Fears Bexhill and Hastings centres ‘could close’ as ESCC considers making cuts

The Isabel Blackman Centre, Hastings (File photo)
The Isabel Blackman Centre, Hastings (File photo)

Day centres for older people could be at risk of closing under proposed cuts, it is feared.

East Sussex County Council (ESCC) currently commissions and funds the Isabel Blackman Centre in Hastings, the Charter Centre in Bexhill and Phoenix Centre in Lewes.

The Charter Centre in Bexhill

The Charter Centre in Bexhill

But the authority said it plans to make £59,000 in savings from its budget for day services, which is part of its planned budget reduction for adult social care and health of nearly £10m for 2018/19.

At Tuesday’s full council, Lib Dem councillor Philip Daniel said the effect of cuts if agreed could ‘force the closure of these days centres’.

Carl Maynard, lead member for adult social care and health, said no decisions had been made, and it would come to cabinet in June.

Sussex Community Development Association (SCDA), which runs the centres, said in a statement that it was ‘very concerned about the budget constraints’.

It said: “SCDA is committed to running day services at our three centres in Bexhill, Hastings and Lewes and we can point to a successful track record in providing a modern and stimulating care service. Our service also provides much-needed respite for carers and we see this as a key element of all that we do.”

An ESCC spokesman said: “The council agreed to consult on the option of making savings of £59,000 from older people’s day services. Our initial work in reviewing Milton Grange has shown we need additional information to help us make a decision on how these savings might be found. Therefore, the review of services has now been extended to include the day service at Warwick House, as well as services at the Phoenix Centre, Isabel Blackman Centre and the Charter Centre, which the county council commissions and funds. As we are including these additional day services in the consultation, our priority is to inform clients, carers and staff. As the county council does not directly provide the other three day services, we agreed with the service provider that clients and carers be informed of the decision to include these services in the consultation and they and their families have until May 28 to take part.”

A public consultation meeting will be held at the Isabel Blackman Centre on April 10, 1.30-2.30pm and at the Charter Centre on April 11, 1.30-2.30pm.

To take part in the consultation click here.