Contact the Bridport News with your stories, pictures and video footage. Send us an email
Answers demanded over future of adult social care
A county council team planning the future of adult social care in Bridport faced tough questions from local people.
At a public meeting to launch a consultation period on options for future services and facilities, an audience of more than 50 people demanded answers.
Future availability of beds for people with advanced dementia and why proceeds from the sale of county assets would not all go towards local services were top of the list.
The council is encouraging the public to get involved and help shape the plans for a £4.7m investment in local services, including 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, which would see the county selling off many of its buildings, include a new purpose-built community hub for day services, and the possible replacement of the services provided by the local authority-run Sidney Gale care home.
Coun Jill Haynes, cabinet member for adult social care, told the audience at the town hall that the council had a lot of properties in the town.
“But not all of them are in the prime of life any more,” she added. “Many are old and not really fit for purpose.
“We want the community to take part in this and to take ownership. After all, this is where you and I are probably going to end up. We have a commitment to make something really good here.”
Head of commissioning Alison Waller said the biggest demand in the next 20 to 30 years would be very frail elderly people with a significant requirement for dementia support.
Maureen Jackson, chairman of the Bridport Local Area Partnership (BLAP), told the county representatives that without ‘joined up’ thinking between local authorities and local plans, the plans would be ‘hellbent for disaster’.
Bridport county, district and town councillor Ros Kayes said afterwards: “The issue that came up again and again is why, if the county council intends to eventually sell the Sidney Gale site, they don’t intend for the proceeds to be used to provide services within Bridport. I think it’s a question that needs to be answered.
“My understanding is that the site was given in trust for a use that was beneficial to the community.
“£4.7million to build new day service units is great but any diminution of residential care services here will not be acceptable to the community, and there is a lot of concern that we actually need more beds to cater for the proportion of future sufferers from dementia.
“I don’t think there’s any justification for cashing in on that site unless we get the facilities we want and need here and I really urge people to make their views known.”
Comments are closed on this article.