Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Southampton carers compensated for respite cuts

Kentish Road
Image caption The council hoped to save £185,000 a year when it closed Kentish Road in 2017

A council which caused "avoidable distress" when it closed a respite centre has agreed to compensate carers affected by the decision.

The Kentish Road centre for adults with learning disabilities was shut by Southampton City Council in 2017, but has since reopened at weekends.

An investigation by a local government ombudsman found families' needs had not been properly assessed.

The council will pay £40,375 in total. Most carers are due £250-£500 each.

Councillor Christopher Hammond, the authority's leader, said closing the centre was "not the council's finest hour".

He said "mistakes were made", the Local Democracy Reporting Service reported.

Image caption Protests were held against the closure

The centre, which provided respite care for up to 30 people, was shut in November 2017 in a bid to save £185,000 a year.

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman later wrote to families saying "there was fault in the way the council made decisions".

It said that this caused "avoidable uncertainty and distress".

Kentish Road is expected to reopen full-time in July.

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