Day care services call-in defeated

DAY care services for the elderly in Suffolk will be run by the private sector and charities after a move to halt the plans failed.At a meeting held yesterday at Endeavour House, Ipswich, county councillors decided against reviewing the decision by a majority of 37 to 24.

DAY care services for the elderly in Suffolk will be run by the private sector and charities after a move to halt the plans failed.

At a meeting held yesterday at Endeavour House, Ipswich, county councillors decided against reviewing the decision by a majority of 37 to 24.

The Liberal Democrats and Independent Group had wanted a call-in after they failed to receive assurances from the Conservative-run authority on finances.

The parties had lobbied Graham Newman, Conservative portfolio holder for adult care, with their concerns, prompting the further debate.


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But, at yesterday's full council meeting, councillors voted against extra scrutiny of the plans, giving them the green light to go ahead.

Afterwards, Mr Newman said: “We can now get on with getting the details finalised and I'm delighted we've got the go-ahead.

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“We've lost a couple of months because of this and now we need to get on with it. No one is going to lose their day care service as a result of this and that's the main thing.”

The decision will see the withdrawal of council-organised activities and meals at its residential homes.

Instead, the council will seek a private-sector partner to organise the services, with the county council buying lunch club places for non-residents.

The move signals the end of the council directly providing care for older people, with the regime to be phased out over a 15-month period.

Currently, the Suffolk authority provides nearly 2,000 day care sessions a week.

The council buys half the care from 80 independent providers and the other half in its own 14 day centres.

mark.bulstrode@eadt.co.uk

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