Plans to close day centre for elderly

Lincolnshire County Council has announced plans to close a

Market Rasen day centre used by a number of elderly people in the town.

The council wants to close The Warren bungalow in Chapman Street and move all services to The Old Health Clinic in Gordon Field.

The day centres are used by over 65s as a place to socialise, take part in activities and get a hot meal.

But the council says The Warren bungalow is “underutilised”.

The council claims the centre is only used three days a week by about four to seven people, who also use The Old Health Clinic.

Its plans - which will also see closures in Sleaford, Lincoln, Boston and Louth - are set to come into force on April 2.

The council says the number of people using these centres has “significantly decreased” and claims its closure plans will save taxpayers £72,111 per year.

Lincolnshire County Council executive member for adult social care Coun Graham Marsh said: “As the use of seven day centre buildings becomes increasingly unviable, a solution has been recommended which does the right thing by service users, taxpayers and the staff.

“The number of people visiting centres has significantly decreased.”

Coun Marsh said this was down to people accessing services elsewhere.

He said: “One unit is no longer used at all, whilst another building only has two people attending for one day per week.

“The rent and running costs of such buildings cannot therefore be justified.

“However, the priority is always the needs of the service users themselves which is why we’re recommending simplymerging these same services and staff into existing centres nearby, many within walking distance.

“There won’t be any service reduction or redundancies meaning a reassuringly smooth transition for all.”

At a recent council meeting, Market Rasen mayor Steve Bunney spoke out about the loss of several services - such as doctors and dentists - in the town.

He said: “I think it is very important that the facilities in this town are there.

“I think it is important we remember that transport is not freely available.”

The county council’s long term plan is to find alternative providers for day services.

And Coun Marsh said there has already been an “encouraging level of interest” in this.

He added: “We are also seeing great interest in setting up new, more bespoke services in the county.”