Netherwood saved!

Camden Cabinet agreed last week to the final proposals for a new Centre for Independent Living in Greenwood Place. In so doing , they agreed not to close Netherwood Day Centre in our ward.

This is a superb victory for users, their carers, and supporters of Netherwood. As Labour ward councillors, we’ve supported this campaign to save this important facility in Kilburn.

Kilburn cllrs Mike, Thomas and Maryam join Netherwood campaigner Jane Clinton (far right) as she hands her petition to Cllr Pat Callaghan (on far left) in March 2011

Regular readers of this blog will know what a dogged campaign users, carers and supporters have waged against plans to close it (see also here, and here).

As Labour ward councillors we’ve supported them and lobbied Cabinet Members hard to influence the outcome, and it is truly no more than their campaign deserves. Much has been made about the involvement of celebrities, like Ricky Gervais, in the campaign, but let’s be clear – it was ordinary people that did the hard work here.
So our hats off to them and to Cabinet Member Cllr Pat Callaghan for being true to her word, listening to what users and carers had to say about Netherwood, and changing her original proposals as a result.
It was clear that too much would be lost if Netherwood closed, in terms of both specialist care experience, and the well-designed building which has proved such a nurturing environment for the vulnerable people who use it.
Experts agreed that it would be too difficult to recreate that space as part of the Greenwood Place project, so Camden’s decision-makers did the right thing; they stepped back from their original proposals and let common sense prevail.
We’ll continue to work with Netherwood’s users and supporters to ensure it not only survives but prospers. A great result.
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