Cornwall

Cornwall Day centre supporters vote for trustees to go

St Mary's Haven day care centre
Image caption The centre had about 40 clients before it closed

Campaigners in Cornwall trying to re-open a day centre for the elderly have passed a motion of no confidence in the trustees at a public meeting.

The St Mary's Haven Day Centre in Penzance shut in February, with the trustees blaming financial pressures.

At the meeting, a vote of 63 to three called on the trustees to resign.

A spokesman for the trustees said they had no comment to make on the meeting, but added they had consulted lawyers at every stage up to the closure.

The centre, which had about 40 clients, was set up in 1984 by nuns known as the Penitent Sisters. Nine jobs were lost with its closure.

'Totally unsuitable'

Clients and their supporters protested at the plans to close it. Their protests included a sit-in by about 30 people for four hours before it was shut.

Speaking at the meeting on Monday night, Richard Condon, whose three aunts helped set up St Mary's Haven, said he felt there would be a better chance of re-opening the centre with new trustees.

He claimed: "As events have unfolded, they have shown these trustees to be totally unsuitable for their positions.

"In the interest of basic decency and self-respect, these trustees should resign immediately."

After announcing its closure, the trustees said keeping the day centre open could compromise the viability of its other residential homes.

They added that they would reject any offers by a community group to run the building again as a day centre.

In March, trustees said they were planning to reopen it as a unit for dementia patients.

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