County under fire over centre plans

Daniel and Stephen Shing outside the centre

Daniel and Stephen Shing outside the centre

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PLANS are a foot to change Polegate’s Gilda Resource Centre but councillors say the county council has ‘let down’ residents.

The centre was one of the best resource centres provided by East Sussex County Council and well used by many elderly residents, according to local councillors Stephen and Daniel Shing.

However, it was closed in 2009 and the county council decided to redevelop the building for people with learning difficulties.

But county councillor Stephen Shing said he was very disappointed that the council had now ‘changed its course’ by reducing the number of units it will provide.

Mr Shing said, “Now the county council is not going to implement the cabinet decision that was made in 2009 to redevelop this site for people with learning difficulties.

“Currently the county council is submitting a plan to build five houses and ten units for people with learning difficulties.

“This change conflicts with the cabinet decision made in 2009 which is not acceptable.

“I can’t understand why the county council decided to change its position without discussions either in council or with local county councillors, or at the least local residents of Polegate and Willingdon.”

Fellow County Cllr Daniel Shing also vented his concern about the alleged change of direction.

He said, “Polegate and Willingdon residents have already lost one of the best resource centres in the area, which many residents dearly miss.

“Now they have been misled about what were promises of a new centre for people with learning difficulties, again they feel that they have been let down.”

Full details are yet to be released but a county council spokesperson said, “The original proposal was for learning disabilities extra care services and it still is.

“But now includes both learning disabilities and mixed housing for others.

“This is in line with what people who have learning disabilities tell us they want, to be a part of the community.”