Users of day care centres in Kynoch Court, Stanford-le-Hope, and Bell House, South Ockendon, have supported plans to combine the centres into one purpose built building in Cromwell Road, Grays.

A consultation with the regular users of the two day centres has found that the vast majority of them said they will go to the new centre.

The Cromwell Road centre has been purpose built for day care and will better serve users than current provision which is delivered from buildings which were not designed for this purpose.

The consultation also found that the increased Sitting Service provided during the COVID-19 pandemic, which provides respite to carers including outside the normal 9-5 hours of day care, was extremely well valued with 89% of respondents finding the service to be ‘good’ or ‘very good’. The proposals allow for the new arrangements to be mainstreamed.

Cllr Deb Huelin, Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “Our service users are at the heart of our plans so it was vital that we know that proposed changes will work for them.

“This consultation has provided some fantastic feedback from the very people that use these services and demonstrates that we are on the right track. We will now take what we have learned and make sure that any proposals put forward takes that learning into account.”

The majority of meals delivery service users told the council they were either able to cook their own food or had alternative care plans in place that could be changed to ensure a hot meal is provided. Some will require alternative care provision; work is underway to identify the best options available for them