Home » Centre petition nears a thousand

Centre petition nears a thousand

petitiontenbyA PETITION, calling on the council to save the Tenby Avenue Centre from closure, has gathered nearly 900 signatures. It was announced at a recent Cabinet meeting that the Council would be going out to consultation on proposals to close the centre. Speaking at the November 30, Cabinet meeting, Cllr Simon Hancock said: “There are certain reasons why we are focussed on this and one of those is that the building requires a significant investment of around £360,000, it has the lowest occupancy rate and there are a significant number regarded as having low level needs.

“We want to engage and consult with those who use the centre. We want to seek views and opinions. Some of the users have attended the centre for many years. We also need to take into account friendship groups and be sensitive to the impact of any change.” A Facebook page has also been set up to help share the petition and many have commented on the importance of the centre. Gwyneth Woolley said: “As a mum of two adults who use the Avenue Centre, they would be devastated if it was closed and they would miss all the dedicated staff who look after them, it is also a life line for me as a carer.

Please sign the Save Tenby Avenue Centre Petition as we need all the help we can get.” On the petition, there is a letter from Kate Schofield, whose twin sister Maggie has attended the centre for many years, who states: “The reason for my concern with this closure is my twin sister Maggie, she is 53 years old and has attended the centre for most of her adult life. She has Down’s Syndrome.

She is not a ‘customer’ or a ‘client’ she is a human being.” She goes on to say: “Social Services made the Avenue Centre her world and now because there has been a much needed rethink people like Maggie and others of her generation should not have their world ripped apart because it’s the current trend.” Alistair Cameron, Liberal Democrat Candidate for West Carmarthen and South Pembrokeshire for the National Assembly for Wales is also opposed to the plans to close the Avenue Centre in Tenby.

The Avenue Centre is a place where adults with learning needs can socialise, make friends and get involved in activities. Alistair said: “The support provided by the Avenue Centre is just the type of support needed to help its users live a fulfilling life which is as independent as possible. This includes activities within the centre such as arts and crafts, computing, advocacy and drama.

The users can also join groups organised by the centre to take part in activities such as a shopping project, a walking group, a gym, the Colby Lodge Gardening Project and bowling. “Unfortunately, the County Council’s Cabinet paper on the future of the Centre provided no details of what support will be given to the adults who currently use it if it closes.

“There is therefore a real risk that many will not be given anywhere near the level of support and benefit they currently receive. This is why I am very concerned about the possibility of the Avenue Centre being closed. “I accept that Pembrokeshire County Council is in a difficult financial position with a cut in its budget of 2.8%.

However, I would strongly urge the Council to think again and pull back from its threat to close this valuable centre. “I strongly encourage residents to respond to this consultation by making clear their concerns over this closure. They can also express their opposition to the closure through the following on-line petition: https://www.change. org/p/pembrokeshire-county-councils- cabinet-save-tenby-avenue-centrepetition.”

The petition can be found by typing in ‘Save Tenby Avenue Centre’ on the change.org website.