Fears for centres in Newton Aycliffe, Peterlee, Stanley, Spennymoor and Durham

The Northern Echo: UNCERTAIN FUTURE: Spennymoor Day Centre UNCERTAIN FUTURE: Spennymoor Day Centre

FIVE council-run day care centres for elderly and disabled people look set to close as part of cost-cutting measures.

Durham County Council, which runs ten large day care centres across the county, is proposing to close Spennymoor Day Centre; The Oaks Centre, in Newton Aycliffe ; The Shinwell Centre, in Peterlee ; Stanley Day Centre and The Durham Centre, at Aykley Heads, Durham City.

The move, which would save an estimated £446,000-ayear, would see services used by about 450 elderly and disabled people transferred to alternative centres nearby.

Members of the authority’s cabinet will vote on the proposal, which follows a service review and six-week public consultation exercise, when it meets in Spennymoor next Wednesday.

The council says that proposals are being put forward in response to a fall in the number of people attending day centres.

Figures suggest the number of people using the centres fell by 25 per cent between April 2010 and June this year, which, the authority says, has left some of the larger centres operating at less than half their capacity.

It also says it is facing a estimated bill of £4.69m over the next ten years to maintain the buildings at a time when Government cuts mean it has to find savings of about £180m by 2017.

Councillor Morris Nicholls, the council’s cabinet member for adult services, said: “We need to review our services in order to meet changing needs in a better way and we believe the moves we are proposing will address these changes and make our services more efficient.

“We would stress that these changes would not affect the amount or type of day care anyone receives. Groups would be moved together so friendships can be maintained and, of course, any changes would be carefully managed by our experienced teams.

“In addition, no one who would be required to transfer to a different centre would have to travel any more than an additional 1.8 miles to get there.”

Under the proposals, services currently provided at the five day centres would in future be offered at Spennymoor Leisure Centre; Newton Aycliffe Leisure Centre; Peterlee Day Centre; The Louisa Centre, in Stanley and Abbey Day Centre, in Pity Me.

During the consultation exercise, a number of service users – particularly at Spennymoor Day Centre – raised concerns about the proposals, with 38 per cent saying they were worried about the impact of the changes.

Campaign leaders said last night they wanted time to assess the report before commenting on the proposals.

Comments (11)

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9:04am Wed 5 Sep 12

George BA says...

Maybe the excessive charges for some using the centres, has had an impact on who can use the centres.

Not lack of demand, probably just lack of disposable income.

What is this County coming to if we cannot provide services for the most vulnerable people in our communities.
Maybe the excessive charges for some using the centres, has had an impact on who can use the centres. Not lack of demand, probably just lack of disposable income. What is this County coming to if we cannot provide services for the most vulnerable people in our communities. George BA
  • Score: 1

9:34am Wed 5 Sep 12

Kinninvie says...

Exactly right George.
That and transport issues since the council withdrew buses from these services.
Exactly right George. That and transport issues since the council withdrew buses from these services. Kinninvie
  • Score: 1

11:04am Wed 5 Sep 12

jody67 says...

The reason attendance has dropped is the cost D.C.C. has implemented. I had to remove my son from Auckland Gate in April as I could not afford the charge. My son started to become aggressive so I have had to get him back in. I am hoping that I can afford the bill when it comes.
The reason attendance has dropped is the cost D.C.C. has implemented. I had to remove my son from Auckland Gate in April as I could not afford the charge. My son started to become aggressive so I have had to get him back in. I am hoping that I can afford the bill when it comes. jody67
  • Score: 2

11:13am Wed 5 Sep 12

jody67 says...

When the charge came in, I told people what the council's game plan was, I was told that I was paranoid and that the council wouldn't dare. I got in touch with the Northern Echo in April and was asked if I would be prepared to have a photo of my son and myself taken. I said, that I was more than happy. The reporter said he was going to contact the council and would call me back. I never heard anything more.
When the charge came in, I told people what the council's game plan was, I was told that I was paranoid and that the council wouldn't dare. I got in touch with the Northern Echo in April and was asked if I would be prepared to have a photo of my son and myself taken. I said, that I was more than happy. The reporter said he was going to contact the council and would call me back. I never heard anything more. jody67
  • Score: 0

12:04pm Wed 5 Sep 12

D D Coy says...

"Durham County Council closes day centers for elderly and disabled people, yet continues to run a fleet of Limos & Chauffeurs costing in excess of £80,000 per annum (for CIVIC DUTIES ONLY) not including hundreds of taxi fares, mileage, coach hire, over-night accommodation DOESN'T CARE ONE JOT!"
"Durham County Council closes day centers for elderly and disabled people, yet continues to run a fleet of Limos & Chauffeurs costing in excess of £80,000 per annum (for CIVIC DUTIES ONLY) not including hundreds of taxi fares, mileage, coach hire, over-night accommodation DOESN'T CARE ONE JOT!" D D Coy
  • Score: 3

12:22pm Wed 5 Sep 12

George19 says...

Typical drivel from nichols and his CABINET cronies, no money yet they can claim their expenses and wages etc with not a jot of conscience, bloody hypocrites the lot of them from the top to the bottom.
Typical drivel from nichols and his CABINET cronies, no money yet they can claim their expenses and wages etc with not a jot of conscience, bloody hypocrites the lot of them from the top to the bottom. George19
  • Score: 3

12:47pm Wed 5 Sep 12

D D Coy says...

YOUR COMMUNITY NEEDS YOU!

Urgently wanted councilors from May 2013

Work part-time & earn between £13,000 to £50,000 per annum +
expenses as a Durham County Councillor.

Can you answer yes to at least six of the following options.

No qualifications required?
No experience required?
Is part-time work your cup of tea?
Can you work flexible hours?
Prepared to join a pension scheme?
Do you like subsidised meals?
What about free Transport?
Would you like a free telephone?
Perhaps free internet?
A free laptop (Even if you don't know how to use one)?
Traveling expenses or mileage paid?

If you scored six from the above list then perhaps being a Durham County Councillor is the ideal opportunity that you have been looking for you?

If you scored eight or more then you are probably a Durham County Councillor already & need to reapply May 2013.

And the best part of all is that you don't have to be in any political party to be an Independent Councillor, just prepared to put your ward & community first and apply that rare commodity 'commonsense' to your specific duties.

It is so much better than being stuck inside that once hot dingey factory where you once worked.
YOUR COMMUNITY NEEDS YOU! Urgently wanted councilors from May 2013 Work part-time & earn between £13,000 to £50,000 per annum + expenses as a Durham County Councillor. Can you answer yes to at least six of the following options. No qualifications required? No experience required? Is part-time work your cup of tea? Can you work flexible hours? Prepared to join a pension scheme? Do you like subsidised meals? What about free Transport? Would you like a free telephone? Perhaps free internet? A free laptop (Even if you don't know how to use one)? Traveling expenses or mileage paid? If you scored six from the above list then perhaps being a Durham County Councillor is the ideal opportunity that you have been looking for you? If you scored eight or more then you are probably a Durham County Councillor already & need to reapply May 2013. And the best part of all is that you don't have to be in any political party to be an Independent Councillor, just prepared to put your ward & community first and apply that rare commodity 'commonsense' to your specific duties. It is so much better than being stuck inside that once hot dingey factory where you once worked. D D Coy
  • Score: 5

5:11pm Wed 5 Sep 12

dawn patrol says...

not the limo story again,are you real d .d .coy or just a recording, your bitterness at getting the push from the council is taking over your life.
not the limo story again,are you real d .d .coy or just a recording, your bitterness at getting the push from the council is taking over your life. dawn patrol
  • Score: -3

6:06pm Wed 5 Sep 12

the-big-yin says...

D D Coy wrote:
"Durham County Council closes day centers for elderly and disabled people, yet continues to run a fleet of Limos & Chauffeurs costing in excess of £80,000 per annum (for CIVIC DUTIES ONLY) not including hundreds of taxi fares, mileage, coach hire, over-night accommodation DOESN'T CARE ONE JOT!"
they also let their workers take work vehicles home and also allow them to pick up and drop off work mates each morning and night.....the cost of diesel alone would cover keeping these day centres open...plus the vehicles that managers take home and use should be stopped....plus all the food, travel, overtime and bonuses they hand out each year..all should be stopped and the money used to keep essential services running...D.C.C.STOP THE GRAVY TRAIN NOW BEFORE D.C.C. GOES BANKRUPT......you should all hang your heads in shame ...BUT HEY!!! I GUESS YOUR ALL IN THE THIS TO LINE YOUR OWN POCKETS...ESPECIALLY YOU HERR SIMON HENIG AND YOUR BUNCH OF CRONIES......THE PEOPLE OF COUNTY DURHAM ARE SICK AND TIRED OF ALL OF THIS.....I BET YOU SLEEP COMFORTABLY IN YOUR 5 BEDROOM HOUSE, AFTER THE DRIVE HOME IN YOUR FREE CHAUFFEUR DRIVEN LIMO....YOU K..N..O..B..!!!!!!
[quote][p][bold]D D Coy[/bold] wrote: "Durham County Council closes day centers for elderly and disabled people, yet continues to run a fleet of Limos & Chauffeurs costing in excess of £80,000 per annum (for CIVIC DUTIES ONLY) not including hundreds of taxi fares, mileage, coach hire, over-night accommodation DOESN'T CARE ONE JOT!"[/p][/quote]they also let their workers take work vehicles home and also allow them to pick up and drop off work mates each morning and night.....the cost of diesel alone would cover keeping these day centres open...plus the vehicles that managers take home and use should be stopped....plus all the food, travel, overtime and bonuses they hand out each year..all should be stopped and the money used to keep essential services running...D.C.C.STOP THE GRAVY TRAIN NOW BEFORE D.C.C. GOES BANKRUPT......you should all hang your heads in shame ...BUT HEY!!! I GUESS YOUR ALL IN THE THIS TO LINE YOUR OWN POCKETS...ESPECIALLY YOU HERR SIMON HENIG AND YOUR BUNCH OF CRONIES......THE PEOPLE OF COUNTY DURHAM ARE SICK AND TIRED OF ALL OF THIS.....I BET YOU SLEEP COMFORTABLY IN YOUR 5 BEDROOM HOUSE, AFTER THE DRIVE HOME IN YOUR FREE CHAUFFEUR DRIVEN LIMO....YOU K..N..O..B..!!!!!! the-big-yin
  • Score: 1

7:35pm Wed 5 Sep 12

David Lacey says...

Big Yin - this morning two DCC trucks with trailers turned up at the football field near my home at 7:30am. I think there were 8 men inside. They were there to cut the grass. At 8:00am they were still inside the cabs eating and drinking - breakfast these days is taken AFTER you clock on. I don't know when they finally decided to get cracking.
Big Yin - this morning two DCC trucks with trailers turned up at the football field near my home at 7:30am. I think there were 8 men inside. They were there to cut the grass. At 8:00am they were still inside the cabs eating and drinking - breakfast these days is taken AFTER you clock on. I don't know when they finally decided to get cracking. David Lacey
  • Score: 1

3:14am Thu 6 Sep 12

John Justice says...

Once again the most vulnerable in our society are targeted and moved by D C C. It is also true that D C C pays its councillors some of the highest rates in the country, this of course has absolutely no connection or impact on the quality of services removed from the elderly and vulnerable who pay high charges to attend these centres.
Once again the most vulnerable in our society are targeted and moved by D C C. It is also true that D C C pays its councillors some of the highest rates in the country, this of course has absolutely no connection or impact on the quality of services removed from the elderly and vulnerable who pay high charges to attend these centres. John Justice
  • Score: 1

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