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    North Derbyshire Radio

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Derbyshire County Council axes eight adult day centres

todayOctober 13, 2022 10

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The cries of protesters, union chiefs and politicians to spare eight Derbyshire adult day centres were not enough, as the council rubber-stamped a decision to close the facilities for people with disabilities and learning difficulties.

As dozens of campaigners picketed outside County Hall, in Matlock, today (October 13), Derbyshire County Council’s Cabinet agreed the phased closure of the following centres – Ashbourne and Wirksworth combined, Renishaw, Coal Aston and Newhall, as well as Whitemoor in Belper and Oxcroft Lane, Carter Lane and Whitwell in Bolsover district.

The move was made as part of the Learning Disability Day Opportunities Service Redesign, which promotes the use of Community Connectors to aid service users with find employment and volunteering opportunities.

At the start of the meeting, Labour leader Councillor Joan Dixon, asked cabinet members whether they considered that closing the centres would be a ‘breach of the individuals’ human rights’.

Cabinet member for adult care Councillor Natalie Hoy responded that a great deal of thought had been put into service users’ wellbeing, and changes to services did not impact upon the Human Rights Act.

She stated: “We want to offer Derbyshire people with learning disabilities and autism the chance to live the life they want to live.”

Coun Hoy said fewer service users wanted to use a ‘building based service’ and said the redesign offered them greater choices.

However speaking outside of the meeting, Bolsover district councillor Sandra Peake, whose 52-year-old daughter Donna has attended Carter Lane day centre for 34 years ,expressed the concerns shared by many that the Community Connector scheme would be insufficient to meet the needs of those with more complex needs.

Councillor Peake, who helped collect 2,300 signatures on paper and online petitions to save the three Bolsover day centres, said: “They’re saying people can go out in the community and do volunteer work or get a job, if they could get a job they wouldn’t be in the situation they’re in now.”

The council states it is keeping Alderbrook, in Chinley, No Limits, in Chesterfield, Outlook, in Long Eaton, and Parkwood, in Alfreton open for those who need them, and will foot the bill for travel to and from the facilities.

Day Centre Protest outside County Hall Matlock. Picture taken by Christina Massey.

Written by: NDR NEWS

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