Liberal Democrat councillors have raised serious concerns about the way in which the Labour administration has handled the decision making process of two long-standing day centres in Southwark.
The Riverside Day and Queens Road centres, which support 160 adults with learning disabilities and complex needs, had both been earmarked for development for some time with the Riverside Day Centre promoted as a development site at a developer meet and greet last November. The Riverside Day Centre has since been offered a reprieve and an offer is currently been considered The Camden Society.
However it is the process leading up to this reprieve that most concerns Southwark Liberal Democrats. Lib Dem Councillors previously put forward a motion to ‘initiate an urgent investigation into the decision making processes’ involved in the earlier decision not to renew the leases for the two day centres, this was rejected overwhelming by the Labour group at March’s Council Assembly meeting.
Southwark Liberal Democrats are now seeking reassurances that discussions that took place between the children’s and adults services and the regeneration directorate were above aboard. A Freedom of Information (FOI) request demanding more information was first made on the 1st of March 2017. However this has been delayed with no reasons given by the council. The 20 working day deadline has passed, as has the extended deadline, with Liberal Democrat members now asking what is the Council trying to hide?
Councillor Anood Al-Samerai, Leader of Southwark Liberal Democrats, said:
“Serious questions have to be asked about the way in which the Labour administration has handled the decision making process related to these two critical day centres. Some of the most vulnerable people in the borough use these services and they have been kept in the dark.”
“We requested an urgent investigation into the decision making process which was rejected by Labour councillors. However we didn’t stop there and have now formally asked, through a FOI request, that the council disclose information on how the decision was made to include the Riverside Day Centre as a development site before informing The Camden Society.”
“We will continue to fight for clarification on this issue.”