No deferral for Kemback Street centre consultation

Labour councillors have failed to have a fresh consultation with users of the closure-threatened Kemback Street centre deferred for a year.

Social work and health spokeswoman Helen Wright made the proposal at a meeting to discuss the way forward after the Care Inspectorate ruled that the first effort to consult with people with learning disabilities and their families had been inadequate.

She said: “It is important that the council gets this right. I am concerned that the Care Inspectorate have upheld a complaint against the council and that there is the prospect of legal action against the council.”

Her colleague Lesley Brennan said re-starting the process no earlier than February 2014 would provide “a period of calm” for service users and their families.

Ken Lynn, SNP administration social work and health convener, said he accepted the consultation had been inadequate and he was well aware of the upset that had been caused.

Liberal Democrat Fraser Macpherson said he supported the administration as it was important to react timeously to the Care Inspectorate’s “pretty damning” findings.

On a vote, the Labour proposal was rejected by 18 votes to 10.

The council’s intention was to close the day care centre and provide alternative, more personalised care. It will now keep Kemback Street open until the outcome of the new consultation is known.

A report on how this will be carried out will be presented to councillors on March 25.

Mr Lynn said the council would write to all service users to explain what was happening.