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Respite home petition reaches 2,250 names
CONCERNED relatives are voicing their anger over moves which could see the closure of a home offering care for disabled children.
Lavender House, in Stanway, provides overnight respite care for young people with disabilities.
However, Essex County Council is looking into closing the home and the consultation into the move ends on Monday.
The council says Lavender House, and a second home in Harlow, are not running at capacity and could close if alternative proposals, including increased use of foster carers, are deemed suitable.
A petition was set up against the closure plans and now has more than 2,250 signatures.
It was started by Stacey Thompson, 28, from Highwoods, whose son, Oliver, has been on the waiting list for Lavender House for three years.
Gary Smith, headteacher at the special needs Market Field School, in Elmstead Market, and disability charity Mencap have also spoken out against the possible closure.
Dick Madden, county councillor for children and families, has previously told the Gazette the home would not close unless alternative services were “fit for purpose”, and urged everyone with an interest in respite care for disabled children to have their say on the consultation.
He added: “This consultation is not about stopping provision, it is about responding to the changing wishes and needs of children and their parents and understanding how they want to receive overnight short break support.
“It is vital to stress at this stage we are purely consulting on options. Should any changes be made as a result of the consultation these will be delivered in a timely, sensitive way, with the full involvement of parents and young people.
“Service improvement will be delivered over time and no family will be left without a service.”
The home, which was used by 100 children last year, employs 42 people but it is not yet known what would happen to its staff should Lavender House close.
There are no specific cost saving targets associated with the consultation but the county council needs to make overall savings of £235million over the next three years.
- To take part in the consultation visit essexinsight. org.uk and to sign the petition search change.org for Lavender House.
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