Protesters gather over plans to close five Slough day centres

Protesters gathered outside Slough Borough Council’s headquarters this week to rally against plans to close five day centres in the borough.

Priors Day Service, Phoenix Day Service and The Pines Day Service, Lavender Court and Respond are among the facilities which will be shut to help save the council £1.1 million.

The closure of the day centres, which are used by residents with learning disabilities and autism, is also expected to lead to redundancies for care staff.

One employee, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Express at Tuesday’s protest: “It makes you feel totally gutted that people who need people cannot meet up now.

“It’s a simple social thing that everyone should have. It’s a basic human right to be social.”

A public petition attracted more than 800 signatures opposing the closure of the vital services.

Langley resident Charmain Turner said her aunty has relied on the day centre facilities for decades and said the move will be like separating a family.

She said: “Slough Borough Council made themselves bankrupt, the community didn’t. What they’ve done is hit the people who have no voice, the most vulnerable in our community.

“It’s outrageous.”

Marc Gadbsy, associate director of adult social care operations at the council, told a council meeting in September that the local authority believed the day centre services did not have to be directly delivered by the council and could be tailored to meet each person’s needs.

Amerdeep Bansal, who uses the recently renovated Priors Day Service, added: “I want the day centre to open because I’ve got nowhere to go and I want to do something with everyone.”

Slough Borough Council said it had no further comment to make.

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