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Public meeting over Hillcote closure
A PUBLIC meeting is to be held following an outcry over the closure of south Wiltshire’s only respite care home catering for young people with severe disabilities.
The meeting was called for by the Friends of Hillcote group, formed after Wiltshire Council announced the proposed closure of Hillcote in Manor Road in the summer, and will be attended by representatives of the council and the Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group.
Angela Scott, chairman of the Friends of Hillcote said: “If this proposal is carried out, this particular and essential service for a small number of vulnerable families will only be available in Devizes.”
“I would urge any parents, sibling grandparent or friend who has an interest in day and overnight care for learning disabled children to attend the meeting.”
The campaign to save the facility was launched by worried parents who rely on the home to give them a much-needed break.
They are concerned that their children will not be nearby should something go wrong and say the possibility of them going to specialist foster carers is also a worry since many of the youngsters need specialised equipment and their homes have been modified to allow their parents to care from them.
“We are going to fight this all the way,” said Tanya Dunn, whose 16-year-old son Liam has severe autism and has been going to Hillcote since he was seven years old.
“It is a wonderful place with great staff and I think it should be better used, not shut down to save money.”
The council plans to shut Hillcote next April and says it is currently underused and that care can be better provided in alternative ways, and that there won’t be any cuts to funding.
People are being asked for their views ahead of the proposed closure and the consultation documents are available to view at wiltshireparentcouncil.co.uk.
The meeting will be held at Salisbury Guildhall on Wednesday, November 6 at 10.30am.
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