Cabinet decides on the future of St. Christopher’s and Lowenna Redwing

Cabinet was particularly difficult today with the Cabinet making the final decision on the future of St. Christopher’s and Lowenna Redwing Residential Short Break centres. The whole process has not been easy, either for myself, Council officers and the families who will be affected.  Any change to service provision can lead to a lot of anxiety because the need for regular short break provision is always highly valued by parents and carers.

The changes to the service is due to the massive reduction in available funding. This results in having to look at delivering the service with less money. Those 35 families and 27 staff who will be affected by the closures are going to find the decision difficult. I understand that, and I want to reassure people there will still be a service. However this might be delivered in a different location, by a different method – like direct payments, or some of the other short break provision.

In todays Cabinet report, the original recommendation was to close both St. Christopher’s and Lowenna on the 1st June. However, I have listened to parents and carers; read and re-read the consultation responses, and with this I feel that  recommendation to close both centres in June should be extended.  This will allow those affected by the decision to have more time to adapt to the changes leading up to both centres closure.

With this amendment, the Cabinet vote unanimously to close both St. Christopher’s and Lowenna Redwing on the 1st September.  It is important to say, even though these centres will close, the individual needs of those affected will be met after assessment.

I really wish it was different, but we have to adapt and services will change as there is just less money to go around. And with less money I want to make sure we as a Council help as many people as possible despite the dwindling resources.

My previous blog on this subject is found HERE

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