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Temporary Reprieve For Day Care Centre

A day centre for elderly people in Coventry that is earmarked for closure has been given a temporary stay of execution.

The cabinet member responsible for social services has agreed to go and talk to users of the services at Samuel Hayward House in Bell Green.

Cllr Kevin Maton has also ordered independent consultation to be carried out after a petition with 480 signatures was collected opposing closure.

The centre is being closed because of over-capacity in day care centres in the city. Social services bosses want to save the money on these to provide other ways of caring for people in the city.

Cllr Maton said the closure was necessary as the council was funding 1,500 places in the city, but only caring for 1,010 people.

He said the consultation would not be a “veto”, but said there would be room for manoeuvre. It is to be carried out independently to avoid accusations of loaded questions.

He said:

“If our thinking is flawed or there’s information we haven’t considered then that’s an opportunity for me to look again at what is being planned.”

“The consultation needs to talk to users about what they like in the centre. We also want to say: ‘These are the options, what would you like to see’.”

Residents have said they like the “small cottagey feel” in the centre. Cllr Maton said efforts would be made when finding other nearby facilities to keep the group of people that meet – up to 12 each day – together.

He added:

“What to the users is a small homely feel is seen from an inspection point of view as something that isn’t adequate.

“If we keep the centre open there will need to be some capital investment.”

Cllr Dave Nellist, whose Socialist party has been leading the campaign against the closure, said he was grateful at being invited to meet the users with Cllr Maton and Bal Chauhan of the Social Services department.

He said:

"I welcome the decision to defer the closure of this centre.

"It would otherwise have been a particularly cruel Christmas present for the old people of Bell Green and Wood End."


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CWN / Politics / Coventry City Council / 8 Nov 00
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