BRIDPORT residents will have another chance to make their views heard on the future shape of adult social care in the town.

Consultation is currently underway, and the next public meeting takes place at Bridport Town Hall on Thursday, January 30, from 6.30pm to 8pm.

Dorset County Council is keen to get people involved in shaping the plans for a £4.7m investment, including delivery of day services, care for older people and support for people to stay healthy and independent in the community for as long as possible.

The options include a new purpose-built community hub for day services, and possibilities for replacement buildings for Sidney Gale Care Home.

Coun Jill Haynes, Cabinet member for adult social care, said: “Adult social care is experiencing fundamental changes driven by rising expectations from people who use the services and an ageing population.

“Like all councils, we need to promote and support independence, and offer innovative community based support for people. Some of our existing services in Bridport are in out-dated facilities and do not always offer value for money.

“We need Bridport residents to tell us what they think of the options and discuss with us how they would like to see services delivered in the future. "The comments we receive will be reflected in any further plans and considered by county councillors before they make any decisions.”

The consultation is open until March 7 and members of the public can also go online and take part here or pick up a questionnaire at Bridport Town Council, the Tourist Information office, Bridport Library, The Fisherman’s Arms, Sidney Gale Home and Bridport Community Resource Centre on Flood Lane.

The options for Sidney Gale Care Home are based on the fact that the home is not fit for purpose in the long-term and it would not be financially viable to upgrade the building.

The options are

• Retaining the home for the next five to seven years, and meet increased demand by improving community services and look for dementia care in the private sector • Working with a strategic partner to provide a new purpose-built residential facility that incorporates dementia provision as well as nursing and respite provision.

• Working with a strategic partner to build a new extra care housing scheme with dementia units. This would enable people to live more independently and remove most of the need for residential care.

• Working with a strategic partner to provide a smaller residential care home as well as an extra care housing scheme.

Options for day services in Bridport include

• Building a fully accessible, multi-purpose community hub for all day services. This could provide more extensive services, information, support and advice, leisure and learning opportunities seven days a week along with office space for council staff.

• Building a multi-purpose community hub and looking to provide a separate unit for day services for older people.

• Working with one or several organisations to deliver adult social care services with a longer term view of developing a community hub. This may also include the option to develop a local authority trading company. This would be a separate business but owned by Dorset County Council, and would be able to trade, offering a wider range of services that could provide an income.