Salford Council has now officially declared Ordsall's Humphrey Booth Day Care Centre "surplus to requirements", following a decision last week by Salford's Deputy Mayor, Councillor David Lancaster, to request "The Trustees of Booth's Charities' to accept a surrender of its [Council's] leasehold interest in Humphrey Booth Ordsall Day Care Centre".
Last year saw a huge community campaign against potential closures of Salford's day care centres, of which one of the options was to shut Craig Hall in Irlam and Humphrey Booth in Ordsall, with the loss of 40 jobs and 200 service users `removed by reassessment'.
Following a public meeting of over 150 people, the Council was prompted to do a U-turn and postpone the closures (see here). However, last September the Salford Star reported from a social care scrutiny committee meeting that the closure of Humphrey Booth in Ordsall was still very much on the agenda (see here)
At that meeting, Councillor Jim King told the committee that the day service at the Humphrey Booth Centre in his ward, Broughton, was closed down and moved to Ordsall with an assurance that the provision would be maintained… "If we withdraw these services we haven't kept the promise that we've made."
At the meeting, despite the Council promising that it would "fully consider the views that came back from the 700+ people who participated in the consultation process" the results of the consultation were never mentioned. And haven't been mentioned since.
Now Salford Council seems to have merely consulted its own related staff and organisations. The decision notice to deem Humphrey Booth centre "surplus to requirements" states that "request for comments" were only sent to `Directorates, Ward Councillors, the Neighbourhood Manager, Area Co-ordinator and other public sector organisations, and the One Council Team'. Unsurprisingly, only `several responses were received', with most having `no adverse comments'.
Day care centres are one of the few places old and ill people can go to keep warm, get a hot meal and break the cycle of loneliness and depression. Salford Council's own presentation on its Adult Social Care service states quite boldly that "Being lonely is bad for your health…"
At last year's public meeting against day care centre closures, George Tapp, from Salford Pensioners Association, slated Salford Council for the cuts…
"Salford Council was the first council to open day care centres, it was proud of its achievement and now it wants to withdraw funding" he said "This Council is now killing Salford people…it's literally murder."