Don’t cut our lifeline, club users tell council

THE council is to hold more talks to try to save Calder Valley Club.

But it will only be possible if thousands of pounds can be found to meet running costs.

Members of the Mytholmroyd club, which has been catering for the needs of disabled people for 30 years, turned out in force to lobby Calderdale Council Cabinet.

Some, speaking from their wheelchairs, told how the club was their lifeline and the planned closure at the end of January will have a devastating effect.

The council’s health and social care spokesman, Coun Bob Metcalfe, said he understood the situation facing them. “But we are in the middle of a new tendering process for day services for people with physical difficulties,” he said.

He said all providers had been contacted to see if they agreed to extend their existing contract until June but because the Calder Valley Club was running at a loss, it had decided to close.

“I don’t want to see it close and we are awaiting the outcome of further talks but it takes two to negotiate,” said Coun Metcalfe (Lab, Town). The 30 or so members and supporters who lobbied the council meeting said they wanted to continue but needed more money.

Trustee John Gott said the club has subsidised the contract it had with the council and used £40,000 of its own money in a bid to keep going.

The trustees deny the council statement that they have decided to close and say they want to continue offering their day-care centre to vulnerable users.

Council leader Janet Battye (Lib-Dem, Calder Valley) said she would make certain the situation was sorted “in a proper and fair way.”

The 40 people who use the respite day-care service were told before Christmas it could not continue in its current way.

At their latest meeting, Hebden Royd Town Council said they had some funding which may assist the charity and have written, offering their support to their fight to stay open.

They have also written a formal letter to Calderdale Council, urging them to re-open negotiations.

Users are being contacted by social workers to arrange either a reassessment of their needs and a new care package or transfer to another managed day service.

Other providers for the service are Scope and Heath Stroke Club, Halifax.