Two day-care centres to close in Wealden

Phoenix Centre, Lewes
Phoenix Centre, Lewes

Plans to close two day care centres for older people in Wealden have been approved by East Sussex County councillors.

The Orion Centre in Hailsham and Hookstead Centre in Crowborough will close after councillors agreed keeping them open was not ‘sustainable.’

The decision was made at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday (December 10). The council’s adult social care department needs to reduce its budget by £27.8million over the next three years. It placed six centres in the county under review to consider options for the future ofservices. The Phoenix Centre in Lewes will remain open and continue to be run by the council until a voluntary or community sector provider is appointed.

The council said in the areas where centres are closing, people can use day services from other providers, while the council will also be investing in new services.

Cllr Bill Bentley, county council lead member for adult social care, said: “These were not easy decisions to make and we totally understand the strength of feeling on this issue and how highly valued these centres are, but the current system is simply not sustainable.

“More and more older people are exercising their right to choose how their support is provided, meaning that numbers attending traditional day centres are falling and therefore costs are increasing. Working with the voluntary, community and independent sector means older people will continue to receive the same level of support but at less cost, allowing us to avoid unnecessary cuts to services which we would otherwise have had to make.

“This is not just about saving money – it’s about making sure a quality service is available in the long-term.”