Devastating effect on all the users

THE article featured in last week's issue on Ebdon Court has had a devastating affect on all the service users and families who use the wonderful facilities that are there.

THE article featured in last week's issue on Ebdon Court has had a devastating affect on all the service users and families who use the wonderful facilities that are there.

There was the decision by North Somerset Council to close the site in December 2004. After much pressure by the carers and their families, with the help of the local residents, over 3,000 signed a petition to keep the centre open.

In January 2005 the council decided to withdraw the closure and set up a working party, The Review Committee, to develop plans for the re-build of the site.

This was approved in 2006 and a smaller review committee was chosen to carry this forward and in March 2008 the selection of Housing 21 was chosen, with their assurances and confirmed by council staff who had investigated the financial side.


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The last we heard from Housing 21 was at the last open day October 2008. After many enquiries we are unable to get any response, and the press office at Housing 21 said last Friday they could not comment and they knew of no plans for the development of Ebdon Court.

Housing 21 this year bought 53 sheltered housing flats at Summer Lane with a �4.63 million loan and �100,000 from the council as partners.

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They have also set up the office for the extra care in the community project at Summer Lane. This was part of the original plan for the development of Ebdon Court, so the council is aware as partner that this had been included with the Ebdon Court development.

It is now very doubtful if Housing 21 will continue with the development of Ebdon Court. The last explanations we were told was because of the financial climate and the non agreement of TUPE of Staff, this after assurances by Housing 21 that they had large experience of transfer of staff.

This land was gifted to Weston by ex-mayor Ken Thomas in the 1970s with the adjoining land for the school.

This land belongs to the residents of Weston. This development at Ebdon Court cannot be surpassed anywhere in North Somerset.

It is the only development that someone suffering with dementia can use during their journey through dementia with the same staff looking after them until the end.

There is the luncheon clubs run by Brunel Care twice a week, Severn Day Centre open six days a week, respite for three people in Poppyfields every week to give carers a break, 15 permanent residents at Poppyfields, Birnbeck Day Centre for functional dementia service users open five days a week for 12 people and Alzheimer's Society have the use of two offices seven days a week. Many organisations use the buildings in the evening for meetings etc.

This is all free for these organisations who the council support, and if the centre closes these will have to be relocated elsewhere, but at the moment these costs are included in the running of Ebdon Court and therefore make the running costs of Ebdon Court with a higher figure than it should be.

There should be a contra figure in the final accounts to reduce the costings for Ebdon Court. It would bring them more in line with outside care facilities and then maybe the council would see the true costings of keeping this magical centre open.

Please the residents of Weston get behind us and help save this very valuable centre, the only one in North Somerset.

PEARL COLLMAN

New Bristol Road

Weston

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