'Closed' signs to go up on Wirral Council buildings as staff take a day's unpaid leave (From Wirral Globe)
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'Closed' signs to go up on Wirral Council buildings as staff take a day's unpaid leave
THE “CLOSED” sign will go up on Wirral Council buildings next Tuesday as 4,700 staff are forced to take the first of four days’ unpaid leave.
The move is part of a raft of measures designed to reduce spending - but it's dismayed some carers of disabled people, whose day centres will be caught up in the closure.
Graham Hodkinson, Wirral’s director of adult social care, apologised for the inconvenience caused but said the pressing need to cut costs meant there was no choice under present circumstances.
He said: “Due to the impact of reduced budgets, Wirral Council is closed on Tuesday, August 27.
"The council is making significant budget savings over the next few years.
“The only services that will run are for emergencies or where urgent same day responses are required.”
Janet Robson from Wallasey was notified by the department that Cambridge Road Day Service would be closed on Tuesday in a bid to save extra cash.
The shutdown follows next Monday's bank holiday closures and leaves some day centre students like Janet’s son, Kristopher, with nowhere to go.
The wheelchair-bound 28-year-old, who has mental and physical disabilities, attends the unit in Wallasey four times a week and Janet has questioned whether the decision could lead to further unscheduled closures.
She said: “This is the first time this has happened but they’re saying they need to do it due to budget cuts but the adult social services department is already taking a massive hit with Moreton Day Centre being closed.
“It is starting with just one day now, but how many times are they going to do it?
“Are they going to take away days around Christmas as well?
“Looking after Kristopher is a full-time role anyway so it is just like any other day for me - but it’s the impact that it will have on his routine as he doesn’t understand why this is happening.”
The shutdown was agreed earlier this year when plans to make £109m of savings over the next three years were put in place.
Mr Hodkinson added: “All staff are taking four additional days of unpaid leave this year.
"Unfortunately this does mean that day services including Cambridge Road Day Centre will remain closed [next] Tuesday as part of the overall closure to allow staff to take this leave.
“People who use day services and their families and carers have already been informed about this, both verbally and by letter.
“We are very sorry for any inconvenience caused, but this is unfortunately unavoidable under current circumstances.”
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