Peter Clark (of the Swanage and Isle of Purbeck Lib Dems) attended the DCC debate on the future of the Day Centres in Dorset. This is his feedback.
The consultation report and recommendations are all
laid out in a long report (item 7), which is available on the Dorsetforyou website.
As I see it, the situation is as follows.
D.C.C., encouraged by Debbie Ward, the director of Adult Services, seem to
have listened to the consultation. Can this be true? I believe that it is!
The overall preference was to keep the Day Centres in the ownership of
D.C.C.(option 1) This was especially so in the cases of the users of the Day
centres and their carers. Option 3 was the least popular. There was a
widespread view that income streams could be improved both by changing the
qualifications needed to use the Centres and by increasing the use of the
premises by outside bodies. The point made forcibly by Mel and Gerry Norris that
closure of the premises would result in larger public expenditure elsewhere
was also given prominence.
As a result a Partnership option was recommended. The aim would be to
maximise opportunities for partnerships with other groups and to establish
multiple use of buildings.
The Chief Executive voiced concern about how much of this would be possible.
Andrew Cattaway, the responsible cabinet member, was very positive in his
comment that 'this can be achieved.'
A fuller report on how this might be achieved will go to the May cabinet.
That's it. Good news so far, but a long way to go.