Commenting on the latest news about the Phoenix Centre in Lewes, Philip Daniel, Liberal Democrat County Councillor for Ringmer and Lewes Bridge said: “There’s been too much uncertainty from ESCC about the future of the Phoenix Centre. Residents want to see continuity of both service provision and the thriving community centre.”
He was responding to the decision by County Councillor Carl Maynard, ESCC Conservative Lead Member for ASC and Health, on Tuesday 8 January to resume direct provision by ESCC of adult day care services at the Phoenix Centre. This followed a failed tender process where proposals from SCDA, the existing provider and only proposer, were deemed “non-compliant” by the Council.
Councillor Daniel continued, “With government cuts threatening local government finances everywhere, not least in East Sussex, how secure will the Phoenix Centre service be? We need a guarantee of funding for at least three years. I am concerned that this move is simply a back-door way to cut these services after the next budget.
“ESCC’s proposal has no business plan. I have asked that one be prepared and published. Any private provider would have to give one.
“There is an agreement with the League of Friends of the Phoenix Centre over the property but there is no evidence that they have been consulted on these proposals.
“The fact that so much of the background information on which this decision has been based is barred from public scrutiny will only add to disquiet about how the Conservative County Council has handled this issue.
“Substantial and scarce public money is involved here, and it is in the public interest for the County Council to make a full disclosure of the reasons for this decision and the financial basis on which it is being made.”