Newport day centre suffers final blow

USERS of an under-threat Newport day centre were dealt a final blow yesterday as councillors agreed to close it as part of plans to transform day services for vulnerable and older people in the city.

More than 100 users of the popular Ladyhill Day Centre in Alway will be transferred to other centres after councillors agreed the plans at a cabinet meeting.

Head of social services, Stewart Greenwell, told members a review carried out in 2006 identified a need to provide better activities for older people and current proposals sought to address that.

He said consultations were carried out with all Ladyhill users and staff and the council had received positive feedback about the alternative sites on offer.

Of the 113 vulnerable, elderly and disabled people who use the centre, 71 will go to one of four Linc Cymru extra care centres in Newport with 24 people going to either Hillside or Spring Gardens care centres.

Four will go to Kensington Court Day Centre and the remaining 14 people will join day activities at Parklands residential home.

Plans to close the centre were announced as part of proposals to save £200,000 earlier this year because the council said the building was not fit for purpose.

Mr Greenwell said Ladyhill needed £1 million of repairs and even if it remained open users would have to go elsewhere while work was carried out.

Cllr David Hando welcomed the opportunity to provide better services for people and said it would stop the council wasting money on a building not fit for purpose.

Council leader Matthew Evans said it was always the council’s aim to provide better services for its people and said staff would do all they could to maintain friendship groups created at the centre.

Future plans for the site include building eight homes for older people and young people with learning difficulties.

The council has already talked to developers including Seren, Fairlake Properties, Linc Cymru and Abbeyfield Cymru Ltd.

Councillors agreed to offer Ladyhill services elsewhere on the condition the council continues to consult with the Deaf Club to find an alternative site.