Rotherham Councils BIG plans for people with learning disabilities. Good? or a £4.2 million cut?
Rotherham Council have been assessing the structure of our local learning and disabilities services and an overhaul of the system is underway.
Over the next two years, Rotherham Council will shutdown day services for people with learning disabilities in and around Rotherham, South Yorkshire and revamp the current "outdated" System in place. The sites include, two sites in Wath Upon Dearne, Oaks Day Centre and Quarryhill Respite centre, two sites in Maltby, both Addison Day Centre and Parkhill Lodge residential and Treefields in Wingfield.
The closures will see replacement services in existing community centres and leisure centres, a move that has been welcomed by many of the families and people with learning disabilities in our local area, who want better access locally to where they live and more services that promote independence, wellbeing and social inclusion, help build friendship groups within the community, and long term should also offer more chances of payed employment. However an online petition has more than 89,000 signatures and many families have voiced huge concerns over the move branding it simply a "Cost cutting exercise" Disrupting routine and services of people who have attended some of the existing centres for almost 50 years. People are also angry stating that sites that serve up to 90 people with additional needs per day, should not be closed, not every user will relocate or attempt to access alternative centres. This could end up doing the complete opposite to what is being sold as necessary to the majority.
The Council argue more easily accessible services in more modern buildings should make lives better for people in Rotherham because there will be more locations closer to home, making it easier to attend. Plus using the newer community buildings like leisure centres, will help with access for people with mobility issues and mobility aids, something that has hindered many additional people who would like to attend the existing locations but do not due to access.
Some of the closures are due to poor building access for people with mobility issues both QuarryHill and Treefields do not meet the needs of the people who need the services, with out dated buildings they are now deemed unsuitable for people with mobility issues. Parkhill in Maltby, Rotherham does not meet with national standards of good practice and faces significant issues of building deterioration. However people have said this is simply untrue and the buildings do meet requirement.
So in your opinion is it cost cutting or moving with the times?
South Yorkshire Mobility welcome any move that helps make lives better for people in Rotherham, South Yorkshire and anything that can strengthen the local community.