Parents Speak Out At Caernarfon Centre’s Closure

PARENTS of adults with learning disabilities fear the closure of a day centre could affect their children’s education.

Canolfan Segontium in Caernarfon caters for 23 adults but its owners, Gwynedd Council, believe the building is outdated.

Next week councillors will be asked to approve its closure next September.

If the centre closes jobs will be lost and the people who use the service sent to other organisations such as Antur Waunfawr, Menter Fachwen and Anheddau Cyf.

Parents accept the place is in need of refurbishment and a new building, on the site of an old school gym in Llanberis Road was suggested.

But the Welsh Assembly has told Gwynedd Council to make cuts and day care services in Arfon are expected to make efficiency savings of just £48,500.

Cheryl Williams of Bethesda, whose sister Sharon, 49, has been attending the centre for more than 30 years said: “Gwynedd Council are targetting the vulnerable and are ignoring the knock-on effect on them and their families. It is totally different to what they were offering us seven months ago when a new building was being suggested.”

William Parry Williams, from Tregarth, whose daughter Rhian, 37, has also been going to the centre since she was 18, added: “They seem to have forgotten the adults. We shouldn’t be looking for a building at this late hour. We have to speak on our children’s behalf and at the moment, we are not happy.”

Elizabeth Pitt, from Llanberis, whose daughters Linda, 33, and Janet, 32, attend Segontium, fears that if option two is chosen, her daughters could be separated.

She said: “They have gone to Segontium since they were 18 and I would rather they stay with the same staff, that is very important.”

Tom Moore of Bangor, whose daughter Audrey, 49, attends the centre said: “The staff at Segontium know the people who use the centre very well indeed, many of them have been there for years. The council should be providing this service.

“They are determined to withdraw facilities despite the fact that they freely admit that the number of persons with this type of disability is predicted to increase in the foreseeable future.”

Ann Lloyd Jones, senior manager for adult services at Gwynedd Council, said: “The needs of individual service users will be central to the process of commissioning and developing new services for the future.

“By making the best use of all the resources that are available to us, we will be looking to match the needs of the individual to the service or services that best meet these needs and will be offering a wide range of choice and opportunities for all service users.

“If the decision to move ahead to close Segontium is taken by the Council Board a full consultation process with families and service users will begin.

“As part of this process, we intend to organise an open day to ensure that families are provided with as much information as possible.” The board meet to discuss the matter on February 19.