Plaid Cymru has committed to reintroducing day centre provision for disabled adults in its local government manifesto for Caerphilly County Borough.
The party has vowed to reinstate services for the most vulnerable if they gain control after May’s council elections. Provision was controversially slashed by the Labour-led administration, leaving many families with little or no support.
Council bosses have cited Covid regulations and staff shortages as reasons for the reduction in provision, despite neighbouring and smaller local authorities managing to retain day centre access for the most disabled.
In the Plaid Cymru manifesto for Caerphilly County Borough, it states: ‘Labour has long talked about being a listening council – but they’ve been deaf to concerns on so many issues. A Plaid administration would make an absolute commitment to hear what you say as a listening council and we won’t neglect smaller communities.
‘We have ambitious plans to improve local services - including reopening day centres for the most vulnerable - and create jobs. With your support, we can move Caerphilly Forward.’
Announcing the news, Councillor Colin Mann – the Plaid Cymru leader on Caerphilly County Borough Council – said his party in power would do “what Labour should have done a long time ago.”
“The way the most vulnerable people in the county borough have been left in the lurch by Labour has been appalling,” said Councillor Mann.
“Services were withdrawn abruptly with no consultation with the families of those that use the centres or even the staff that work in them.
“Under intense public pressure, the council has since announced a review but that will not report until later in the year which is quite convenient as far as the local elections are concerned. It could be three years before carers get decent respite.
“The reality is that many families are on the brink without any kind of support or respite. They need help from day centre visits now.
“If we form the next council in Caerphilly County Borough, we will do what Labour should have done a long time ago.”
Peredur Owen Griffiths, Plaid Cymru MS for South Wales East, said: “I have raised this issue a number of times in the Senedd because we now have a postcode lottery when it comes to day centre services for disabled adults.
“If you live in Blaenau Gwent, there is provision. If you live down the road in Caerphilly County Borough, there isn’t any. Blaenau Gwent is subject to the same Covid regulations as Caerffili and are a much smaller local authority yet they seem to have coped better.
“This has led to an unfair situation but the Labour-led Government does not want to do anything about it.
“I’m pleased that Plaid Cymru in Caerffili County Borough has shown leadership on this important matter and pledged to give the most vulnerable in our communities the care and attention they need.”