Site battle over Garstang dementia centre

Bowgreave Rise, Garstang.  /  old people's home / homes closure
Bowgreave Rise, Garstang. / old people's home / homes closure
Share this article
Have your say

Dedicated community leaders have vowed to do all they can to reignite plans for a dementia centre of excellence in Garstang.

Wyre Council unanimously passed a Notice of Motion urging Lancashire County Council to honour its original budget commitment and establish the £5m centre at Bowgreave Rise in Garstang.

The proposal for the centre that will service Lancashire as a whole was announced by former Conservative bosses at the county council, and funds were approved at a budget meeting in February.

However, the plans have been reviewed since the Labour administration took charge in May, leading Wyre Council to unanimously back the motion to save the centre at Full Council.

Coun Lady Dulcie Atkins, of Garstang ward, said: “This hospital would’ve helped not only those living in Wyre but the surrounding area as well.

“We live in a borough which has a high number of elderly people who suffer with dementia and I’m sure we all know someone suffering with this debilitating illness.”

Coun Penny Martin, leader of the council’s Labour Group, added: “We need a service, wherever it may be, that will best meet the needs of the people of Wyre and I’m glad the officers are looking again at this so we can get the best service.”

And Coun Simon Bridge called on all councillors to work together in securing the centre.

“It’s too important for us to bicker over this,” he said.

“There can’t be one person in this chamber who hasn’t been touched by the terrible disease of dementia.

“We need to be together on this.”

Officers and councillors will now work together to find a way of influencing Lancashire County Council to “honour its original policy commitment.”

County councillor Tony Martin, cabinet member for adult and community services, said: “We are committed to developing services that provide the highest standard of care for people who have dementia.

“However, creating a new purpose-built dementia centre at Bowgreave Rise was never more than an initial proposal.

“In fact, a further assessment of the Bowgreave Rise site by officers concluded that it is unlikely to be suitable for a scheme of this nature and is probably not affordable within the proposed budget.

“We are committed to using the £5m to improve dementia services across the county, and this will not be affected by the £300m budget cut imposed by central Government.

“We are now looking at options that will achieve the maximum benefit from this investment. I’ll consider proposals from officers when they have completed that work.”