There was heated argument at Peterborough City Council last night as councillors discussed the closure of ‘The Manor’ – a respite home in Dogsthorpe, Peterborough for children and young people with disabilities.
Nearly a 1000 people had signed a petition against the closure as long ago as March, but controversially the matter has only now come up for debate.
Leader of the council, Conservative Cllr John Holdich pointed out that while it was ‘regrettable’ the issue had not been discussed earlier and before a committee, The Manor is not actually closing; the council is only proposing to do away with the overnight provision, which last year had a 22 per cent occupancy rate.
All councillors agreed that this was a very important facility for the city, but Cllr David Seaton (Conservative) was at pains to explain that there was no question of the council not retaining The Manor, simply that it couldn’t justify to tax payers keeping a service going 24 hours a day, with only a 22 per cent night time occupancy.
He went on to say that no children had suffered as a result of the decision which has already seen many of the night time staff moved away to other facilities in the region, as indeed have any affected children. The Manor remains open during daytime hours.
Councillors voted to note the report, but took no further action.