Carlton Road Day Centre Closure Looms
Council cabinet to vote on axing facility for the disabled
Opposition politicians in Ealing Borough are pledging to continue to fight the closure of the Carlton Road Day Centre despite the Council pressing ahead with the plan.
The decision to close the centre is going to be voted on by the Council cabinet this Tuesday 20th January at Ealing Town Hall. Ealing Council is proposing to close the centre which is in north Chiswick and outsource service users care to the private sector in neighbouring boroughs.
The local Conservatives argue that the move will save Ealing just £200,000 per annum, a saving which would be wiped out if just one of the people cared for by the centre ended up in full-time residential care. As many of their current carers are now elderly, it is argued that they wouldn't be able to cope without the support of the facility. The Conservatives say the move is driven by looming changes in the Care Act which would make closure more difficult in the future.
Jon Ball, Parliamentary Spokesperson for the local Liberal Democrats, said: "We are working out a plan to ensure that the well run day centre can continue. We believe it is totally wrong to close day centres which provide care for the most vulnerable users in the borough. If you would like to help our campaign please email me."
It is claimed that Carlton Road most of the now elderly carers would not be able to cope with the full time responsibility of care and many of the service users could end up in full time residential care as a result at a cost to the council of £200,000 per annum per user.
The Conservatives say that Carlton Road has been in Ealing Council's property strategy all along and realising the capital value of the site may well be why they have decided to close it..
Consistent with meeting their statutory obligations, Ealing Council cannot close a disability service centre without ensuring replacement services are available. Mencap publicly stated at Health & Adult Services O&S in December that there are no other equivalent services available in Ealing.
The Conservative believe that the council is attempting to make a final decision about the long-term closure of the Centre before April 2015 when the Care Act takes effect. The Care Act gives greater legal support and protection for carers and puts them on the same statutory footing as those they care for. So in practice it would not be possible to close the Carlton Road Centre without first putting in place an equivalent replacement service.
A council spokesperson said when asked about the possible closure last year: “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 £96 million by 2019. This is on top of the £87 million 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.
January 16, 2015