Petition to keep disability centre open

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Girtrell Court located in Saughall Massie on the Wirral. Pic © SAVE Girtrall Court/Facebook.

A notice of motion will be issued to debate the closure of the centre, located in Saughall Massie on the Wirral. Pic © Save Girtrall Court/Facebook.

An online petition to help stop the closure of a disability centre on the Wirral has reached 6,500 signatures on the website.

This comes after the local authority proposed to save £155,000 by closing the centre, which currently provides respite care to over 130 families.

The centre, Girtrell Court, is Wirral’s only respite facility for adults with complex physical and mental disabilities.

The petition was started by Pensby resident Bernard Halley, 63, whose son David, 32, uses Girtrell Court.

Bernard told JMU Journalism: “The loss of this service will devastate over 130 carers who, like my wife and I, care for our disabled loved ones 24/7.

“The council needs to realise that Girtrell [Court] needs to be retained. There is a community atmosphere and it’s the best solution we have locally for respite care. We’re not going to risk our loved ones in what we consider to be unsafe or unstable hands.

“It’s very unsettling for disabled adults who like continuity and familiarity. We do not need the additional stress of this ill-considered austerity measure.”

Councillor Chris Blakeley of Moreton West and Saughall Massie is supporting Bernard in his petition. However, since the issue was debated by Wirral Council on March 3rd, it can’t be debated again for another six months unless a notice of motion is issued. By this time it may be too late.

Cllr Blakeley told JMU Journalism: “It’s outrageous. Girtrell Court is a well-loved facility. Carers and loved ones have confidence in it. There is no need to close it. I’ve spoken to carers who will be forced to go somewhere they don’t want to, or they’ll have no help at all.”

Cllr Blakeley will be issuing a notice of motion to the Wirral Borough Council this week, which will allow the subject of Girtrell Court to be debated again shortly.

About Christy Jade Biggar, JMU Journalism