Supporters are claiming victory for an Observer campaign to protect respite services for disabled people. It comes after council bosses confirmed that a new state-of-the-art centre will be built in East Lancashire.
Supporters are claiming victory for an Observer campaign to protect respite services for disabled people.
It comes after council bosses confirmed that a new state-of-the-art centre will be built in East Lancashire.
The site of the new centre has not been revealed, but it is understood Hyndburn is a preferred location and that it could even be built on the current site of Hargreaves House in Oswaldtwistle.
The Observer launched a campaign to save facilities at the Oswaldtwistle centre which provides vital support to families of people with disabilities, after it was revealed that it could close last year.
Mum Pamela McCullagh said the decision vindicated the Observer campaign.
She said: "People power has worked. The public and the Observer have been incredibly supportive of the entire campaign. It’s fantastic news.
"We started with being told the services were being axed so we are thrilled about plans for the new state-of-the art centre."
Pamela, 37, has been attending regular stakeholder meetings with other parents and LCC, and said she showed them every Observer article about the campaign to show the public’s support.
She said: "All of the other parents groups have seen the Observer’s stories and what we have all done to keep this campaign going.
"They are telling me that it is because of the public’s response we have got to where we are."
It is hoped the new centre will cater for a range of services including respite, day care, short-term breaks and general support for families, although the details of what will be included are still being finalised.
Pamela, of Burnley Road, Accrington, and the stakeholders have toured other facilities in the north west to see what types of services can be provided in a one-stop care centre.
They have been told in some cases building new centres may be more cost effective than improving older buildings like Hargreaves House.
Pamela said seeing the centres has made her see the need to improve facilities in Lancashire.
She added: "It’s time to bring special needs centres up to scratch. It’s been a long road and it’s not over yet.
"We have asked the council for a centre in East Lancashire and they haven’t told us how much or what we will get, but we are going to get something."
The county council announced it was considering closing the centre as part of £179 million of cost savings measures.
The council is now working with carers on some plans to improve its care services county-wide.