Criticism over day centre service move

PUBLISHED: 12:03 19 July 2007 | UPDATED: 12:39 04 May 2010

ELY S Larkfield Day Centre could be run by a charity or voluntary organisation as the cash-strapped county council struggles to meet the demands on its budget. The move would mean the county council would hand over the day-to-day running of the centre and

ELY'S Larkfield Day Centre could be run by a charity or voluntary organisation as the cash-strapped county council struggles to meet the demands on its budget.

The move would mean the county council would hand over the day-to-day running of the centre and buy back their services.

It would help to reduce the council's spiralling costs and the charities would have greater flexibility to seek cash from a wider range of funders, including the National Lottery and corporate sponsorship.

But Witchford couple, Tony and Betty Palmer, whose 43-year-old daughter, Katharine has been using the centre for 20 years, are not convinced.

"This is a way of cutting down the service," said Tony, of Main Street. "They are trying to reduce spending as much as they can. My daughter can't speak so she can't complain."

The couple have voiced their concerns in an email to Cambridgeshire County Council saying: "The re-organisation could have a disastrous effect emotionally and psychologically on the service users."

On Tuesday, they attended two public meetings at Larkfield Day Centre - part of a series of meetings organised across the county.

The changes are being considered to fit in with Government legis-lation which aims to make day care services "more people-centred", claimed a county council spokes-man.

The Larkfield Centre is to be refurbished at a cost of around £915,000 to provide facilities for 50 adults with mental health problems relocating from the Victorian Croylands building in Ely's Cambridge Road.

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