The council plans to set up a ‘community hub’ for people with disabilities, the News has learned.
The news came after officers met with the Camden Society, a registered charity, to discuss the closure of two of its day centres for people with learning disabilities in Southwark.
The Camden Society is looking for new homes for its Riverside Day Centre, in Cherry Garden Street, Bermondsey, and Queen’s Road Day Centre, in Peckham, after its leases on the council-owned buildings ended.
Cllr Richard Livingstone, Southwark Council’s cabinet member for adult care and financial inclusion, said the council plans to work with the Camden Society to “develop a community hub for people with disabilities”, following a meeting on Tuesday (March 14).
“We had a really helpful meeting with the Camden Society to discuss how we can work together to support service users at Queen’s Road and Riverside, and their families, through changes to their services,” he said.
“We have agreed to meet regularly in the coming months to scope out a short-term and longer-term plan, with Riverside as a potential interim location for people with learning disabilities.
“Longer term, we want to work with the Camden Society as we develop a community hub for people with disabilities but we all need to first understand the outcome of the assessments that we have just begun, which will help us understand the kinds of services people want and need going forward.”
A Southwark Council spokesperson said it was a case of looking at how the council delivered its services with “fresh eyes”.
The Camden Society has leased both buildings rent-free from the council for a number of years since it was agreed the properties needed renovation work.
One hundred and sixty adults with learning disabilities use the centres, which provide activities and vital social interaction for some users who say they would otherwise sit at home alone each day.
The lease on the Queen’s Road centre ended on January 31 and the council has deemed the building not fit for purpose.
The council has allowed the charity to continue to operate rent-free until June to allow for the assessments of its 48 users.
The lease on the Riverside centre will end in June and the Camden Society will have until November to leave.