Continued from Part 3.
Mr. Hodkinson said that all the day centres were running with spare capacity, across three large ones and a number of small ones the average spare capacity was 15%, however they had the potential to offer greater capacity if like a proper business they were run at full capacity. He said that staffing levels would remain unchanged, so how was he to make savings? The contention was that the service could be run more efficiently by downsizing the number of buildings operating to reflect demand. He said currently there was the capacity for an extra 108 half-day sessions, but they had the capacity to run up to an extra thousand half day sessions if more people received a service from a smaller number of buildings.
He continued by saying that a key saving was reducing the staffing complement as it would run on a reduced staffing model to unlock additional capacity. As part of this it was their plan to close one large day centre. Graham Hodkinson referred to the consultation run in 2012 on transforming day services, which told them that people wanted smaller day centres with greater choice.
He said a key part of the plan was whether they would be better run as a social enterprise, mutual or council run company and referred to the What Really Matters consultation. The Director said that they would need a further round of consultation should the option be accepted, in which they would work directly with people affected and be clear about which would close. This would be done soon after the Council decision [on March 5th] and would compare the three large day centres on capacity, demand, unit costs, capital costs of refurbishment, added value such as community links and qualitative feedback. He would also go to each service with an officer for a meeting to enable for detailed consultation.
A member of the public said that he seemed confident he would get his own way on 5th March. Mr. Hodkinson replied that it was subject to a Council decision.
A member of the public asked what happened after the 5th March?
He answered that they have to plan, followed by that he has no say in the Council vote, but that they had to plan and have contingencies, they wanted a more efficient service and that a proper business would be run to full capacity.
A member of the public said that large day centres were more efficient than small day centres and that it was three times more expensive to run a small day centre than a large, so what was the rationale for closing a large day centre? He also asked about the recording of gifts to employees in the Department of Adult Social Services.
Graham Hodkinson said he was not sure about the final question and that the arrangements for gifts and hospitalities was a different area and that if large day services were cheaper, the cheapest model would be one large day service rather than the two proposed.
A member of the public quoted Graham saying “most efficient” and asked why they were proposing to close a large day centre if it was the most efficient service?
Continued at Part 5.