A GROUP of young people with learning difficulties who are due to lose vital day care provision say they will fight the plan.

Durham County Council has told residents and staff at Craigmore House, in Barnard Castle, that it plans to cut day care funding to cope with the “challenging economic times”.

The young residents of the the house, in Galgate, receive regular day care, which ranges from workshops to help them find employment or voluntary work to days out.

The local authority treats each care home individually, so the proposed cuts will not affect all day care services in County Durham.

However, support worker John Cooper said: “The people that these cuts will affect are the people that need day care the most.

“It may well be happening to other day care services elsewhere in the county soon and we are hoping that those people who are affected elsewhere could get in touch.

“The day care will go from five days a week to zero effective from April.

“There is an appeal process, but as things stand we have only been given a couple of months to respond to the news.”

Chiara Savino, a resident of Craigmore House who attends the day care, which is provided by Taylour Made Day Care, said she was not consulted about the cuts.

Miss Savino, who is an MP on Durham County Council’s Learning Disability Parliament, said: “When the council started this, they didn’t really inform anyone who lives in residential care or comes down to the day services.

“We all feel let down. We haven’t been consulted and people with learning disabilities haven’t been given a voice.”

Nick Whitton, head of commissioning at Durham County Council, said: “The council is facing significant pressure as a result of major reductions in funding from central Government.

“The care needs of individuals are regularly reviewed to ensure that those needs are being met in as efficient a way as possible.

“This involves detailed discussions between care managers and individuals and frequently leads to changes in service provision.

“Despite the extremely challenging economic times, we will continue to work closely with people on a oneto- one basis and would encourage anyone to raise their concerns with their care manager.”

Staff and residents from Craigmore House will speak to their MP, Helen Goodman, about the proposals and are also appealing for businesses to show their support by emailing saveourdaycare@ hotmail.co.uk