Local Liberal Democrats have expressed their frustration and disappointment after Labour reconfirmed yesterday their commitment to the closure of Haringey’s older people’s drop-in centres and luncheon clubs despite overwhelming opposition to the proposals from service users and local residents.
A special meeting of the Council’s cabinet was convened after Liberal Democrats forced a review of the decision to close older people’s drop-in centres and luncheon clubs which was heard by the Council’s ‘watchdog’ committee earlier in the week.
The Overview and Scrutiny committee agreed with Liberal Democrats that the drop-in centres and luncheon clubs provided a vital preventative service for older residents that the Council should protect.
However, the Labour cabinet ignored the recommendations of the committee and have now forced through the closures. Liberal Democrats, who have spearheaded the campaign against Labour’s cuts, have said that Labour’s decision is short-sighted and will result in older people becoming socially isolated.
Cllr David Winskill, Liberal Democrat Adult Social Services spokesperson, comments:
“Local residents and people who use the drop-in centres and luncheon clubs will be bitterly disappointed that, despite showing the Labour Council how much these services are used and depended upon, they have been ignored.
“We asked Labour to give more time to the voluntary sector to make arrangements to take over these centres and they refused even to do that.”
Lynne Featherstone, MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, added:
“Labour has used the veil of cuts in central government funding to hide their closure programme. They have tried to close these centres before and were forced to backtrack.
“This time they have forced through the closures without giving thought to the long-term costs to local older people who will become socially excluded and vulnerable as a result of this decision.”