On Saturday I joined residents in Chiswick to highlight the threatened closure of Chiswick Day Centre in Bridge Street. At an event held at the Crown and Anchor pub on Chiswick High Road, round the corner from the Day Centre, I met with a number of residents who use the facilities currently offered by the Centre, as well as their families, carers and local volunteers.
The event was organised to show support for the threatened Day Centre by Laura Ware and Pauline Hart (who organises and runs Pensioners Alone At Christmas). It had a 1940's street party theme, including music performed by the "Swingtime Sweethearts." Residents enjoyed singing along to wartime favourites, as well as an old-fashioned "High Tea." The get-together gave me the opportunity to speak to local residents directly affected by the proposed closure and hear their concerns over what will happen in the future.
Many of my constituents have contacted me to share their grave concerns over the threatened closure of Chiswick Day Centre, while a number of local GPs have indicated that they are concerned that some vulnerable patients may not be catered for under the proposed new arrangements. The Centre is a vital local resource - not only for those who use it themselves, but for their families and carers, for whom the care offered at the Day Centre provides some much needed respite from caring for loved ones.
I am concerned that the closure of the Day Centre by Hounslow Council has not been properly considered and that the loss of this important part of the community will have a serious and detrimental impact on residents in my constituency.
The recent refurbishment of Chiswick Day Centre would indicate that the Council previously saw the value in maintaining the facilities at this location. If Chiswick Day Care Centre were to close, the nearest centre with comparable facilities will be in Heston - a long way to travel on a daily basis, particularly for the elderly and those without private means for transport.
Hounslow Council is consulting on this proposal until 30 April 2011.