Tandridge District Council has once again reinforced its statement that, at present, no decision has been made to close the Douglas Brunton Day Centre in Caterham.
Rumours of the closure of the centre and its demolition to make way for housing have been circulating for some time now and members and user of the centre and its facilities have raise a petition and letters of protest to the Council.
And Councillor Elizabeth Parker, vice chairman of the Council’s Housing Committee met a delegation of the users – they were accompanied by Caterham on the Hill Parish Council chairman Jeremy Webster – and accepted their letters.
The Housing Committee is looking at the option of leasing a large part of the Douglas Brunton Centre (DBC) to St Catherine’s Hospice and on Friday, August 31, councillors and officers will visit the DBC during the busy lunchtime period and spend time with users of the centre to listen to members and help answer some of these questions.
In a statement issued after the delegation visited the Council says: “ The Housing Committee’s decision is part of the Council’s commitment to find ways of continuing to provide valued services in a more sustainable way. Figures for the DBC show the numbers of people benefitting from services provided at the centre has steadily declined, while running costs continue to rise. It costs the Council around £250,000 a year to run the centre.
If part of the building is leased to the hospice, we will look at options for how services can be provided in the Centre and out in the community. As part of this process, the Council will work with local groups which organise lunch clubs, exercise and arts and crafts groups, to find out what’s currently available locally.
“We will explore opportunities to maximise partnership working and provide more joined up public services to benefit all older people, including those which do not currently use the centre.
“There are no plans for inpatient facilities to be provided by St Catherine’s Hospice and no plans to convert the centre to solely office use or homes.
“The Council is working closely with St Catherine’s Hospice, the Tandridge Health and Wellbeing Board and Caterham on the Hill Parish Council.”
Photo kevin black