Day centre for disabled to close

A DAY CARE facility in Ravensthorpe for disabled people is to be closed after a unanimous vote by Kirklees Council’s Labour cabinet.  
Red Laithes Court in Red Laithes Lane, one of two such centres in Kirklees, will go due to the falling numbers of disabled people attending.
The other, in Huddersfield, is also earmarked for closure. It will save the council £368,000 a year in running costs.
A report debated by the Kirklees cabinet said disabled people are increasingly using mainstream services.
Only about 40 people attend either, down from 80 three years ago, with more than half of them aged over 65 or older.
The report stated that the number of disabled people getting a direct payment to ‘buy in’ their own day care has risen from 137 to 538 since 2008/09.
But the numbers choosing to use the ‘segregated’ day care service have carried on falling over the same period.
Director of Wellbeing Merran McRae said: “We consulted with a wide range of disabled people about what they would like to do during the day.
“They told us they want support to access employment, use community facilities like gyms and want direct payments to buy their own services."
Mirfield resident Bruce Illingworth, whose wife Christine has multiple sclerosis, told councillors: “She’s devastated. She’ll lose contact with all her friends.”

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