A council day centre for people with learning difficulties will close after the number of clients using it dropped to zero.
Lincolnshire County Council decided yesterday to shut the Stamford and Bourne Learning Disability Service in Abbey Road, Bourne.
The service has had no new referrals in 18 months and now has no users at all. Closing the centre would save the council just over £90,000 per year.
The council’s executive member for adult care Patricia Bradwell (Con) said: “The day centre has provided a good service for many years, but since the development of personal budgets, people have chosen to access facilities elsewhere to meet their particular needs.
“No-one new had chosen to attend the Bourne day centre for 18 months and, as there’s now nobody attending, it is clearly no longer viable or financially sensible to keep it open.
“We are confident that there is sufficient provision within the Bourne area for people requiring day services.”
Closing the centre will mean seven staff are made redundant, at a cost of about £71,450 to the authority.
Unison opposed the closure but the council said staff had been consulted.
The council previously announced plans to close the centre in October 2011. But after a huge response to a public consultation, including a campaign by the Mercury and a petition which attracted 850 signatures, councillors decided to keep the centre open in February 2012.
The council agreed to keep the centres open until private companies or charities could be found to run them.
The original decision to close the centre was part of a plan to move care users onto the personal budget scheme, which lets them decide where to spend their publicly-funded care grant instead of the council providing care for them.
The council had proposed to close every one of its 31 day centres, including the Stamford Day Centre in Ryhall Road, Stamford. The centre offers care to the elderly, people with dementia and adults with learning disabilities.
The council has not yet revealed any future plans for Stamford Day Centre.