Larbert respite centre ‘too good to lose’

Linda Aitken, who has concerns respite service may be axed, and daughter Emma Chalmers Picture: Michael Gillen (142104)

Linda Aitken, who has concerns respite service may be axed, and daughter Emma Chalmers Picture: Michael Gillen (142104)

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A mum is urging councillors not to rush to close a respite service as part of cash-saving plans.

Falkirk Council has already warned that “painful” cuts will have to be made if it is to balance its budget in the coming year.

The stark warning came after the local authority revealed it needs to find £40 million of savings in the next three years.

Department chiefs have already been burning the midnight oil to come up with a list of potential money-savers – but elected members have admitted they know that whatever they decide to implement is going to affect the public.

However, the opportunity to save £100,000 over the next three years by closing The Rowans, a respite care service for adults in Larbert, would be the wrong move, according to Linda Aitken.

Her daughter Emma Chalmers (29) has been attending the facility for several years and her mum said its staff and the care they provide is invaluable.

Linda (50), of Rumford, said: “It took me a long time to let go enough to allow someone else to look after Emma. It’s not just about getting respite for your vulnerable young adult, child or an older person, it’s about having trust in the person who is providing that care.

“I hope councillors think carefully before going ahead with this proposal.”

A spokesman for Falkirk Council said: “A review into Rowan’s short-break service, which involved consultation with staff, service users, carers and other stakeholders, took place earlier this year and a follow-up report led to the option to close the unit being put forward to members.

“The council would commit to purchasing an equivalent number of places from third sector providers if the unit closed. However, this matter is to be consulted on further by members. No decisions have been taken at this stage.”