The petition to save Salford’s only residential home for disabled children has gathered over 3,000 signatures, in print and online, in support of the campaign and to urge the council to reconsider its plans.
Salford City Council are planning to close the five bed centre in a bid to save a potential £300,000 a year from their budget as it is not at full capacity.
There are two children residing at the home and it is the second time the council have threatened The Grange with closure in just over three years.
Andy Dickinson, father of 13-year-old Declan currently at The Grange who has severe autism and learning difficulties, said: “He has complex needs but when I see him there with the staff he’s different because he’s so used to them being there. For him to go somewhere else would be an absolute nightmare.”
“It would be really difficult if he does move that far away as it’s all about routine with them both.”
“They are saying if it does close down that he might be sent to somewhere in Stockport or somewhere out of Manchester, basically whichever council is willing to pay for it.”
— salford star mag (@salfordstar09) May 6, 2017
Charlotte Ramsden, Salford City Council‘s Strategic Director of Children and Adult Services, said: “With three beds empty we are not providing a social and interactive environment for those residents when we are committed to providing the best for our looked after children.
“The Grange has to be fully staffed at all times and this is a very expensive resource when it is so under occupied. Many parents in Salford and other council areas are now using personalised budgets to buy in help at home or use specialist foster carers for respite care, so there is no future demand for beds at The Grange either.
“We can provide a better alternative and save money by moving the children, and staff will be relocated to other jobs, with no compulsory redundancies.”
“We are not proposing to spend any less on care for the current residents and will work with the families to find placements they are happy with. We want to reassure them we do have their children’s best interests at heart.”
A public meeting organised by the Save The Grange campaign will be held at Swinton Moorside Cricket Club on Saturday 27 May at 10.30am to drum up further support.
What do you think about plans to close The Grange? Get in touch and let us know your views in the comment section below.