Council says care review is on track

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Plans to pass council-run day care centres and adult social care services to private providers and charities are on track.

Lincolnshire County Council ditched plans to close Stamford Day Centre in Ryhall Road, Stamford, and the Stamford and Bourne Learning Disability Services, based in Abbey Road, Bourne, in March.

The council proposed closing the centres completely in October 2011 as it looked to save money.

But a public outcry, including a Mercury campaign that attracted 850 signatures, and a huge response to a consultation forced the council to make a U-turn.

Instead it decided to encourage existing staff, community groups and businesses to take them on.

The council says it has since received a “good level of interest”.

Head of service for adult social care Joanna Tubb said: “Residents should be reassured. We’ve had an encouraging level of interest so far to take over day services and we’re only nine months into a two-year process.

“To ensure it’s competitive, with high-quality services coming out of it, we’re still encouraging yet more people to come forward.

“This means no decisions have been made about any centres yet.

“It’s essential not to think of these purely as the physical building they’re currently in – the important thing is maintaining day services for local people.

“We will help these to continue in their existing buildings for groups presenting viable business cases to meet local demand, as we know that’s important to many.

“In other cases, it might be that it continues but in a different location or in a different, more bespoke way to meet local people’s needs. Nothing is off the table.”

The council has committed £500,000 to a fund to help with the transfer process.

Mrs Tubb said: “We remain confident that we’re on course to establish alternative day services by March 2014.”