Last days or months for Bertha James Day Centre

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This weekend Bromley Councillors received a letter from the Trustees of Age Concern Ravensbourne who manage the Bertha James Day Centre, providing support and services for elderly residents.

The letter says that unless the £73k promised by the Leader of the Council is made available immediately, the centre will be forced to close on Friday 13 March.

Speaking for Bromley Labour Group, Cllr Angela Wilkins said:

“This situation is appalling. 

At the very end of the last meeting of the Adult Care and Health committee, when members were packing up, we were unexpectedly informed that Bertha James Centre had considerable financial difficulties and would be facing immediate closure unless the council provided £73k. 

The committee was told that the money would be provided and that the centre would be able to stay open until December 2020.

I am horrified now to learn that the money has not been paid, and call on Cllr Smith to immediately ‘cough up’, just as he promised to do.

After that, the council needs to have a full and proper review of the situation – one that involves current and potential users of the Borough’s day centres. Changes may be necessary, but closure of the centre is final and removes both options for users and respite opportunities for carers.

Having met recently with the management of BJC, I am also aware that it is largely the way the council has treated the Centre financially that is responsible for the money problems they now face.

The Council must not be allowed to just sweep this under the carpet”