Popular Wellingborough day centre will close on December 31

Campaigners outside Swanspool House in Wellingborough at the last meeting
Campaigners outside Swanspool House in Wellingborough at the last meeting

A popular day centre will close on December 31 despite a passionate fight by campaigners to keep it open.

The recommendation to close Glamis Hall in Wellingborough in the town was approved at a full meeting of Wellingborough Council this evening (Tuesday).

It comes after months of campaigning by the Save Glamis Hall action group, including collecting 10,000 names on a petition calling for councillors to re-think their decision.

Once again, the council chamber was packed for the meeting with members of the public who wanted to see the hall saved from closure.

Five people gave impassioned speeches to try and get the authority to change its mind, but to no avail.

Heather Saunders from the action group urged the council to amend the recommendation of closing the hall on December 31 and instead giving them until March 31 to find an alternative solution to keep it going in some form.

Betty Ashton, a user of Glamis Hall, told the meeting: “I am pleading to each and every one of you to transfer Glamis Hall to the community group who are prepared to administrate and run Glamis Hall.

“If you do this, you will be remembered as a caring council, but if you choose to close Glamis Hall then you will be remembered as the council that condemned many of its community to a living death.”

There was strong support from Labour councillors, praising the campaigners for their work and urging their conservative colleagues to give the group more time to come up with a plan to save Glamis Hall.

However, despite a Labour amendment calling for the closure to be put back until November next year and an amendment suggested by independent councillor Robert Hawkes for a stay of execution until March 31, both attempts were out-voted.

The original recommendation to close the building on New Year’s Eve and cease day care facilities at Glamis Hall was then approved after a vote at the end of almost two hours of debate.

However, in stark contrast to previous discussions over the hall’s future, almost all the talking was done by Labour councillors.

Only one conservative councillor, Ken Harrington, spoke briefly before leader of the resources committee, Cllr Paul Bell, stood to address the chamber before the vote was taken.

The decision means the hall will close its doors at the end of the year, but discussions are set to continue with any interested parties wanting to run day care services there.

The Save Glamis Hall action group is one of those interested parties and they have said they will keep working on their business plan to take over Glamis Hall.