A PLEA to save ‘vital services’ at the closure-threatened Stanley Centre has been made by Knutsford Town Council.

Mayor Cllr Mike Houghton has slammed an ‘ill-thought-out proposal’ by Cheshire East Council to shut the day care centre which supports adults with learning disabilities to save £229,000.

The town council has written a letter to leaders of the local authority to remove plans to decommission the building from the budget.

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Mayor Cllr Mike Houghton said: “With the continually growing need for local social care provision, we are bemused by this ill-thought-out proposal to cut access to the vital services provided at the Stanley Centre.

“We are especially concerned that the proposal has been presented through a budget consultation as a cost saving measure rather than a properly formulated proposal that enables a detailed assessment of the impact of the closure of the building on the local community.”

The proposal to close the building which provides services for people who have a learning disability, people with physical disabilities and older people was included as part of the Cheshire East Council budget consultation and has drawn criticism from the borough council’s own adults and Hhealth Committee.

The town council has further requested that if the borough council wishes to explore the building’s closure, a thorough consultation must be undertaken before a decision to cut funding is made.

Councillors say they are disappointed that such a major proposal has been presented through budget consultation.

In the letter, councillors state: “We are concerned that whilst your executive director of adults and health has stated there there will be a consultation on any proposal to close the centre, you are required to set a budget on February 22.

“There is not sufficient time to undertake a robust consultation prior to this.

“Any decision to remove funding from the 2023/24 financial year would prejudice the outcome of the consultation.

“Accordingly, the town council requests that the proposal to remove funding for the Stanley Centre from the 2023/24 budget is deleted.

“The town council further requests that if Cheshire East Council is minded to further proposals for the closure of the centre that you undertake robust consultation before any decisions are made.

“Such a consultation must present stakeholders, including service users and the wider community, with detailed information on the current use of the service, how the services will continue to be accessible to Knutsford residents and the future use of the physical asset.”