Continued from Part 4.
Graham Hodkinson responded by saying that he didn’t agree and that all the services had enough capacity to downsize and that it was staffing where the savings were.
A member of the public pointed out that Pensby Wood Day Centre had less spare capacity than that would be generated from a closure of a large centre and that a large day centre was more efficient.
Graham Hodkinson said that the most efficient would be one really big day service, but the result of the consultation in 2012 was people wanted smaller services so they were trying to balance the two.
A member of the public asked for financial figures on the cost of running Dale Farm, Royden Park and Best Bites and asked if they were running efficiently or were over budget? They pointed out that users weren’t always being charged and that the closure of a day centre hadn’t been mentioned at the start of the consultation. The same member of the public said they contested the comparison figures dating back to 2004 as in 2004 it wasn’t the same type of service, they also said officers hadn’t replied as to whether the figures were correct or not. The member of the public felt they wouldn’t listen to the view of wanting alternative savings rather than by closing a centre.
Graham Hodkinson said there would be a three-month consultation, in which they would listen to ideas. If it could be shown that alternative savings could be delivered then they had a duty to listen to that. He was happy for Chris Begya and her team to support alternative approaches if it delivered efficiency, however he hadn’t had many direct correspondences (although some had come via councillors). He was keen to ensure information was put out from the centre. Chris Begya said she had written to a couple of people about alternative ideas and was happy to talk and listen.
The member of the public said they had written to Chris and Cllr Phil Davies and asked for a meeting with Cllr Phil Davies and Graham Burgess, but hadn’t written to Graham Hodkinson. A meeting had happened with Chris Begya and a response had been received back, however they challenged everything Graham Hodkinson said. The threat of taking away the day centre was causing anxiety and how could they look forward to the future when next year there could be further cuts?
Graham Hodkinson said they were willing to listen and after the Council decision they had a duty to listen, he said they were happy to offer accountancy support if carers were keen to set out their ideas.
A member of the public said the day centre didn’t require closing and that people should be dealt with as human beings. They said the transport system was ridiculous and that closing a centre would condemn people onto buses to go to different centres which would cause stress for the parents. He