Falkirk Council make consultation pledge

Families concerned about the future of The Rowans complained about the lack of consultation

Families concerned about the future of The Rowans complained about the lack of consultation

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Any future decisions on ways to cut spending on adult social care will be subject to full consultation with the people involved.

Falkirk Council came under fire last year when it announced controversial plans to close The Rowans short break facility to save £100,000 a year.

The news sparked fury, with relatives of the adults with learning needs using the bungalow in Larbert claiming the move had been made without them being asked what they thought.

The council eventually agreed to scrap the idea and find the money from elsewhere in the social work budget to keep the service operating.

A report on how the ‘PR exercise’ had been handled, prepared for the council’s scrutiny committee, was referred to the executive last week.

Councillor Cecil Meiklejohn said the consultation with families who would have been affected had been poor – and given assurances the ‘mistakes’ would not be repeated.

Leader of the administration, Councillor Craig Martin said: “We put new procedures in place last August and these, along with the terms of the Community Empowerment Bill, will ensure the lessons have been learned.”

Councillor David Alexander said: “It is right the administration has learned from the mistakes it made.” His SNP colleague Councillor Tom Coleman added: “The Rowans is a service heavily used and the attempt at consultation did not work. All in all it was a bit of a botched exercise.”