1000 signatures on Eden Park petition

Eden Park children's respite centre, Cupar.
Eden Park children's respite centre, Cupar.
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A PETITION opposing plans to close a children’s respite centre in Cupar has collected more than 1000 signatures.

Fife Council announced last month that the Eden Park residential unit would shut later this year to save the social work department £100,000.

Since then, parents angry at the decision have mounted a campaign in the hope of persuading the local authority to think again.

An online petition can be signed at tinyurl.com/763x783, with paper copies available in various businesses around town.

Campaign organisers Peter and Kirsty Jackson, whose autistic son uses the centre, thanked people for their support.

OVERWHELMING

They said: “The support shown by the general public has been overwhelming and we cannot thank everyone who has signed the petition enough.”

Opponents of the closure are worried that any replacement service provided by Fife Council will be inferior to the residential care provided at Eden Park.

But this week one of the local authority’s social work bosses, Dougie Dunlop, offered the following message of reassurance to parents: “The welfare of families, children and young people who use respite services at Eden Park comes first.”

Mr Dunlop went on: “Over the next few months we will be reviewing how respite care is delivered for families who are receiving services at Eden Park.

“The future shape of this respite is an important decision and we will be taking some time to discuss this with families in this period.

IMPORTANCE

“We know the importance of respite to families and whatever the outcome of the review, respite will continue to be available.

“This will include residential respite as well as other forms of support such as home-based respite and direct payments where families can decide for themselves the type of service that they want.”

Mr Dunlop added that the social work department had written to all the families who use Eden Park and was in the process of carrying out personal visits.