six months ago and currently have over 600 signatures. They are aiming to get 1000 before they hand in the petition in December.
Cllr Steed attended the presentation about the closure proposal at Ealing Town Hall on Friday and said the poor turnout of just 23 people was probably a result of the late notification. Attendees were told that the proposed closure date is in May 2015. The Council are promising of 1:1 meetings with users and their carers so that all cases can be looked at individually. The figures given show that closing the centre would bring a one-off saving of £180,000 plus an undisclosed amount from selling the land.
A council spokesperson said: “The council is facing unprecedented cuts to the money it receives from central government to run its services; a cut of more than 50% over the decade. In addition, a growing population and increased costs, mean we must reduce our budgets by £96million by 2019. This is on top of the £87million in savings that we have already made over the past four years. The scale of these cuts will mean the end of some services and for others to change beyond recognition.
A report to Ealing Council’s Cabinet on January 20th 2015 is expected to be the date when a proposal will be discussed. Closure may take place as soon as May 2015.
November 19, 2014