Fight goes on to save Llanidloes day centre

Reporter:

Keri Trigg

WITH the fate of Maes Y Wennol Day Centre to be decided later this month, councillors are still fighting for the centre to be spared closure.

Despite the consultation period ending on November 9, the town council is continuing to object to plans which would see Llanidloes lose its day centre, along with all other towns in Powys except Welshpool.

Three options are being considered, option one being to leave things as they are, and option two to close all day centres in April 2017. Option three would see the centres phased out over a longer period, while other ways to meet their users’ needs are explored, such as providing a home-based befriending service with the help of volunteers.

At a town council meeting on Monday, November 28, Cllr Margot Jones said: “I am optimistic that there is a way to keep it open. That is by far the better option.

“Obviously the worst scenario would be option two.”

Llanidloes Mayor, Cllr Phyl Davies, added that the town must be prepared: “I have looked at the model in Presteigne, it’s pretty much a volunteer scheme run by charity organisations and they get money from Powys.

“It’s a service that costs £110,000 a year. If it comes to it, £110,000 is a lot less money for us to find than the £210,000 it costs to run the day centre.”

Cllr Gareth Morgan, county councillor for Llanidloes, has also strongly objected to the closure of Maes Y Wennol, saying that keeping it open is the only way PCC can continue to adequately meet the needs of the town’s older people.

In a letter to PCC, he said: “The concept of the Day Centre is to combat loneliness and isolation, to encourage social contact, to safeguard matters of personal hygiene, and to monitor general health issues.

“The overall policy objective of the Welsh Government is to enable elderly people to stay in their own homes longer.

"A reduction in that capacity will directly result in the Council having to combat increased expenditure, placing people in residential care, in nursing homes, or hospitals.”

The fate of the county’s day centres will be decided at the next PCC cabinet meeting on December 20.

See full story in the County Times

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