30 October 2012
Councillor Lesley Brennan was amongst those councillors who spoke against and voted against the plan by Dundee City Council to close the Day Centre in Kemback Street for those with learning disabilities.
The vote in favour of closure was approved after a petition carrying over 4,000 signatures opposing the closure had been presented to the council.
Councillor Brennan addressed the council, supporting the amendment moved by Councillor Kevin Keenan which opposed the closure motion saying,
“I cannot agree with the recommendations suggested in this report.
“Repeatedly we have heard that this decision is not based on saving money.
“Thus, I have difficulty in understanding when you are moving to close it.
“I have calculated that the services are costing £10 per user per hour and the Director has suggested that the service is only running at 30% capacity.
"Thus, it seems very good value for money to me, actually it’s an incredible bargain.
“Councillor Guild was in the press last week outlining that very difficult decisions will have to be made to save the projected £18 million.
“Thus, I cannot understand why you want to go ahead with this unpopular decision.
“I know we disagree on the constitutional arrangements of Scotland but I like to think that my colleagues across the floor agree that we want to do the best for the people of Dundee.
“Thus, you ought to support the amendment.”
She questioned a representative of Disability Alliance Scotland , asking,
“Based on the data, I calculated in the report these services cost just under £10 per hour per user to provide.
“ To me this seems good value for money and the service users are happy as are the carers.
“Can I ask you based on your experience how does this cost compare?”
The Disability Alliance Scotland representative suggested that the average cost is higher about £13.00 per hour.
In Glasgow, most services cost between £10 and £35 per hour.
Lesley Brennan's estimate of the cost of the service at £10 per hour per user.
(In the Excel file, the figure of £9.70 (at cell H30) is obtained by dividing the annual budget of Kemback Street Day Centre and Out and About of £766,110 by the estimated number of hours they are used - 79,012. )