Daycare centre for the elderly 'being watered down'
A DAYCARE centre for the elderly is being "watered down", fears a councillor.
From April, visitors to Endike Community Care in 21st Avenue will be expected to pay £3 a day in transport costs.
Managers say pensioners will be left to "vegetate" alone at home.
Councillor Dean Kirk, a staunch supporter of the centre, has urged the Guildhall to reconsider its decision to start charging.
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He said: "The service operated by Endike is far less costly than other similar services.
"It would be a sad day to see services like this, which are a gift to the community, watered down.
"We should see this type of service embraced and promoted across the city."
More than 80 people, ranging in age from 60 to 106, regularly attend the centre.
Each visitor pays £6 a day, which entitles them to a nutritious breakfast and lunch, as well as afternoon snacks.
Councillor Daren Hale, deputy leader of the council and portfolio holder for finance, said cuts in government funding mean difficult decisions have to be made.
He said: "We are losing 8p in every £1.
"By introducing a flat rate of £1.50 per journey it means we are able to continue providing the transport service for those using day care facilities."
Councillor Julia Conner, the ward councillor leading calls for a U-turn, has a meeting planned with council officers on Tuesday.
She said: "I want to know how they have worked out their costings."