MSP wants meeting over care closures

A MEETING for everyone affected by plans to close three city day centres for people with learning disabilities must be organised, according to a Glasgow MSP

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The SNP's Bob Doris said Glasgow City Council had blocked plans to hold a meeting for the more than 500 families who use the centres to be able to discuss the plans and has asked for the council to reconsider.

Mr Doris has lodged a motion in the Scottish Parliament claiming the closure plans will isolate vulnerable people and calling for the consultation on the closures to be reopened.

The plans will see the closure of centres in Summerston, Cardonald and Maryhill, with four remaining open elsewhere in the city for those who are assessed as still requiring their services.

A final decision is due to be taken by councillors in March.

Mr Doris attended a protest by families outside the City Chambers in George Square and called for the closures to be halted.

He said: "Service users and their families feel the closure decision has been taken over their heads and without any meaningful consultation.

"However, to discover that the council will not even permit the learning disabled community to meet with the council is just staggering.

"It is a fundamental right to allow the community to discuss these closure plans, and to find the council opposed to such discussions just beggars belief. What does the council have to fear?

"The council must reconsider their decision, facilitate a meeting, and begin a new process which properly involves service users."

His motion says the consultation was flawed and the closures were predetermined. The council maintains the consultation was carried out in the appropriate way.

A council spokesman said: "The Learning Disabilities Day Services Reform Group met yesterday and heard a range of views, including those of service users and carers.

"It was a constructive meeting and the opinions aired will be included as part of the consultation response to the reform proposals.

"Throughout the consultation process the emphasis has been on receiving views from individuals, either as service users or carers, as well taking soundings from small groups and representatives of member groups.

"This approach is much more worthwhile as a way for people who often go unheard to have their say.

"A decision on the proposals is expected to be taken in March."

stewart.paterson@ eveningtimes.co.uk

Local government

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