CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save a day care centre were shocked to discover how much taxpayers’ money has been spent on the planned high speed rail network.

Cheshire East Council is planning to close The Stanley Centre in Knutsford, which support adults with learning disabilities, to save £229,000.

Mid Cheshire Against HS2 (MCAHS2) says ‘this is a disgrace’ after finding out that Cheshire East Council has already spent £7.6 million on HS2 and has allocated a future budget of £5 million towards the project.

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The group sought the information through a FOI request.

The council’s expenditure and future budget funds the council’s work related to the Crewe hub and associated infrastructure development.

Sarah Flannery, a MCAHS2 campaigner, said: “This is jaw-dropping. It's a drop in the ocean.

“It works out at £75 per household to fund HS2.

“It is shocking that councils are spending huge amounts of money for a white elephant.

“Crewe isn’t a terminal. Trains are not planned to stop there so there will be no economic benefit for local residents.

“It is all pain and no gain.

“This money could fund the Stanley Centre a million times over.

The council plans to move users to other social care facilities across the county.

“This centre is a lifeline for the town’s most vulnerable,” said Sarah.

“The venue is safe, secure and welcoming.

“It provides peer support.

“It gives people the chance to share experiences with others in a similar situation.

“Social isolation suffered by carers and vulnerable adults is enormous.

“Adults with physical and learning disabilities are less able to stand up for themselves.”

Resident Charlotte Peters Rock, whose grandson is disabled, said: “Disabled adults are not bits of furniture, to be moved over long distances, out of their own familiar area and away from their friends.

“We are losing every public service facility out of this area.

“Where families have a physically or mentally disabled adult member, their caring work will often leave them financially impoverished and therefore less able to sort out problems with their loved ones, if they occur out of the area, since they will not have transport and public transport is so dire.”

The Guardian has asked Cheshire East Council for a comment.

Mark Thurston, chief executive officer, at HS2 Ltd - which is in charge of delivering the scheme - said: “HS2 is delivering growth for the UK economy today.

“Our contract awards are helping small businesses across the UK to grow and sustain their workforces, and nearly 30,000 people are benefiting from skilled jobs with a long-term future.

“By supporting apprentices and the unemployed into meaningful careers on HS2 we’re creating the next generation of engineers and construction workers, a trend that will continue as our construction programme gathers momentum going north.”