More than 200 back Mercury campaign to save Stamford Day Centre

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HUNDREDS of readers are backing our campaign to save day centre services in Stamford and Bourne.

More than 200 coupons calling on Lincolnshire County Council to drop its plans to close the Stamford Day Centre in Ryhall Road, Stamford and the Stamford and Bourne Learning Disability Services in Abbey Road, Bourne have been returned since we started the campaign two weeks ago.

Elizabeth Brown, of Willoughby Road, Bourne says the council’s plans have caused her family a great deal of stress.

Her son Simon, 47, has Down’s syndrome and goes to the Stamford and Bourne Learning Disability Services centre every weekday.

Mrs Brown said: “It is just stressing us all out. We don’t know what they are asking us.

“We parents have got our rights but they are not taking us into consideration. They seem to think if they give us a lump of money that will be enough.”

The council wants to move all its service users on to the personal budget scheme, and is confident private providers will fill the gap if it closes its own services.

Mrs Brown is worried that closing the learning disability services would leave her son isolated.

She said: “His father is keen to keep him at home and we can do that as long as he can go to the centre. We don’t want him to be isolated.

“He used to do drama at the centre and go bowling, but the council stopped them having a bus. Carers aren’t allowed to use their cars because of the insurance. Simon loves the centre.

“He looks forward to going to play cricket on the Abbey Lawn in summer but we have had to tell him he might not be able to do it next year.”

Chairman of Deeping St James Parish Council, Phil Dilks, knows the value of the Stamford Day Centre – his mother-in-law went to it before she sadly died.

He said: “It was gold dust to us because we needed just a couple of hours’ rest a week.

“It gave my wife some respite, and allowed her to do everyday things without worrying about her mother. To be shutting it down is absolute nonsense.”

The county council consultation is open until January 9.

Visit www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/dpsconsultation to comment.