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Campaigners and David Lammy want u-turn on Haringey Council day centre closure plan
A TOTTENHAM politician has hit out at Haringey Council over plans to close day centres for older people because of Government cuts.
Plans to close three centres and merge two others are being considered by councillors as they try to make savings of £46million by March next year after the Government slashed the council budget.
The groups - at Woodside in White Hart Lane, Six8Four in High Road, and Haven in Waltheof Gardens – would be axed by April 2012, while services at Grange in White Hart Lane and Haynes in Park Road would be merged at one of the sites.
But Tottenham MP David Lammy told elderly and disabled users of the centres at a public meeting yesterday that closing the services was “unacceptable”.
He said: “These services protect the most vulnerable people in our community – people who are suffering with different health issues.
“Visiting these centres I've picked up concern that we've come to the end of a consultation process that will ultimately close our day centres – that is unacceptable.
“We have to make clear to David Cameron that £80 million of cuts to Haringey Council is also unacceptable, but also to those who make these decisions in the council that these services are valued and needed.”
Mr Lammy added that he would raise the issue in parliament in September to make sure that residents' voices were heard, as well as meeting Haringey Council leader Claire Kober to press for a u-turn on the proposals.
More than 100 people met in Haringey Irish Centre to listen to the speech, including Joye Manyan, whose husband attends the Grange Day Centre to help with his advanced dementia.
She said: “When he goes to the day centre the quality of care he receives lets me relax – if they close it I will end up in hospital with stress.
“If they go ahead with this plan there won't be anything left on this side of the borough and it would mean a 45 minute car journey to Muswell Hill.”
Other campaigners voiced concerns that the moving elderly people with severe dementia to new surroundings could have a severe impact on their mental health Consultation on the plans ended in April, and council officers are currently analysing responses before the cabinet makes a decision in October.
A separate decision on whether to close four residential homes for elderly people, as well as the Alexandra Road Crisis Unitfor people with short-term mental health issues will be taken on Tuesday.
Councillors have already voted through plans to close four drop-in centres, and two lunch clubs in a bid to cut costs.
The Haringey Independent is waiting for a response from Haringey Council.