Social club is spared from closure after council steps in to take over reins from committee

PUBLISHED: 08:00 20 December 2018 | UPDATED: 08:00 20 December 2018

SW The Garden Room

SW The Garden Room

Archant

A social club for disabled and elderly people that was facing closure looks to have been saved after the district council stepped in.

The Garden Room (Saffron Walden Day Centre) offers hot meals, refreshments and social activities for older or disabled residents from premises in Hill Street.

Whilst the building is owned by Uttlesford District Council (UDC), the centre is run by an independent management committee as a charity.

However, UDC was contacted by the management committee to say that, due to financial difficulties, the charity was no longer in a position to continue running the centre and intended to stop the service from January 1.

To ensure the continuation of the service, however, UDC has announced it is working towards an agreement that would see the staff and running of the centre transferred from the charity to the council.

“It is hoped the arrangements will be finalised shortly,” a spokesman said.

The intention is to have the centre re-opened by the end of January.

Councillor Vic Ranger, cabinet member for communities and partnerships, said: “The day centres are an invaluable resource as they provide a safe and welcoming environment for the people who use them, including some of the most vulnerable residents in our communities.

“That is why we are working closely with the current management committee to resolve the situation at the Garden Room. By taking on the management of the centre we will be able to ensure the same excellent service can be delivered for the members of our community who rely on it as a place where they can socialise and meet other people.”

Residents and users of the centre should note that there may be a reduced service for a limited period of time once the centre reopens while the full arrangements are put into place.

However, the centre is still available for hire and private parties as normal.

For further information or to book, visit www.uttlesford.gov.uk/daycentres.

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