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02 Jun 2017
Forth Valley Stronger Together

204 family carers and people with learning disabilities attended a meeting in Glasgow on Wednesday 3rd July to talk about the proposedaudience at meeting closures of learning disability centres in the city.  In addition to this a number of politicians were in attendance.  People were there to express their concerns to the new independent chair of the proposed Public Social Partnership, Alexis Jay.  

Ms Jay was the former Chief Social Work Inspector and has been asked to step into Glasgow.  She had asked to meet with carers and people with learning disabilities first and this meeting was a chance to do this.  Over 31 people spoke at the meeting, expressing their concerns and worries about the plans.  

Many of the people with learning disabilities present spoke at the meeting but others found it too difficult but spoke later to LDAS TV about their thoughts about the closures.  You can see their comments here in this short video - "No Way Jose".  

DAY CENTRE CLOSURES

CITY-WIDE MEETING

MITCHELL THEATRE

6 GRANVILLE STREET, GLASGOW G3 7DR

WEDNESDAY 3rd JULY

7.00 – 9.00 PM

 Since November 2012 the consultation methods applied to the closure of the three day centres has created a hostile relationship between the 520 families who depend on day centres and Glasgow City Council. For the past 7 months day centre families have unanimously & strongly opposed the Council's closure plans. The response from elected members is to carry on regardless with little attention being paid to the concerns of elderly carers, ethnic minority service users or those who care for a profoundly disabled family member.

 

At the meeting on Wednesday July 3, the call for a moratorium was passed unanimously by over 200 family carers and service users campaigning to keep their Day Centres open

Since November 2012 the consultation methods applied to the closure of the three day centres has created a hostile relationship between the 520 families who depend on day centres and Glasgow City Council. For the past 7 months day centre families have unanimously & strongly opposed the Council's closure plans. The response from elected members is to carry on regardless with little attention being paid to the concerns of elderly carers, ethnic minority service users or those who care for a profoundly disabled family member.

In particular, many elderly carers are reaching crisis point the closer we come to actual closure dates. Families that include a profoundly disabled day centre user fear the return to a regime that removes their loved one from the community environment they currently experience in day centre settings and places them in a situation that can only be described as social segregation.

This is a briefing paper that sets out the reasons for the reasonable request from day centre carers for a 2 year moratorium on the current closure plans

The short answer to this is No.  There are a range of options that local authorities can use to extend existing services or commission new or replacement services.  These have been well documented by the Scottish Government in response to previous concerns over competitive tendering.    

 For those who like more details, the following longer answer is drawn from work carried out by the Scottish Government on the procurement and commissioning of social care services.   A social care service is any service that a person receives because they have additional needs due to disability or age.

Dundee council has been forced to grant a new consultation over the future of Kemback St Day Centre.   At the start of April, the council will sing a legal undertaking with campaigners to hold off a Judicial Review.  Helping to change the council’s mind was the Care Inspectorate upholding  a complaint about the way the original consultation had been carried out. 

In both Glasgow and Dundee, families and service users have argued that  their day centres provides vital support, allows people to make friends and relationships and gives a solid base from which to learn new skills.  They say services should not be changed or closed without the full involvement of those that use them.