The visit included talking with luncheon club users about how they have managed to keep the Tuesday club going despite the complete cut in funding by the Labour Council last year. Whilst the club is now run by volunteers, it no longer provides hot meals or personal or medical help due to the lack of permanent staff. Uncertainty remains as to whether the current service will be able to keep going without more help.
Local Liberal Democrats have recently unearthed £1.5million that has been left unspent in the Council’s Older People’s Budget this year. This has raised serious questions as to why drop-in centres, day centres and luncheon clubs (like those in Woodside House) have closed if funding is still available. Only two of Hornsey and Wood Green’s four luncheon clubs have managed to stay open, leaving many older people in the borough without this essential lifeline.
Lynne Featherstone MP comments:
“I am so impressed with these local heroes who have soldiered on to keep the Woodside luncheon club open, despite the loss of funding last year. But it’s been tough for them, they are now running a much reduced service and the future of the club is uncertain without cash to keep it going.
“Luncheon clubs are cheap to run, but give so much back, both to the individual and society at large. A little would go such a long way, and Haringey’s older people deserve to get their luncheon clubs back.”
Liberal Democrat Adult Social Services spokesperson Councillor David Winskill adds:
“It’s frankly appalling that the Labour Council has cut so fast and deep that £1.5million for older people’s services remain unspent this year. The money could have gone to keep luncheon clubs in the borough open. It’s clear from speaking to club users here today, that this service is loved and treasured, and sometimes the only opportunity some older people have to get out and meet other people.
“I am urging this Labour Council to put some money back into services that were cut last year to help support this very vulnerable group. The luncheon clubs are too important for Haringey’s older people and I hope that Labour Councillors will agree to my suggestions.”