Underused Manning Court day centre in Boston looks set to be closed
AN underused day centre in Boston looks set to be closed with its current users transferred to another one nearby.
Lincolnshire County Council plans to close Manning Court and transfer its 10 users to Field Street which is within walking distance.
Manning Court is a leasehold building where the disabled access does not meet DDA standards.
This is one of seven centres across the county managed by Lincolnshire County Council that are set to close by April 2.
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The Conservative-led authority says the centres are rarely being used following the introduction of personal budgets – and that the cuts would save the council more than £72,000 a year.
The news comes 10 months after the council said it had safeguarded the future of adult day care provision.
Executive member for adult social care Graham Marsh said: “As the use of seven day centre buildings becomes increasingly unviable, a solution has been recommended which does the right thing by service users, taxpayers and the staff.
“The number of people visiting seven centres has significantly decreased. This is largely due to 90 per cent of eligible people being on personal budgets and choosing to access their services elsewhere.
“The rent and running costs of such buildings cannot be justified. However, the priority is always the needs of the service users themselves which is why we’re recommending simply merging these same services and staff into existing centres nearby, many within walking distance.
“There won’t be any service reduction or redundancies meaning a reassuringly smooth transition for all.”
Meanwhile, the authority is 10 months into its two-year project to find new providers for day services and is pleased at the levels of interest so far.
Boston Independent councillor, Carol Taylor said: “If these facilities are not being accessed then of course reconfiguration of the services must be implemented so that the financial input is spent wisely and effectively to ensure that the service provision is viable especially in today’s current financial climate.
“If Councillor Marsh’s research is to be trusted then sadly there is no reason to keep so many centres open especially if the number of attendees is small and still reducing in numbers.
“Councillor Marsh continues to reassure that there will be no reduction in service and as he is directly involved in social care then we must trust his professional judgement.
“If the staff are safe then that of course is great news. What concerns me though is that when it closes the staff will go elsewhere, but does this mean there will be more places available for service users?”
The proposals are recommended for day centres in Sincil Bank and Melville Street, Lincoln, to both be discontinued.
Eastgate and Pinfold Way, in Sleaford, could both close also.
Also under threat are The Warren and Warwick Road centres in Market Rasen and Louth.