Call to meet with Eden Park parents

Menzies Campbell
Menzies Campbell
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CUPAR councillor Bryan Poole has called on Fife Council’s social work chiefs to meet with parents angry at the decision to close the Eden Park children’s respite centre.

North East Fife MP Sir Menzies Campbell and MSP Rod Campbell have also written to the council on behalf of constituents.

It was announced last month that the Cupar residential unit will be shutting to save the local authority £100,000.

Councillor Poole has urged social work boss Stephen Moore, children and families head Dougie Dunlop and social work committee chair Councillor Tim Brett to meet parents face to face and hear their concerns directly.

He wrote: “This decision has caused severe distress for parents already exposed to higher levels of stress than most of us could imagine.

“I think the social work service — executive director, head of service and chair of social work — should sit down face to face with the parents of the youngsters currently in receipt of the service and hear the concerns directly.”

Councillor Poole asked what alternatives were being considered to residential respite, saying there was “a world of difference” between home-based care and the service provided at Eden Park.

STRESS

He added that the way the closure had been handled — with parents and staff finding out via the Fife Herald — had “damaged the reputation of the social work service and more importantly caused avoidable stress for a very vulnerable group of people”.

In a letter to Mr Moore, Sir Menzies wrote: “I have been consulted by my constituent about the proposed closure of the Eden Park children’s respite centre.

“My constituent has a son who uses the centre and is very concerned about the sudden and unexpected news that the centre is to close.

“My constituent is of the view that as well as providing essential respite for her, her son benefits significantly from his attendance at the centre.

“I would be grateful for your comments.”

MSP Rod Campbell wrote to Fife Council’s chief executive Ronnie Hinds after being contacted by Cupar Community Council’s health spokesman Pete Cura.

He said: “I appreciate that, in these austere times, some services will need reduced and scaled back.

“However, my constituent is concerned that the closure of this centre will not be helpful for the families that it will affect.”

Mr Campbell asked Mr Hinds to provide him with information on the replacement respite services that will be available to parents when Eden Park closes.