Councillors recommend closure of Wellingborough day centre to go ahead

Glamis Hall campaigners in Wellingborough town centre on Saturday
Glamis Hall campaigners in Wellingborough town centre on Saturday

A recommendation for a popular day centre to close on December 31 will go to full council next month.

It was another packed chamber for the meeting of Wellingborough Council’s resources committee tonight, who were tasked with considering and making a recommendation on the future of Glamis Hall.

A 117-page report outlining options for the future of the building and its services was presented to councillors before the meeting.

They then had to consider whether to set aside the original June decision to close it before agreeing on preferred options for the future of the building and services provided there.

These included continuing the day care service in the building, providing a scaled-down service in another council building, transferring the building and facilities to a charity or community organisation, selling the building, or building a new centre to be run by the council or a partner organisation.

The committee heard from six speakers on the closure, including Heather Saunders from the Save Glamis Hall action group which collected 10,000 names on a petition to keep the hall open.

She said: “This is really about the people who go to Glamis Hall each week, about the families and about the people the doctors need to refer to the day centre.

“These are the people who voted you into the positions you hold on this council.”

Another group member Graham Campbell spoke about the group’s wish to work with the councilto find a way to keep the day centre open.

He said: “We look forward to working with youin the future.”

Debate then opened among committee members and the chamber became hostile at times as tempers frayed as the arguments for and against were put forward.

Members of the public often interjected with their views, but were asked on several occasions by committee chairman Paul Bell to refrain from commenting as this was for the committee only at this meeting.

Cllr Martin Griffiths said: “It seems to me that we are throwing good money after bad into a building that’s not fit for purpose.”

Cllr Andrew Scarborough said: “Anybody who has been in the town centre will have seen people queuing to sign the petition.

“I think we know the value that the people of this town and this borough place in the continuation of this service.”

As discussions continued, a number of people left the meeting, claiming the councillors weren’t listening to them.

But the committee still had to decide what its recommendation would be.

After much deliberation and going to a vote which was finally passed nine to three, they decided the recommendation for full council would be to close the Glamis Hall building, therefore losing the day care services and sports facilities with it on December 31.

But any interested parties can now come forward if they want to put forward a proposal for running the services from January 1.

The recommendation will now be considered by the full council at the start of October.