New centre not going ahead

THERE will be no new build centre for users of Cardigan's Canolfan Meugan.

Instead people who attend the service for people with learning disabilities will continue to share facilities with the elderly at Yr Hafod Day Centre.

But this week's Ceredigion Cabinet agreed that a further report will be made into the cost of creating extra space at the site.

Plans for a £475k new centre - first mooted nearly two years ago - have been scrapped due to massive £20m budget cuts that the council has to make over the next three years.

Service manager Carys James said it could be an opportunity for the council to look at how it provides services for the learning disabled in the county, pointing out that a recent social services inspectorate said the service was not sustainable for the future.

"The wishes of young people coming into our service are quite different to what they were," she said.

"They want jobs, they want relationships, they do not see themselves as a group using a centre. They want to live their lives to the full."

She added that the council might want to look at providing job opportunities through social enterprise projects and independent living accommodation.

"We in Ceredigion must create a service that's fit for purpose in 20 years time."

Social services scrutiny chairman Cllr Alun Lloyd Jones said: "It is time for us to look with fresh eyes at how we provide a care service for this county."

Councillors heard that the two groups of users were getting on well and that staff co-operated well.

Local member Cllr John Adams-Lewis said he was disappointed that the new centre was not going ahead.

"What is it going to cost to extend the Hafod?" he asked.

Fellow Cardigan member Cllr Mark Cole also expressed worries that Yr Hafod would not be big enough for both groups.

And he called for extra time to look at all the factors involved.

"We need to look at the cost of extending Yr Hafod and the cost of a new build and compare them like for like," he said.

Cabinet agreed to the multi use of Yr Hafod and also asked for a report on reorganising space and restructuring internally.

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