Plans to revive a proposal for a dementia “centre of excellence” on the Fylde coast have been rejected despite a councillor’s impassioned pleas.
A full meeting of Lancashire County Council debated a motion proposed by St Annes South councillor Coun Fabian Craig-Wilson to include plans to upgrade the Bowgreave Rise site, in Garstang, in a £5m budget to be used by the council to improves service for people suffering from the incurable disease.
However, an amended motion resolving that “no decision” had been made on the site put forward by the council’s cabinet member for adult and community services, Coun Tony Martin, defeated Coun Craig-Wilson’s original proposal.
Speaking at the meeting, held at County Hall, Preston, on Thursday, Coun Craig-Wilson said: “I don’t think there is a person in this chamber today who has not been touched in some way by dementia, whether it is a family member, good friend or passing acquaintance who suffers from this terrible disease.
“My own husband was a severe dementia sufferer over four years until his passing this summer.
“We all know we must do what we can to provide support to the growing number of dementia sufferers within the Lancashire community, their families and care givers.
“That is why I support the facility at Bowgreave Rise.”
In response, Coun Martin, a member of the council’s present minority Labour administration, said: “I absolutely agree that dementia care is something that we need to look at very seriously because it is a continuing and ongoing condition currently.
“I would urge people to get behind the amendment to realise no decision has been taken, but to use that money put aside by the previous administration to do the right thing and to make sure we do it properly.
“We’ve not made a decision one way or the other on Bowgreave Rise, although my own view and that of officers is that we’re moving away from providing a facility at Bowgreave Rise.”
Summing up, Conservative Coun Craig-Wilson added: “I feel it is very vital we are able to do something now.
“I know Coun Martin cares about dementia suffering as much as I do.
“I am totally passionate about this issue, this is not party political.
“My feeling is that having a facility at Bowgreave Rise now is the start of providing for Lancashire residents and for these people who, in future, will suffer from this absolutely dreadful incurable disease.”
The amended motion was passed by the council.