Wiltshire

Wiltshire Council U-turn on day centre funding cuts

New Road Day Centre Image copyright Google
Image caption The New Road centre in Marlborough provides services for about 55 users a week

A council has made a U-turn on cutting funding for day centres for disabled, vulnerable and elderly people.

Wiltshire Council faced criticism from the community after posting letters on 6 March to the day centres, telling them their funding had been cut.

The authority has now confirmed the cuts will not go ahead and it will host discussions with the centres.

Councillor Jerry Wickham said: "We will work with various clubs to go through and understand what the issues are."

He added: "Nobody likes funding being cut and in hindsight the first thing the clubs found out about was getting a letter through their door.

"And that is not the right way and not the way we all agreed to operate as part of the Wiltshire Compact."

Complete bombshell

The New Road centre in Marlborough has been open for 30 years and provides day centre services for about 55 users a week, of which 30 are regulars.

Deborah Bond, who runs the centre, called last week's news "a complete bombshell".

Carla O'Shaughnessy's son Joe, who has learning disabilities and cerebral palsy, has been visiting the centre for two years.

He attends for three days a week and his mother said it had transformed his life.

She said: "If the day centre were to close it is not an understatement to say that it would destroy lives.

"As a parent of a disabled child you get used to fighting your whole life. I had accepted that the day centre was all that Joe had and that could be taken away."

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