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Formal Proposal to Close Ash Centre for Elderly People Goes to GBC’s Executive

Published on: 16 Jan, 2022
Updated on: 19 Jan, 2022

The Shawfield Centre – Google Street view

By Emily Coady-Stemp, local democracy reporter
and David Reading

The permanent closure of the Shawfield Day Centre for elderly people in Ash has moved a step closer following a recommendation agreed by the Executive Advisory Board (EAB) at Guildford Borough Council.

The proposed closure is part of a programme of cutbacks to save money and help the council balance its budget.

If the recommendation is agreed by GBC’s Executive, services currently on offer at Shawfield will be moved permanently to The Hive at Park Barn, Guildford, and community transport will be laid on for Ash people.

The Shawfield Centre has been closed during the pandemic, with existing users already using The Hive, and a council report said that generally, these people had voiced satisfaction with this arrangement

The report added: “Some have found the centre loud at times, but we have created a quiet space for vulnerable clients to use and this has been particularly helpful for those living with dementia.

“The on-site hairdresser and podiatry treatments are of great health and wellbeing value to all customers and this is something that was not so readily available at Shawfield.”

But a public consultation exercise showed overall unease about the closure of Shawfield. This concern was particularly felt among those residents of nearby Japonica Court who had their daily lunch at the Shawfield centre but did not receive care services.

Cllr Paul Abbey

A council report said moving all services to The Hive would deliver savings in the region of £170,000 a year and this arrangement would offer the best quality of care for elderly users.

Cllr Paul Abbey (R4GV, Ash South & Tongham) said he understood in principle why the closure of the Shawfield centre was being proposed, but he highlighted the fact that many people in the Ash and Tongham area feel they are Guildford’s poor relation – a view expressed on social media.

Cllr George Potter

Cllr George Potter (Lib Dem, Burpham) said he thought it might reassure the public if a plan could be put in place for future community use of the Shawfield building.

With this in mind, Cllr Abbey told The Dragon he was working on a new community and wellbeing project that would be of huge benefit to local people and the Shawfield building would be an ideal location for this project. He said he was planning to put a proposal to GBC.

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test One Response to Formal Proposal to Close Ash Centre for Elderly People Goes to GBC’s Executive

  1. M Southam (Mrs) Reply

    January 17, 2022 at 8:43 am

    I live in Ash Vale and enjoyed the few times I visited the Shawfield Day Centre. Was sent information about The Hive as an alternative but in my opinion it is not convenient.

    I hope we are kept informed about the closure of the Shawfield Day Centre. Important for people like myself living alone to meet up with others.

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