The campaign follows visits last week to luncheon clubs and care homes in Haringey by leading Liberal Democrats. Lynne Featherstone MP and Stroud Green Councillor Katherine Reece on Friday 21st January listened to concerned luncheon club users at Abyssinia Court, one of the services threatened with closure. The Weston Park club-users are fighting to save their treasured service, which puts on activities like exercise classes, bingo and outings in the local area.
Cllr David Schmitz (Harringay ward) also visited users of Willoughby Road day centre in January 2011.
The Labour Council announced in December 2010 that the Haven and Grange Day Centres, Abyssinia Court, Willoughby Road, Woodside House and Irish Centre Drop-in centres as well as Jackson’s Lane Luncheon club would be cut to save £425,000, representing just 0.2% of the £182 million in central government funding the Council will receive next year.
To help to put pressure on the Labour Council to halt the closures, Liberal Democrats have today launched a petition. Local residents can back the campaign by going to the following site:
Lynne Featherstone MP comments:
“I understand that the Council need to make tough decisions following reductions in government funding, which takes Haringey’s share back to the 2007 grant level.
“But that does not mean it needs to make such drastic cuts to frontline services like luncheon clubs. Having spoken to many older people this weekend, I know how precious and treasured these services are.
“The Council needs to take a good hard look at its own backroom spending before cutting life lines like the Abyssinia luncheon club.”
Stroud Green Councillor Katherine Reece adds:
“For many elderly Stroud Green residents, the Abyssinia court luncheon club is a true lifesaver. It’s a place where they can meet other local residents, keep fit and have fun. For many of the club-users I spoke to on my visit, it’s the one time of the day when they get out of the house.
“Surely taking away this life-line, which gives amazing value for money, is madness, and risks having big knock-on effects to the local NHS. This is just not joined-up thinking.
“Please sign our petition and help support our campaign to halt these plans now!”