A Renfrewshire MSP and councillor have said they are “firmly opposed” to new proposals that would reduce services for vulnerable people.

Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership say they plan to merge the Milldale Day Opportunities and Mirin Day Opportunities services, which support people with learning disabilities and autism.

The proposals would mean the closure of a flexi service which helps people for several hours a week.

Scottish Conservative MSP Russell Findlay and Councillor David McGonigle say the draft plans fail some of the most vulnerable people in Paisley and the surrounding area.

Cllr McGonigle represents the Linwood ward where the Milldale Day Opportunities services is located.

They have urged Renfrewshire Council and Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership to listen to “serious concerns” raised by relatives of those who rely on the Mirin and Milldale services and re-think their decision.

Councillor David McGonigle said: “This proposed downgrade of essential services would be a blow to many local people.

“I am shocked that these cuts are even being considered and I am firmly opposed to them.

“Local constituents have raised serious concerns with me that this would have a devastating effect on some of our most vulnerable people.

“The SNP-led council must urgently listen to these concerns and re-think this wholly misguided proposal.”

Local Scottish Conservative MSP Russell Findlay added: “I am disturbed that the council is seeking to reduce this vital support for vulnerable people.

“These services are a huge help to people with learning disabilities and their families.

“This is the consequence of savage SNP Government cuts to council budgets.

“I will be calling for increased funding to local authorities during the upcoming Scottish Budget process in the Scottish Parliament.”

A spokesperson from Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership said: “At Friday’s IJB meeting, Members voted that we should proceed to further develop a number of savings options that were presented.

“This means we will now begin a period of engagement with our service users, residents, families and carers – as well as with our HSCP staff and any other relevant stakeholders – to gain a fuller understanding of all views around these options.

“The period of engagement will run until the end of January 2024. We will use feedback from these discussions to plan the safest way forward for our services, reflecting the needs of the people who use our services, and their families, at the heart of our future proposals.

“These proposals will not be presented to IJB Members to decide upon until March 2024 at the earliest.”

Headline photo: MSP Russell Findlay and Councillor David McGonigle
Photo Credit: Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

By Ricky Kelly

Main writer for Renfrewshire News

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