Press

West Lothian Conservative Councillors Reject Proposed Closure of Ability Centre and Eliburn Support Services in Livingston

News Release from Miles Briggs:

West Lothian Conservative Councillors Reject Proposed Closure of Ability Centre and Eliburn Support Services in Livingston

The proposed closing the Ability Centre and Eliburn Support Services in Livingston have been rejected by West Lothian Councillors. The proposed cuts would have been achieved by merging these two centres into Pathways in Livingston. The merger was expected to save £2.5 million[1].

Pathways primarily helps adults with learning disabilities but does also conduct some limited treatment of adults with physical/health care needs. Eliburn Support Services support adults (aged between 16 and 65 years) who have a significant learning disability and/or complex physical and health care needs. (47 adults per day). The Ability Centre in Livingstone helps adults (aged between 16 and 65) with a physical disability. (15 places per day).

A big potential problem noted by participants in the TYC Consultation is that the Pathways centre is not adequately designed to help adults with physical problems that would need to use the centre after the Eliburn Support Services close. 

In late October 2017, a petition was created to stop the closure of the Ability Centre[2].

Miles Briggs Comments:

“I am very pleased to hear that our Conservative Councillors have rejected this proposed cuts to Eliburn Support Services and the Ability Centre in Livingston”

“It is clear that these cuts would not have been in the best interests of the patients who use these services and I commend our Councillors for their stance against the closures.

“I am confident that our Councillors will effectively prioritise key services to ensure that there are minimal disruptions in West Lothian.”

Damian Timson, Leader of the Conservative Group on West Lothian Council stated:

“The West Lothian Council Conservative Group are pleased to see that the minority Labour Group have listened to the responses in the Transforming Your Council Consultation.

“In particular we are delighted that the following cuts to services have now been avoided:

Ability centres, Local Bus subsidies and instrumental music lessons.  These three areas were unacceptable to the Conservative Group and no budget would have passed with our approval had these cutes been included.”

“All parties on West Lothian accepted that these cuts were being forced onto Councils by the reduction in funding from the SNP Scottish Government.

“The Conservative Group will continue to ensure that the impact to the residents of West Lothian is kept to a minimum despite the loss of £65.3 million over the next 5 years to West Lothian Council from the Scottish Government”.

END….

[1] Daily Record - Outrage as West Lothian Council proposes to close two support centres to cut costs: https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/local-news/outrage-west-lothian-council-proposes-11411631

[2] Stop the Ability Centre in Deans Livingston from closing – Petition: https://www.change.org/p/west-lothian-council-stop-the-ability-centre-in-livingston-from-closing

 

Miles Briggs