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Bexley: Families appeal cuts for adults with learning disabilities

PUBLISHED: 14:49 14 July 2011 | UPDATED: 15:23 14 July 2011

Malcolm and his son Ian

Malcolm and his son Ian

Archant

Families are appealing against a decision to reduce the number of days their adult children with learning disabilities can attend day centres across the borough.

In a bid to save money, council officers assessed residents and thier children’s needs earlier this year.

John Stanton, 73, from Welling, led a campaign to stop changes to centres going ahead.

He is a carer for his 31-year-old son who has the brain condition Microcephaly and is partially sighted. He has been told his three-and-a-half days at the Carlton day centre, in Sidcup, will be reduced to three days and is appealing this decision.

He said: “It’s an anxious time. It might seem to some people that it’s only half a day but it makes a big difference to us and our son who is used to a regular routine which if affected will be severely disrupted. Our concerns have been listened to but none of that would have happened without our campaign. We are hopeful that things will work out OK.”

Malcolm Kirkup, 80, of Beechcroft Avenue, Barnehurst, was told in March that his son Ian, who is partly autistic, would face a reduction of two days at the Smerdon centre in Belvedere.

Mr Kirkup, who is also appealing the decision, said: “They are leaving us in limbo and they haven’t said roughly when the change will be implemented. He’s still going five days a week but we don’t know when this will change.

“This will impact on our son, he looks forward to going there everyday and he sees it as if he is going to work.”

A spokesman from the council said: “If an individual has made an appeal about the changes we have made to their care package, then no change will be made to it until we have carried out another review of their circumstances to make absolutely sure we have all the right information to help us with our decision.

“When we have completed that review, we will make a final decision about their care package and discuss the outcome.”

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