The Maples Respite Centre is an integral part of the Harlow Community. It is now facing the threat of budget cuts from Essex County Council, which would see it lose half of its beds. Already oversubscribed and providing essential care to disabled children, this will come as a shock to residents of Harlow.
Council Leader Mark Ingall said “This is devastating news for the many families who rely on The Maples Centre for brief periods of respite from the round the clock demands of caring for children with disabilities.
“It is difficult to overstate how critical respite is for carers or how much they value the Centre and its dedicated staff for giving them a break, safe in the knowledge that their children are receiving the very best possible care.
“When it was threatened five years ago Essex County Councillor Dick Madden promised that there wouldn’t be a closure until alternative services that meet the families’ needs are in place, it seems like this promise has been broken.
“Last week we were told that the libraries will close because they are underused and now, we’re told that The Maples Centre will have its service cut, even though it has a long waiting list of people desperate to use it.”
Labour’s parliamentary candidate Laura McAlpine added “It is utterly disgraceful that Conservative controlled Essex County Council plan to halve the beds that The Maples Respite Centre currently provide. The service is vital to Harlow and is already oversubscribed.
“Pernicious Tory cuts are having a disastrous effect on our town – Harlow Labour are already fighting against the closure of our libraries and now we, and the residents of Harlow are having to fight to ensure that some of the most vulnerable people in our community are not let down by yet more cuts.
Both Laura and Mark have started a Harlow Labour petition to save the Maples Respite Centre from Cuts to funding. Please follow the link to sign: