Lib Dems outside Eastway centre

Eastway closure decision reversed

I’m very pleased to report that after causing over 6 months' of worry that local dementia respite services would be cut - earlier this week Merton Labour’s Council bosses finally halted their plans to cut funding for Eastway dementia respite day care centre. 

Back in March Merton Labour included in their annual budget their plan to close Eastway which came as a shock to recipients of care at the centre and their families.

At the time local Lib Dem Councillors said there was absolutely no financial reason Eastway needed to be closed - as our budget amendment showed

We believe that playing with vulnerable people's lives is unforgivable.

Despite this, Labour Councillors rammed the measure through at the annual budget meeting. 

Local Lib Dems immediately started a campaign to save Eastway with a petition which collected hundreds of signatures from concerned Merton residents. We also encouraged affected families and local residents to submit responses to the subsequent consultation and asked searching questions of Council bosses at several meetings. You can read our consultation submission here.

When emailing Lib Dem Cllr Jenifer Gould on the news that Eastway has been saved from closure, Mrs H whose thoughts on the impact to her family we shared when the plan first came to light said in response to the news - 

We are so pleased that Merton have accepted that the Day Centre provision is an absolute life line for my family and many others. 

It has been a very worrying time for us, particularly for my mum who had been trying to come to terms with the possibility of having to look for a suitable care home. This reprieve allows her to keep my father in the family home for longer.

I’m sure this issue will come up again in the future, but we can only hope that Merton Council now has a better insight into the lives of Carer’s and how hard every day is.

We are very grateful that you and the other Merton Lib Dems supported this local service, and along with Paul Kohler’s previous success with the local police station you have gained our support at the next election!”

I’m pleased that Mrs H’s father and others will now be able to continue getting the local care they deserve. I and my Lib Dem colleagues will continue to keep a careful watch on how Labour run Merton Council delivers these essential services and ensure they keep to their promises in the future.

- Cllr Paul Kohler

9th July 2023

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