Page last updated at 14:28 GMT, Friday, 11 July 2008 15:28 UK

Expanded autism centre to close

Hyfrydle autism centre
The centre will close amid competition from independent providers

A centre for autistic children is being shut, a fortnight after taking on eleven new care workers.

Hyfrydle which is run by Denbighshire council, will close because of competition from independent providers.

The council has said it will investigate why the appointments were approved at the centre, in Denbigh.

Geoff Edkins, from Unison, said: "It's absolute nonsense- you'd have thought the council would have been able to manage the situation better."

"People who've given up jobs to work for Denbighshire are going to face a redundancy situation within three months of starting."

When I talk to families affected by autism about the problems they face, they frequently point to a lack of residential services

Janet Ryder AM, Plaid Cymru

A council spokesman said: "We accept that the appointments had been made quite recently and the local authority is concerned about this and will be looking into the reasons as to how this happened."

"We will be looking to redeploy members of staff where possible and try to ensure they are found alternative employment as we are keen to avoid redundancies where possible."

Plaid Cymru AM Janet Ryder said: "This announcement is very disappointing.

"I am sure that Denbighshire County Council has not come to this decision lightly, and it is a last resort", she said.

"However, when I talk to parents, families, and individuals affected by autism in Wales about the problems they face, they frequently point to a lack of residential services."

The National Autistic Society Cymru (NAS Cymru) also voiced concerns.

Liz Withers of NAS Cymru said: "Children with autism in Wales need the right school at the right time, and a range of provision, including specialist provision, should be made available."

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