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Wirral dad urges readers to help prevent care centres from closing
A WIRRAL dad whose son suffers from profound mental and physical disabilities is urging readers to "do their research" before completing a council questionnaire.
Brian Donaldson, who tried to save five of the borough’s care homes from closure in 2011, is now hoping local people will vote against further shut downs.
His son, Paul, 29, requires round-the-clock care from his parents and attends Eastham Day Centre five days a week.
However, Wirral Council’s forthcoming cuts could mean the closure of some local day centres while two of the authority’s three residential care homes could also fall under the axe.
The cuts are part of a massive overhaul of the council’s services to make £39m worth of savings over the next 12 months.
And Wirral residents are now asked to take part in the second stage of the ‘What Really Matters?’ consultation to highlight their priorities.
But Mr Donaldson, who is chairman of the Wirral Carers’ Association, is calling on the public to make sure they know the importance of the day centres before they take part in the consultation.
He said: “The proposed options are really savage cuts which will affect the vulnerable and their carers so we are trying to make sure that people fully understand what’s happening before they fill in the questionnaire.
“The questions are not worded in the best way and I have a horrible feeling people will care more about their wheelie bins and rubbish disposal!
“We really hope people to a little bit of research and find out how valuable these centres are for people like Paul so they can make an informed decision.”
Among the council’s proposals for vulnerable people are options to increase the cost of home care and supported living while there is a possibility that transport to council facilities and schools could be reduced or stopped completely.
There are also proposed financial changes for carers who would receive an annual grant based on their role and requirement for support.
Mr Donaldson added: “All of this at a time when there are huge cuts in welfare benefits from central Government coming next year, that again targets the most vulnerable.
“We are outraged that our council have recommended these cuts against our express wishes and against their own commitment.
“People do not need to complete the whole survey just the bits that “really matter” to them and will only take a few minutes of their time.
“These short term cuts will have a devastating impact on the vulnerable and their families and lead to greater longer term costs in hospitalisation and people being put into residential care.
“We know our council have some tough choices to make and they are not evil but please make sure that they don’t make appallingly bad choices.”
To take part in the questionnaire, visit www.wirral.gov.uk
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