Care Chief Quits In Row

A Boss at a cerebral palsy treatment centre backed by Catherine Zeta Jones has walked out over planned job cuts, according to people who use the centre.

It is claimed Denise Lucas, director of Longfields Association, in West Cross, left the site on Monday in protest at the proposals and has not been seen since.

Trustees at the facility are refusing to confirm or deny the claims, saying the matter was confidential.

However they have stressed that the director is still employed at the unit, which has the Swansea-born Hollywood actress as its patron.

The plan to reduce the 25-strong workforce by cutting five posts is part of a drive to save £70,000 to balance the books before the end of the financial year in April.

Arthur Davies, aged 69, of Broadmead in Dunvant, whose wheelchair-bound daughter Kelly, aged 37, has received care at the centre for 20 years, said he had been told by Longfields staff that the director walked out at the start of the week.

Mr Davies said: “I don’t think the director, Denise Lucas, could face the staff anymore and she walked out on Monday.

“I do not think she has gone back, as far as I know she has gone.”

Mr Davies is appealing for help to bail out the service.

He said: “It’s a charity – why can’t someone bail them out?

“The Assembly gave money for the refurbishment of a church in Swansea, surely people cared for here can be given the money as well.”

Cutbacks in the administration, kitchen, and also in transport services are on the cards. Centre bosses said they have tried to win extra cash, but none is available and so cuts are inevitable.

Longfields trustee Peter Douglas-Jones said: “The whole thing is being conducted in an orderly fashion,” said Longfields trustee Peter Douglas-Jones.

“Of course, there are people who are distressed that we are going to have to cut back money – I am on good terms with Denise Lucas, she is still employed by Longfields.”

Swansea Council has pledged to support the service as much as possible.

Although it uses the centre it has no direct involvement in its day-to-day running.

Mr Douglas-Jones said the relationship between the centre and the council was good and he insists the service still has a future.