Elderly day centre under threat

PUBLISHED: 18:44 02 August 2006 | UPDATED: 09:40 24 May 2010

A DAY centre which has been a lifeline for disabled and housebound pensioners in Portishead for almost 30 years could be forced to find new premises. Every week since 1977, volunteers have been welcoming up to 36 elderly people to the Jubilee Hall, in Sla

A DAY centre which has been a lifeline for disabled and housebound pensioners in Portishead for almost 30 years could be forced to find new premises.Every week since 1977, volunteers have been welcoming up to 36 elderly people to the Jubilee Hall, in Slade Road, on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10am-2.30pm.The building was owned by North Somerset Council until February when it was included in the transfer of properties, when responsibility for local authority homes was handed over to North Somerset Housing.Experts have recently surveyed the building and trustees have been told 'a lot of money' needs to be spent on it.But Brain Hickery, the treasurer of the committee which runs the day centre, says if it had to close, it would be 'disastrous'.Mr Hickery added: "The day centre is due to celebrate its 30th anniversary next year."A lot of the people who come to the day centre are in wheelchairs, need transport to get there, and it's the only time in the week they get out."Most of them are in their 90s."There are other halls in the town but their rents are very expensive in comparison."We rely entirely on donations and grants, and taking the elderly people on one trip costs £350, so every penny counts."A spokesman for North Housing said: "We are currently reviewing the future of the building and we are in discussions with its current users."No decisions have been made as yet, but the building is in a poor condition and we have health and safety concerns."District councillor Andy Wright said: "When we voted for the housing transfer, we were not aware that the Jubilee Day Centre building was one of those being transferred."Cllr Wright and fellow councillor John H Clark are calling for an investigation into why the day centre was included in the housing stock transfer and want the authority's scrutiny panel to examine how the decision was reached.

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