CONSULTATION has started regarding the future of Leek Day Centre and Moorlands Day Service.
Staffordshire County Council is asking people for their views of services provided for older people at day centres in both Leek and Cheadle.
Also up for consultation is the Moorlands Day Service in Buxton Road which is for people with learning disabilities.
The council says that Leek Day Centre has capacity for 30 older people, but on average only 16 attend, and Cheadle has spaces for 25, but typically only nine attend. The county council is asking families and carers for their views on the day centres as part of public consultation which started on Monday and lasts for 28 days.
Robbie Marshall, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “The fact that attendance has fallen so dramatically is a clear indication that more and more older people are choosing to opt for more personalised care in the community and we have to question whether supporting older members in halfempty, ageing facilities really is acceptable in 2013.” Meanwhile, parents with disabled family members have slammed any plans to reduce the Moorlands Day Service centre. Peter Serrell of Leek said his son would be devastated if the centre closed. He said: “This is all about money. The council has not being accepting people to the centre for a few years. Our son has been going to the centre for 20 years, since he was 18.
Where would he go if the centre closed? It is also respite for us.
“Two people would have to be employed to look after him and have an adapted lifting wheelchair.” Pauline Hall from Newtown, near Longnor, said the county council had been running the day service down. She said: “It was going to close in 2007, but they did a U-turn. It has taken no additional people on for some time. My son loves going to the centre and enjoys the activities, but he does need two people with him as he has severe behavioural problems and learning difficulties.
"If the centre close it will be mayhem as those three days are my respite."
Mr Marshall said: “Money is very much secondary in my mind. The key is the outcome for people with learning disabilities.”