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Battle is on to save Bradley Court in Uttoxeter

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  • 03/05/13 Election count - Burton Staffordshire county council election count at Burton Town Hall - Ron Clarke - Burton Town

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IT has been only days since it was officially revealed that funding will be pulled from Bradley Court in Uttoxeter.

The residential home, run by Rethink, is a safe haven for people suffering with mental health issues and now they have been left with a future of uncertainty following the shock announcement.

The service had been funded by the Supporting People programme, run by Staffordshire County Council, but a meeting last week decided that they will be left without the cash from the beginning of October.

Natice Duncan, one of the residents who is leading a campaign to save the home, said people across the four homes affected, which also includes Cannock and Stafford, have been left devastated by the news and fearing for the future.

She told The Advertiser: “The news has proved as devastating as expected and across the four houses are left a lot of worried sufferers and staff about the future of our recoveries.

“I’m led to believe there’s a scrutiny meeting to be held later this month by professionals to question the people who have made the decision so we’re still hoping that there’s enough fuss created to make them realise they can’t mess with people’s lives so heartlessly.”

With hope that the centre can still be saved, East Staffordshire mayor Ron Clarke has also revealed the Labour group has called the decision to pull the funding in with the hope of making the council change its mind.

Councillor Clarke said: “I am very concerned because again we seem to be taking one step forward and two steps back.

“I have only been an advocate for mental health for two or three years with Matt Long and we have tried to find a place of safety for people with mental health problems in East Staffordshire.

“We were hoping to make some progress but it begs the question as to where these people are going to go.

“There are concerns across the Labour group and we will be challenging this and calling the decision in. We should be dealing with people in a fair and adequate manner.

“These short term savings will lead to long term costs. If we do not care for these people it will become very problematic in the long term. I think they are missing a trick here.”

Uttoxeter MP Andrew Griffiths revealed last week that he has also written to the council leader Philip Atkins and chief executive Nick Bell in a bid to stop them cutting ‘a hugely important service’ and save Bradley Court.

He said: “I am urging the council to look again over the decision at Bradley Court and consider how else they can make the savings in order to protect an important service.”

However, Alan White, the authority’s cabinet member for care, said the affected charities will not be left out in the cold and they will be working with them to find other funding options available.

He said: “As a council we want to provide an integrated, joined-up network of support that helps residents across the whole county and this year we will continue with partners to spend more than £100 million on mental health issues alone.

“It is important that we invest what resources we have in the most co-ordinated, targeted and effective way to help people lead independent lives and crucially protect the more vulnerable where there is no other support available.

“The Supporting People programme considers applications from both local and national organisations to help towards providing support and with around 200 historic contracts there was always going to be duplication and overlap in some areas.

“We are now working with organisations affected by the review to explore further funding options and alternative sources of support for residents where necessary.”

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