Wallasey Town Hall
A MERSEYSIDE council was accused of treating people with disabilities like dogs as it prepares to slash services to balance its budget.
Councillors in Wirral meet tonight to look at the future of services ranging from day care centres and youth clubs to children’s centres and reductions in parks and highways maintenance.
Cabinet members are making key decisions on money-saving proposals to plug a budget deficit of £39m in the coming year, as well as £38m of “one-off” costs.
Among the options is the closing of one of Wirral's main day care centres for adults with learning and physical disabilities – either Moreton, Heswall or Eastham Day Centre – to save £2million over three years. There are also plans to move mental health provision to one site and develop a social enterprise for day services.
Worried parents and relatives who attended a meeting at Moreton day centre on Friday said they were furious a council consultation on the cuts had asked for views on the service alongside a dog pound and bowling greens.
Ken Hopkins, from Moreton, whose son Geoff, 48, has attended Moreton day centre for 33 years, said: “We were asked to put our choices on whether we keep the dog pound and whether we support the council sponsoring Tranmere Rovers. They’re treating these people the same as the dogs in the pound – we’re being asked if it’s one or the other.”
“We really shouldn’t be here this evening – these cuts should not come to these people who have learning and physical difficulties.
“We should be here to say how lovely it is that we’re getting more money for better care.”