Hayes: ‘Chappell Centre will not close while I’m MP’

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SOUTH Holland and The Deepings MP John Hayes will not allow Lincolnshire County Council to close Spalding’s Chappell Centre on his “watch”.

The centre, in Pinchbeck Road, is one of 30 under threat as the county shaves millions off its adult social care budget.

Yesterday Mr Hayes said: “You can have a picture of me saying ‘John Hayes says the Chappell Centre will not close’. I have made that clear to the county council.

“This is not a facility that we can afford to lose from Spalding. It has widespread public support, it is highly regarded and valued by the people who use it.”

Mr Hayes says the service users and their carers are some of his most vulnerable constituents and he will do everything in his power to help them.

Mr Hayes and campaigners Maurice Chappell and Michael Lee had private talks with county councillor Graham Marsh, executive member for adult social care, at the centre on Friday.

They say Coun Marsh repeated his pledge that it will not close until something as good or better is in its place.

But Mr Hayes says the centre could be funded in another way – perhaps by service users’ personal budgets – and he is “completely comfortable with being as innovative as possible to maintain services”.

The MP is just as keen to save respite care services at next door Cedar House and is writing to Coun Marsh to seek assurances.

Mr Chappell and Mr Lee said the meeting was positive but they are pressing ahead with their fight and a 5,500 signature petition will go to the county council shortly.

Mr Lee thanked everyone who had signed – and asked petition organisers to send completed forms to him at 34 Siltside, Gosberton Risegate, Spalding PE11 4ET, as soon as possible.