Services for elderly and disabled feel the pinch

Halifax Support Services training centre for people with disabilities, Chatham Street, Halifax.
Halifax Support Services training centre for people with disabilities, Chatham Street, Halifax.

A CARE centre for up to 45 disabled people is facing the axe.

The Chatham Street Centre in Halifax was built by the former Halifax town council in the early 1970s at a cost of £55,000.

But according to Calderdale Council’s Lib-Lab coalition, £250,000 a year could be saved by closing it and concentrating services at centres in Hebden Bridge and Rastrick.

Up to 16 jobs could be lost in the process, if the spending plan, which is now out to public consultation, is approved.

The council’s adult health and social care spokesman, Coun Bob Metcalfe, said that in spite of increasing financial challenges, the cabinet wanted to continue supporting vulnerable people as a priority.

“We plan to put an additional £500,000 into services for adults with leaning difficulties from April, on top of the growth built into the existing budget.”

The council wants to make more effective use of the Royd Square Centre, in Hebden Bridge, and the Lower Edge Centre, at Rastrick.

At the same time, it intends to focus council-run services on people with higher needs.

Those with lower needs would be reassessed and offered alternative day care with established providers and be given direct payments to join in community based activities.

As well as employing 16 fewer staff, the council move could save £250,000 a year by reducing the number of minibuses it operates taking people to and from care centres.

The council estimates that 29 Chatham Street users will move to new centres and 15 will require alternative service providers.

l One of the four houses which the council provides for people with learning disabilities could close because it is no longer fit for purpose.

The 10 residents in the remaining three properties could be given accommodation managed by the independent sector at lower cost to the council.

The proposed transfer could save £100,000 a year from 2013.

l Forty-three jobs are on the line as a result of council proposals to transfer extra care services at Mytholm Meadows, Hebden Bridge, and Clement Court, Halifax, to the independent or voluntary sector.

It is expected that they can do the job “at much lower cost” than the council and save £100,000 a year.