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Staff changes to boost Whetley Hill centre hours
Bradford Council is to reorganise staff and reduce agency workers to allow Whetley Hill Resource Centre to remain open five days a week, it has emerged.
The Manningham day centre caters for adults with disabilities and was earmarked for closure last year to cut costs.
Following a campaign to save it from users and their carers, the Council’s decision-making executive agreed the centre be given until April next year to make enough savings to secure its future in the long term.
It was initially suggested that savings of £140,000 could be made by closing the centre for one day a week and charging £3 for food and transport with further work done to look at how the building could be better used by the community.
But Janice Simpson, interim strategic director of adult and community services, has revealed that better savings can be achieved by rearranging staffing levels and reducing agency staff. This would allow the centre to remain open five days a week, and could save nearly £7,000 more this financial year alone.
Mrs Simpson states in a report to councillors: “It is now felt savings can be better achieved through a restructure and this will avoid the need to go to a four-day week. There have been short-term savings through reducing the use of individual (external) support worker hours to support individuals whilst at the centre, who can otherwise be supported by the centre-based staff.”
Rerouting the buses that take users to the centre to establish “the most viable and efficient use of the buses to transport people to and from the centre” could save £31,000 this year.
In addition immediate measures have been taken to stop providing meals to personal assistants and agency staff, which is resulting in savings of £1,000 through the need to cater for fewer people. If the Council’s contributions policy for meals is agreed by the executive on Friday, then the £3 a meal charge would be introduced in August.
Plans to move the occupational therapy clinic from the Carlisle Business centre into the basement area at Whetley Hill are ongoing, but no savings are expected to be made this year The report will be discussed by the social care overview and scrutiny committee tomorrow in City Hall at 5pm.