The council has a savings target of £96million over the next four years meaning that some services will need to stop and others will change beyond recognition. To help reach its target, the council proposed the closure of a number of services for adults at November’s cabinet and has since been consulting with users, families and residents on the plans.
Last night, cabinet heard that a decision on the future of the Solace Centre, a mental health drop-in facility, has been deferred. As part of the consultation, the council invited local community and voluntary groups to come forward with alternatives to closure. A number of proposals have been received which are now being developed before they are brought back to cabinet at a future date.
A consultation was also carried out on the future of two day centres for adults with dementia; Elm Lodge in Greenford and Sycamore Lodge in Acton. Cabinet agreed last night to close the centres and move the services to the Michael Flanders Centre in Acton, generating savings of £261,000 a year.
The centres are expected to close in May and the council will arrange for existing customers to attend Michael Flanders Centre, or help them to attend alternative day services in the community if they choose.
Carlton Road Day Centre, also in Acton, provides a day service for adults with profound and multiple learning difficulties. Cabinet agreed that this centre will also close and all existing customers will receive a personal budget to buy care and support services from other providers. The closure will generate savings of £494,000 a year.
The council will work closely with families to help them to access the wide range of alternative services already provided in the community by voluntary and private organisations. The centre will close in the summer.
Councillor Hitesh Tailor, cabinet member for health and adults services, said: “The council is being forced to make some very challenging decisions as a result of the huge cuts to our government funding. The scale of these cuts means the services we deliver, and how we deliver them, is changing.
“I fully understand the concerns that have been raised during our consultations as the council moves away from directly providing social care services. However, we are supporting hundreds of customers to take control of their own personal budgets and helping them to choose care and support services from a range of different groups and providers and we will continue to actively work to increase the choice available.
"It is important for the council to acknowledge the role of carers and families of users of Carlton Road, Elm Lodge and Sycamore Lodge and we will work with them to help make the transition as smooth as possible.”