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After hard-fought battle to save it from closure, Council puts out day service to tender
A Council-run day centre saved from closure is to be privatised, with organisations now invited to apply to run it as a business.
But a new report reveals a repairs bill for the building is £117,000 bigger than previously thought.
Whetley Hill Resource Centre, a day service for people with physical disabilities, was under threat of closure during a cost-cutting review.
But after a hard-fought battle by campaigners, Council bosses instead decided to put the service out to tender, with the successful bidder being handed a 25-year lease and £300,000 of funding to get the centre up-and-running as a profitable business.
This tender process has now begun, with an advertising campaign running for 20 working days inviting organisations to put in a bid.
Bidders will have to submit a business case setting out their vision and ideas for the centre. They will also have to prove they are financially sound.
Centre users, their families, and staff have all been consulted about what services they would like the centre to provide, and the successful bidder would be expected to fit in with their wishes.
However, a new report into the process reveals that repairs needed on the building itself will be much more expensive than previously thought.
Original estimates put the repair bill at £269,000, but a new survey has now taken place and the cost has now reached £386,000.
A report by Janice Simpson, strategic director for adult services, said: “While these repairs are not imminent, it does highlight that there may be some large repairs needed over the next few years.”
Whichever organisation takes over the centre would be responsible for its upkeep, but one option being put forward is for the Council’s Facilities Management team to continue to provide maintenance, with the organisation being charged a fixed rate.
The matter is due to be discussed at the next meeting of the Health and Social Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee, on Thursday.