Day Centre Court Action Abandoned

Judicial Review into closure will not go ahead

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Members of the campaign to keep the Chiswick Day Centre open have abandoned their plans for a judicial review into the closure. The court hearing was scheduled for tomorrow (Monday, December 12th) but a spokesperson for the Friends of the Chiswick Day Centre said they had reluctantly decided not to proceed.

It is understood the decision was taken after legal advice late last week.

Four elderly users of the Centre, the eldest in her late eighties, were challenging the decision by Hounslow Council to close the Day Centre, claiming that it was unlawful. Hounslow Council had argued that the Centre needed to close as part of widespread budgetary cutbacks and that alternative provision had been made for the users, many of whom are dementia sufferers.

Laura Ware, spokeswoman for the Friends of the Chiswick Day Centre, said they were "devastated" after taking the decision not to proceed with the judicial review. Councillor John Todd, who supported the campaign to keep the Centre open, said Chiswick had lost a "treasured and valued asset" to the community.

It is understood a number of concerns were raised last week in relation to the action, including the issue of free legal aid.

The Chiswick Day Centre officially closed at the end of October but the Council allowed the four applicants to use the Centre pending the court hearing.

Following negotiations last Friday, Hounslow Council agreed to allow the four to continue to use the Day Centre until December 23rd.

A statement from Laura Ware and the Friends of the Chiswick Day Centre said:

"As you can imagine we are all devastated. We wanted to thank everyone who has helped us get this far. It has truly been a comfort to us to know that Chiswick is made up of such a kind supportive community.

"This struggle has truly cemented friendships and even though we may have lost a building these can never be taken away.

"On Friday the council agreed to keep the centre open until the 23rd of December for which we are grateful.

"With the support of the Chiswick Community we kept the centre open for nearly a year, which is a real achievement and I cannot be prouder of the users of the day centre who have been the bravest of all."

Councillor Todd (Conservative) said local residents, doctors, church groups, users, and carers were devastated at the closure of a treasured and valued asset to the community.

"We will continue to make endeavours to get the Council to change its mind." he commented.

December 11, 2011