A TOWN action group has said it is ‘extremely disappointed’ that a day centre for the elderly in Uttoxeter is set to close later this month.
The Advertiser revealed last month that the Steeple View Day Centre, which caters for elderly people and adults with disabilities, was to close by no later than March 31.
The facility in George Elliot Close, which costs around £100,000 to run, will be transferred back to Trent and Dove Housing Association from Staffordshire County Council, for communal use by the residents of Highwood Court.
The Uttoxeter Community Action Group will now write to the county council to get answers on where users of Steeple View can go once the centre closes and what alternatives are available.
Vice chairman Jerry Latham told a meeting of the group: “I’m extremely disappointed to see the county council has given up on Steeple View Day Centre.
“My reaction is where are these people going to be able to go now in Uttoxeter?
“There does not seem to be any plan for replacing these services. I am sad it is about to go and I hope there is an alternative.
“The need is increasing and we need a facility for people who live on their own.
“There are potential facilities in Uttoxeter, like the town hall and the heath centre, where a day centre could be held.”
A member of the group Alan Cunnington, who has worked for the centre in the past, said a big worry for users finding alternatives would be transport.
He said: “Transport will be the big question mark. The day centre also covered a big area with people from places like Draycott-in-the-Clay, Denstone and Mayfield going to it.
“I have also had people say to me that if it was not for the day centre they would not see anyone.
“It just seems odd because they spent so much money converting that house.”
Chairman of the action group Rupert Hill added that a day centre facility may be something that the lottery-funded Big Local project being run in the town could consider.
In its published decision on the future of Steeple View, a report approved by the county council’s cabinet member for adults’ wellbeing, councillor Liz Staples, said there was a ‘growing range of day care opportunities’ within East Staffordshire.
Alternative options talked about by the county council in the report included Age UK (South Staffs) in Holly Road, which it said ‘provides day opportunity and includes transport costs where eligible’.
The report says: “(Age UK) has approximately 25 places per day.
“The county council has an existing contract for the provision of 15 spaces for three days per week for a service provided by Age UK (South Staffs).
“This is currently being transformed to a direct payment model.
“In addition to this, Age UK have the capacity to develop further their services within Uttoxeter to accommodate additional demand.”
Other alternatives considered included the Chrysalis Day Centre in Abbots Bromley, Sherratts Wood Care Farm in Leigh and the support and day opportunities that exist at several residential and nursing care homes within the Uttoxeter area.