NO decision on the future of a day centre that has been under the spotlight for a year will be taken at a council’s next meeting.
That is despite the decision which could determine whether or not the Tudor Centre in Abergavenny should be reopened as a base for adults with learning disabilities having been deferred to the “next cabinet meeting” when councillors met in October.
At that meeting it had been expected Monmouthshire County Council’s Labour-led cabinet would agree the base for the My Day, My Life service should be established at the town’s Melville Centre, a theatre and community building.
But in a last minute decision, Green Party cabinet member Councillor Ian Chandler, who has responsibility for social care, asked the cabinet to defer any decision while the officials hold talks with campaigners who have wanted to save the Tudor Centre.
Had the cabinet agreed to use the Melville Centre as a base it would have seen the Tudor Centre declared surplus to the requirements of social services and Cllr Chandler said the council also wanted to consider how its decision to select a base in Abergavenny would impact other community buildings in the town.
The Tudor Centre had been the base for the My Day, My Life service but hasn’t reopened since closing at the start of the Covid pandemic. A campaign to save and reopen the building was kick-started when a cabinet decision was taken at the end of November 2022 to close it without consultation.
After the decision was put on hold a review of the My Day, My Life service, which had continued to operate throughout the pandemic, recommended it should have a base where users could socialise and plan, or take part, in activities.
As a result the cabinet accepted the review’s findings and agreed in October to establish a base at the Overmonnow Family Learning Centre in Monmouth but agreed to wait until November before making a decision on an Abergavenny base.
The agenda for the cabinet’s Wednesday, November 8, meeting, which was published on October 31, however doesn’t include any decision on the service and a base in Abergavenny.
Cllr Chandler said it’s now hoped a report can be prepared for the cabinet’s November 15 meeting, but that couldn’t be confirmed at present.
The delay has been criticised by the leader of the council’s Conservative opposition, Cllr Richard John.
He said: “I’m really disappointed that the future of Tudor Street day centre and the My Day My Life service seems to have been completely sidelined by the council’s Labour administration, dropped from the agenda for cabinet without any explanation.
“This is really disrespectful to people with learning disabilities, the users of the service themselves, their families and all the campaigners who’ve given up their own time to fight for this centre to saved.”
Cllr Chandler said: “I don’t think it’s disrespectful I take the opposite view and we are taking this very seriously and are seriously engaging in consultations.”
The cabinet member said a decision on a base in Abergavenny would also expand the experiences of those in the town who use the My Day, My Life service.
Community groups that have battled to save the Tudor Centre and are keen to provide support to a wider range of people than simply those entitled to the My Day, My Life service.