Council listens to parents concerns about the future of Croft Cottage

Release Date: 05/04/2017

Following discussions with parents, Richmond Council has agreed to keep a local service that provides short breaks for disabled children open, until new facilities are available.

Croft Cottage provides overnight short breaks for disabled children referred by the Richmond Disabled Children’s Service. The service supports a small number of children throughout the day and night by qualified, trained, experienced staff.

Over the next four years, the Council has lost 66% of its Government funding and therefore needs to save £30m from its overall budget. As a result the Council needs to assess all services to see if they can be provided in a more efficient, cost effective way, whilst ensuring that the quality of service is not adversely affected.

The service is provided by an external provider, Enhanceable. Last year, Enhanceable indicated that they could no longer provide the service within the current budget. Discussions were then held with local parents to look at possible options for the future of the centre.

The Council has listened to parents and their concerns and, it has now been agreed, that the Council will keep Croft Cottage open until new short-break facilities are opened at Moor Lane in Kingston upon Thames in the Autumn 2018.

Cllr Paul Hodgins, Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Young People, said:

“The Council has listened to the concerns of parents about the impact on their children if Croft Cottage were to close without the planned new provision being in place, and without giving them more time to help their children transition to the new arrangements. We have taken those concerns on board, and have therefore committed that Croft Cottage will remain open until new short break care facilities are opened at Moor Lane in Autumn 2018.

“The new facilities will be purpose-built in consultation with parents and will be available throughout the week, providing more flexibility to parents and children.

“We will also take this additional time to engage further with our local parents about respite provision, exploring potential options that despite the Council's increasing financial constraints could be made possible through parents, the Council, and voluntary groups working more closely together. We will work together on this as a priority next step.”

Updated: 28 April 2017