600% rise in costs is ‘disgrace’

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A disabled Chorley man claims he is being forced to miss out on one of his favourite pastimes after a 600 per cent rise in charges.

Peter Heywood, 80, used to visit Fosterfield Day Centre every week to meet with friends and take part in activities including keep fit and quizzes.

He paid £5 a day, but has now been told that the price is set to rocket to £30.75 due to funding cuts.

The retired heating engineer, who suffered a brain haemorrhage in 1991, has now been forced to resign from the group and has hit out at Lancashire County Council, which provides the service.

Peter, of Draperfield, said: “We’re not talking about a slight increase here - it’s going up by an awful lot.

“I have been going to the centre for nine years and used to pay £5 a day plus £2.60 for a meal.

“I really enjoy it and used to take my wife Gladys with me as they have a unit there to support people with dementia.

“It’s a chance to get out of the house, meet friends and get involved with different groups, but now I can’t afford to go as I have had a letter to say it is going up to £30.75 a week.

“I only go for four hours and that works out at almost £8 an hour which is ridiculous.”

Peter became a carer for his wife of 55 years after she was diagnosed with dementia and now visits her everyday in the nursing home where she lives.

He added: “When I read the letter I couldn’t believe it. I rang the manager of the centre and she was very sympathetic, but I’ve had to resign temporarily to see what can be done.”

Peter has now contact Chorley MP Lindsay Hoyle who has written to the leader of Lancashire County Council on his behalf.

Mike Calvert, cabinet member for adult and community services, said: “We are unable to comment on individual cases. However, following our public consultation, the new charging policy for social care is now coming into effect.

“The county council is under considerable financial pressure and is no longer able to subsidise services to the level it did in the past. For example, this means the charge for day care will increase from £5 per day to £30.75 for older people.”