Cautious joy for day care centre campaigners

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CAMPAIGNERS fighting to keep a day centre in Spalding open say they are not ready to celebrate yet, despite a last-minute reprieve being offered by council bosses.

Maurice Chappell and Michael Lee will today meet Lincolnshire county councillors to hand over a petition with more than 5,800 signatures calling for The Chappell Centre to be saved.

The centre on Pinchbeck Road, which caters for more than 50 vulnerable adults, had been facing the axe under county-wide cost-cutting plans, along with Bourne Day Centre and Cedar House in Spalding. However, on Wednesday, bosses at the authority revealed they were rethinking their plans after listening to the public.

But with no firm decision being made until March 6, the carers and families of those at The Chappell Centre are holding off on their celebrations.

Mr Chappell’s daughter Claire has Down’s Syndrome and has been visiting the centre for about 25 years.

He said: “We are pleased up to a point but we need a lot of reassurance yet. Our campaign has not been a complete waste of time because what we’ve done has already made them re-think.

“But we need reassurance.”

The new plans, which will be discussed by the Adult Scrutiny Committee today and by the Executive next Tuesday, would see day care services continue to run in the same buildings and be supported by existing staff or private firms.

Private providers are being recommended in each respite care unit, such as Cedar House, while work will be done to enhance accessibility.

Those using the Community Supported Living service for help to live independently at home can use budgets to go to the private market.