A DAY care centre is set to close as part of St Helens Council’s “modernisation” of its adult social care services.
Town Hall chiefs have confirmed that, following a public consultation involving service users, carers, relatives and staff, the Moss Bank Support Centre is set to close.
But the authority says it will work with individuals affected to identify suitable alternatives and says the transition will be “well-planned and as smooth and non-disruptive as possible”.
Built in 1952, the Victoria Avenue centre has 32-bedrooms but currently only has six permanent residents. Although parts of the facility are used for respite and short-stay care, it’s consistently under-occupied.
Town Hall chiefs say they took into account the consultation feedback before making the decision to close.
They also cited other factors including the changing demands of service users, the age and condition of the building - which would cost the best part of £2m to renovate - and the high annual cost of running the centre.
The decision was also set against a backdrop of the council having to find a further £22m of budget cuts over the next three years, bringing a total of £50m in government cuts by 2015.
Council bosses stressed that they need to target their reduced budget to provide the best possible services tailored to the needs of residents.
Councillor Joe Pearson, St Helens Council’s cabinet member for adult social care and health, said: “Any decision to close is never taken lightly. But social services are changing with people wanting to stay in their own homes for as long as possible with tailor-made support.
“The council has given a commitment to all service users that they can remain in alternative council managed services if they so choose.”