A DAY care centre has been hailed as a "godsend" by one carer - who has hit out at the council amid a possible merger. 

Jack Connolly, who is from Bishopton, says that the council have been aware of "everyone's feelings" about how their lives will change should they merge the Mirin Centre in Paisley and the Milldale Centre in Linwood.

Glasgow Times: Jack Connolly and his daughter Caroline Jack Connolly and his daughter Caroline (Image: Anthony Flett)

Jack's daughter Caroline has attended a day centre since she was 18 and been at the Milldale Centre since it has opened.

He admits that he "has no idea" what the council are proposing.

He said: "The day centres have been huge for my family as it had allowed my wife to get a part-time job before we retired.

"It has been a godsend for us both.

"The fact we had a safe space for our daughter to go to allow my wife to work at the time was very helpful.

"There are people, at the minute, who rely on these centres to work as they will know between 9am and 3pm where their daughter/son will be.

"But these new proposals would see service users going 'out into the community' and doing activities.

"However, when they finish doing whatever it is they would be doing it won't be covered by a day centre. 

"I have no idea how they will run it.

"They are well aware of our feelings on the matter."

We previously reported how Renfrewshire Council is looking to merge the centres to tackle their ever-growing £14.7 million deficit.

A number of parents and guardians have spoken out about how the impact will affect the service users in one way or another.

If the proposed merging of the centres goes ahead it is predicted not everyone who currently uses the service will be guaranteed a place.

It has been reported that 33 people in supported living who currently attend will no longer be allowed places at the day centre.

Glasgow Times:

Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) say that the proposal "outlines a personalised approach" for those in supported living to access alternative support "which may be required".

They further stated that this would include "consideration of where there are opportunities to link in with HSCP community outreach activities where possible".

Yet, Jack, who is an unpaid carer for his daughter, believes that the Integration Joint Board (IJB) have been trying to close both day centres since they were formed in 2014.

He said: "We are not fighting for one or the other to stay open, it is the both of them.

"They talk about this £14 million overspend, that is not due to the carers or the learning disability service.

"The learning disability has not used its full budget, so that is an underspend.

"When asked about this they said they need to look at the budget as a whole, but they aren't going to save very much by cutting our service.

"To be honest, this has been their desired result. What they wanted was for the centres to close.

"They are taking the opportunity of a financial crisis to try to get through what they want."

A spokesperson from Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) said: “For family-based service users, there would be no reduction in allocation or transport provision if this proposal was agreed.

"The individuals who benefit from the high standard of services provided at Mirin and Milldale already enjoy a wide range of community activities – and are not always based in a day service each day.

"For this group, the proposed merger would offer opportunities to improve service quality through the implementation of more efficient staffing and transport management.

"The proposal also outlines a personalised approach for those in Supported Living to access alternative support, which may be required.

"This would include consideration of where there are opportunities to link in with HSCP community outreach activities where possible.

“We are proud of the high-quality services we deliver to people with a learning disability in Renfrewshire - and the commitment and dedication shown by our staff.

"These proposals are an opportunity to modernise our existing service models and deliver more efficiently.”