The mother of a child with Down’s syndrome is pleading with a council to let her daughter stay at a respite centre after it announced plans to move her to another facility.
Jenny Ridley says her daughter Abigail, 17, would have to leave Sunflower House in Putnoe, Bedford in April anyway when she turns 18, but Central Bedfordshire Council, which runs the centre along with Bedford Borough Council, is forcing her to move to another home.
The authority defended its stance saying the contract with the facility, which looks after children while parents and carers take a break from full-time care, is coming to an end in September – a move which will affect nine people.
But Mrs Ridley has criticised the body, saying: “Abigail is shy and can take a while to adjust to change and new people so to do this when it’s just as easy to let her stay for six months longer doesn’t make sense.
She has to leave at 18 anyway so why bring this forward? “She will go to another children’s respite centre for a few months then be looked after by adult services early next year when she becomes an adult.” Cllr Amanda Dodwell at Central Beds Council added: “While we are sympathetic to the situation of families whose children's respite care is being moved from Sunflower House, we had to have a contract cut-off point and this has been set for the end of September.
“For the few remaining families we have discussed suitable alternative provision.”