Oldham Council’s Cabinet has a decided the Link Centre should remain open but with a different operating model following an in-depth consultation.
The Link Centre offers large number of services, support groups and signposting facilities for residents with a disability, who feel vulnerability or have some form of additional need, carers and professionals.
The future of the centre was considered as part of the council’s initial plans to find £20million in savings for the financial year 2017/18.
A 12-week public and partner consultation commenced on 6 September 2016, and around 249 questionnaires were completed, 121 people attended drop-in events and 159 emails were submitted.
The consultation and engagement of so many people helped to form a range of options considering the future of the centre.
Following this consultation, Cabinet has decided the Link Centre should remain open but with a different operating model to ensure the necessary savings can be made.
Jean Stretton, Oldham Council Leader, said: “We are always under pressure to save money with our funding from the government being constantly cut – and because of this we have to explore all possibilities and consider what is best for residents.
“We were always clear that we would consider all views submitted as part of the consultation.
“We saw a fantastic level of engagement throughout the process, with residents offering interesting ideas and suggestions on how we can make the savings.
“It was clear from the consultation that there is still a need for the Link Centre in Oldham. You shared your views, concerns and suggestions and we listened.
“Cabinet believes the best way forward is for communities themselves to take control of the services provided and for the centre to be run in a way which is more financially viable.
“With this in mind, we also intend to allow a third sector organisation to run the building and let space.
“We believe this will allow us to make some of the future savings we need to find, with residents still being able to access and develop the services people want at the centre.”