Saving Netherwood: a chink of light?

It’s a sign of the strength of feeling about keeping Netherwood Day Centre that it made it on to the ITV London Tonight Bulletin last night: ITV London Tonight, 1 Mar 2011

Here Adult Social Care Cabinet member Cllr Pat Callaghan confirms what Council Leader Cllr Nash Ali said at Full Council: that funding had been identified to keep Netherwood open until the end of September now.

We also hope the council will ‘mothball’ the building, recognising that, as a purpose-built centre, it would be impossible to replace should demand – as we expect – rise.

The ‘personalisation agenda’ of adult social services is key in both the short-term and long-term here.  People with care needs at certain levels are being given their own budgets for them and their carers to decide how to spend.  This means that more demand for services such as those provided by Netherwood will directly link to more money.

Jane (far right), Mike, Maryam and Thomas hands her petition on Netherwood into Cllr Pat Callaghan (on far left)

We know that our neighbouring boroughs don’t have places like Netherwood, so we’ve already started the process, with Cllr Callaghan, or making contact with their social services chiefs to see how they could direct users to Netherwood rather than spending money in less appropriate settings.

As I said when I spoke up for Netherwood at last Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting, and on Monday at Full Council, for once, being right on the Camden border could be a real strength, not a weakness, for Netherwood.

There’s been an excellent online and offline campaign organised by users, led by Jane Clinton, whose father uses Netherwood.  We three ward councillors joined Jane in the Mayor’s Parlour before the meeting on Monday night to hand in her massive petition – more than 1,100 names long on the night – to Cllr Callaghan.

If you haven’t signed the petition yet, or joined up to the Facebook group, or followed Jane and her campaign on Twitter, please do so now!




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