Popular day centre shuts next year

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A day centre for older people from Eastbourne and the surrounding areas is to close as part of a cost cutting exercise.

The Orion Centre in Hailsham’s Vega Close was one of six earmarked for closure following a review.

East Sussex County Council says older people in East Sussex will continue to be supported – and receive more choice – following the review of day centres.

The council’s cabinet has approved plans for changes affecting six centres in the county including the Orion Day Centre following a review and public consultation held earlier this year.

The authority says the changes are the best way of addressing the economic challenges it faces while avoiding the need to make cuts which would affect the level of service people receive.

The Orion Centre will close once new services have been put in place for those currently using the centres.

In the areas where centres are closing, day services from other providers are available, while the council will also be investing in new services to allow people more choice.

Councillor Bill Bentley, the lead member for adult social care, said, “These were not easy decisions to make and we totally understand the strength of feeling on this issue and how highly valued these centres are, but the current system is simply not sustainable.

“The fact is we have to make savings of more than £27 million from our adult social care budget over the next three years and these savings have to come from somewhere.

“More and more older people are exercising their right to choose how their support is provided, meaning numbers attending traditional day centres are falling and costs are increasing. This is not just about saving money, it’s about making sure a quality service is available for those who need it, today and in the future.”