Disabled group considers High Court challenge if their centre is to close

A group of disabled people are considering taking Tower Hamlets council to the High Court if they decide to permanently close their day centre.

The Resource Centre in Southern Grove, Mile End will be closed by October to make way for a new home for Beatrice Tate school, currently in St Judes Road.

Users of its Day Opportunities disabled service do not believe the council will find them an alternative home.

They may challenge that in the courts after �8.6million worth of cuts to public services by London Councils were ruled unlawful earlier this month.

Ronnie Moodley, who was awarded an MBE in 2003 for refugee services, is partially blind and visits the centre, used by around 70 people, twice a week.

He said: ““It has helped me so much, I was depressed and isolated before but it helped me get my confidence back.”

A council spokeswoman said yesterday that planning is underway to relocate the centre’s services, which also include a day centre for elderly people, to new locations.

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But Mr Moodley says that in a meeting last Wednesday attended by John Roog, the council’s service head for adults’ health and well-being, the worried group were told that a new home couldn’t be found to allow for council savings.

Mr Moodley said: “If they plan to save it, that’s not what they’ve told us.

“We’ve been told that the service will wind up in June.”

They were also told that they would receive a grant with which they could buy back council services.

Another user, Richard Lomax, 63, of Dod Street, who has mobility problems as a result of diabetes, said: “I don’t want the money, I want the company and social life I get here.”

“There must be a building somewhere to put us in.”