THREE Solihull day care centres for vulnerable elderly residents are set to close next month in a bid to save about £400,000 over the next two years.
Solihull Council is set to streamline its services and have only two authority-run centres catering for the borough’s rapidly ageing population.
The services will continue to be operated from Park View Day Centre in Monkspath Hall Road, Solihull, and Colebrook Day Centre in Chelmsley Wood – and the two buildings will have a revamp totalling £500,000 as part of the plans, the council says.
But Green Hill Way, Oak Trees and Roundmead day centres are all set to close their doors.
The council claims the number of people using day care services has massively reduced and at the beginning of 2018/19 fewer than 60 people were registered.
It also says the services were no longer profitable as the costs of running the centre and providing care dwarfed the money they brought in.
The council said all service users have been informed of the changes and the new services will improve provision.
A council officer’s report claims Green Hill Way Day Centre’s building in Shirley is dated, and cannot be developed to operate services for the south of the borough and therefore will be vacated.
Oak Trees in Balsall Common is a modern and valuable building but it is inconveniently positioned and transport costs are disproportionately high, so it will also be closed, the report states.
Park View will now cater to people with learning difficulties, disabilities and elderly people in the south of the borough.
It is a large, purpose-built, fully accessible building with a cafe and spacious grounds and will cater to people from Green Hill Way and Oak Trees – after the renovation to increase its capacity.
In the south of the borough Roundmead Day Centre in Chelmsley Wood was ‘well-attended and financial viable’, the report states, but the benefits of closing it and absorbing services with Colebrook were considered greater.
The report adds that Colebrook is a well located building in the centre of Chelmsley Wood, with a garden and kitchen facilities. It is adjacent to the Bosworth Drive Community Centre and is currently being redeveloped to be used as a community hub for learning disabilities day services.
The plans for learning disability services leave approximately half of the building available to absorb elderly day centre users at Roundmead.
The plan will mean 11 potential job losses, including compulsory redundancies, and savings on travel costs.
Total savings are projected to be £95,000 in 2018/19 and a further £326,000 in 2019/20.
A Solihull Council spokesperson said: “We are not closing any of our services. However, some of the buildings we have been using are no longer suitable for the modern and personalised services we are aiming for.
“We are building our offer to include greater access to community activities and positive outcomes such as greater independence and genuine employment opportunities.
“Green Acres transferred to one of the central locations two years ago in a move that has been positively received by service users.
“Working with those people who use our day centres the council is developing a new approach to supporting vulnerable people and older people with dementia.”