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Tudor Centre Abergavenny: Future now on hold until support service review completed

A REVIEW of support services for people with learning disabilities does involve those directly affected, a councillor has said. 
Monmouthshire County Council commissioned the independent review of the My Day, My Life service for adults with learning disabilities in the north and the centre of the county at the end of August – but controversy erupted when the closure of a day centre was then announced at the end of November. 

The future of the Tudor Centre in Abergavenny is now on hold, with the council’s Labour cabinet having promised it will be considered after the review of the support service is completed, and any proposal on its future will be examined by a council scrutiny committee before being brought to the cabinet. 
At the cabinet’s February 1 meeting it formally agreed a decision on the centre’s future be deferred and the councillor responsible for social services,  Tudor Thomas, said the council is due to receive the report in March. 
Conservative opposition group leader Richard John asked for assurances service users will be involved in the review of the centre’s use. 

Cllr Thomas said consultants carrying out the review are “directly engaging with people who use the My Day, My Life service through questionnaires, meetings etc and in a way suited for vulnerable people who have learning disabilities. 
“I’m confident they have been speaking to people who actually use the service.” 
The councillor said he was “confident” the review will get the views of the service users “and what they want not what we or anyone else wants.” 

The Tudor Centre had been mothballed since the outbreak of the Covid pandemic in 2020 but the decision to approve its permanent closure, with the site to be sold off for social housing to beat new flooding risk rules, sparked a public backlash, with a protest held in early December. 

Councillors then forced a rethink, which led to a scrutiny committee holding a special session which resulted in a debate before the full council on January 19, where leader Mary Ann Brocklesby issued an apology for announcing the closure without consultation. 
But Cllr Thomas said he felt there had been confusion over who is included in the review and said: “The review of My Day, My Life is not about anybody living in Abergavenny with any issue.” 
While the council’s January 3 scrutiny committee, and the full council meeting, did hear from some residents who aren’t supported by My Day, My Life service user Sarah Griffiths told councillors she hadn’t been contacted by the review. A councillor stated she was concerned that what members heard from Ms Griffiths raised doubts about the satisfaction of users with services at present. 

At the cabinet meeting Cllr Thomas also said “all options” for the centre remain on the table but he ruled out re-opening it on a temporary basis before the review is completed. 
Independent group leader Frances Taylor said the “principles” of the My Day, My Life review include “a need for a base or a hub where people are able to go for peer support and also safety”. 
Cllr Thomas said what “physical space might be required is being explored” and he said that wouldn’t be limited to the Tudor Centre and that Abergavenny is “quite well blessed with a number of buildings that could be utilised.”