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Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 May 2006, 12:17 GMT 13:17 UK
Pensioners' lunch clubs reprieved
Pensioners at Carmarthen's Myrddin Day Centre
Users of the Myrddin Day Centre in Carmarthen submitted a petition
Cuts to day care services for the elderly in Carmarthenshire to save 400,000 a year are being scaled down.

Two lunch clubs faced with closure have been reprieved, although one will close and others will see their hours cut following a meeting on Wednesday.

Pensioners' groups mounted a campaign after the proposed cuts were announced earlier in the year.

The council said it would still achieve savings by making greater use of the voluntary sector to run some services.

Carmarthenshire Council said despite a 5% rise in council tax this year its social services budget was under pressure.

It said it needed to target resources because while some of its lunch clubs were being underused, some people were not receiving the home care they need and others were staying in hospital longer than they should.

In March the authority announced it intended closing three day centres - St Paul's in Llanelli, Teifi Valley in Newcastle Emlyn and Llanybydder.

All the services currently provided will continue, but we must use our budget far more effectively
Kevin Madge, councillor

But under revised plans that were given final approval by the executive board on Wednesday only the lunch club at Llanybydder will close.

Some others, including the Carmarthen-based Myrddin and Gwendraeth Valley clubs, will remain open five days a week instead of being cut to three.

Cross Hands and Teifi Valley will see their number of days reduced and further consultation will be held over what happens to Caemaen in Llanelli.

The council said by making greater use of the voluntary sector to run some services and reclassifying some day centres as lunch clubs, so they did not need the same level of staffing, 310,000-a-year in savings could still be made.

Councillor Kevin Madge said: "We have held meetings over the last few weeks with voluntary and community groups.

"There has been a lot of interest in helping us to deliver these services and we have now been able to amend the original proposals."

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13 Mar 06 |  South West Wales

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