COUNCILLORS have been accused of ‘rushing through’ the closure of a Sheffield dementia care centre by shutting it six months early.
Bole Hill View in Crookes was set to close in March next year, but the closure date has been given as October 2013 in a council budget report.
Liberal Democrat Coun Rob Frost, who represents Crookes, said ruling Labour councillors were trying to ‘slip out’ the announcement unnoticed.
But Coun Mary Lea, cabinet member for health, care and independent living, said the council had ‘no plans’ to close Bole Hill View early.
She said the target date is still 2014, but closure might happen sooner if users of the respite centre move to other services more quickly.
Two centres - Norbury, in Norwood, as well as Bole Hill View - are due to shut. A third home, Hurlfield View in Gleadless Common, will remain open, with services transferred there from Norbury.
Twenty jobs are at risk in the new structure, which the council says will save £835,000.
Coun Lea said: “I would like to clarify the position regarding the future of local dementia respite and day care centres and particularly that of Bole Hill View.
“Norbury will be closing next month and the target date for closing Bole Hill View will be by March 2014.
“We are working alongside the Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust to assess and support people who currently use Bole Hill View and who will need other services in the future.
“As part of this, the consultation has told us some people will still want bed-based respite care and we will work with them to find the right service.”
She added: “Although the target date for closing Bole Hill View is March 2014, if people who use the service start making other arrangements, or move to other services sooner, the closure might take place earlier. The council has no plans for early closure.”