A COUNTY councillor has spoken of huge implications for carers and fears that some disabled people could end up in residential care if Staffordshire County Council closes Moorlands Day Service in Leek.
The warning comes after the county council held at meeting with carers in Leek last week during the consultation stage over the future of the centre in Buxton Road.
Leek South county council, Charlotte Atkins, said she attended the meeting to represent her constituents despite being told not to.
Ms Atkins said: "They tried to get me to leave, but I had a right to be there to represent the people who elected me. Many people at the meeting asked for me to stay.
"We were shown videos of some disabled people going out to work places. But many people attending Moorlands Day Services can't go out to work as they are suffering from severe disablement and learning difficulties.
"Some need more than one carer to look after them. Options put forward include leaving the system as it is. This is what people are clearly in favour of.
"However one option put forward would see the service being taken over by charity and private organisations.
"If the centre closed there would be no respite for the carers, many who are elderly.
"Many carers do not have residential respite and Moorlands Day Services is their lifeline.
"A public meeting is urgently required as we cannot wait as the consultation will be ignored as it does not fit in with what the county council want.
"One idea could be to utilise the large buildings for several others users as there is space as the day services have been run down to 61 people as no new clients have been taken on for some time."
Carer Pauline Hall of Newtown near Longnor, who has a son attending the centre, also attended the meeting.
She said: "I attended the meeting but most of our questions could not be answered.
My son has behavioural problems and learning difficulties. The three days he goes to the centre are my respite.
"We made it clear we want option one which is to retain the service as it is.
"Option two is for the service to go out to private firms. This would simply not work.
"Our needs are presently being met, so why do they want to change it? "We need a public meeting in Leek where suggestions can be put forward."