Service users, carers and supporters held a lively protest outside the Town Hall before the Council meeting on 27 June and they packed out the visitors galleries with some sitting in the Council chamber and others having to be accommodated in a separate room.
A number of people including a service user and family members asked questions of Councillor David Roche Cabinet member for adult social care.
Sadly the decision of the Cabinet to close 2 day centres and 2 respite centres was nodded through by councillors with only two members voting against approving the closures. Labour councillor Richard Price and Liberal Democrat Dr Adam Carter were the only ones to side with service users and their families. The latter was treated disrespectfully by Mayor Buckley and subjected to ridicule by the always disappointing Deputy Leader Councillor Gordon Watson.
Rotherham Council was not shown in a good light in what was a prime example of an attempt to stifle debate and supress democracy.
Campaigners have vowed to fight on and say that this is the start of their campaign not the end.
An online petition has been set up and can be found at https://www.thepetitionsite.com/en-gb/takeaction/558/606/413/
Now 1467 signatures and rising fast!
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Learning Disability Centre users are not able to make their own voices heard, we must lend them ours! please sign the petition.
Demand that Rotherham Council reverses the decision to decommission (close) its Learning Disability Centres
Rotherham Council has approved plans to close Addison Day Centre, Oaks Day Centre and Quarryhill and Treefields Respite Centres.
The Council says that the closures will help to integrate the 750+ service users into their local communities and allow them to do what “ordinary people” do. The Council says that each service user will have an individual assessment to determine their needs. In other words the Council has approved the closure of the centres BEFORE assessing what resources are required. This makes no sense and will leave some of our most vulnerable citizens without the services they need in order to lead enjoyable and meaningful lives.
The closures are unfair, ill thought out and are not wanted by the service users. The Council has failed to listen to service users and believe it knows what is best for them. The decision must be reversed.
Angry questions over council decision to close day care centres for adults with learning disabilities
Plans to replace much of the ‘building based’ day care service were approved by the council’s ruling cabinet and the decision of that meeting has now been confirmed by a meeting of the full council, clearing the path for a full review which is expected to see many of those who use day centres transferred to a system where they will have their own carers instead.