New discord is appearing in the row over the Accord Centre in Dalmarnock which is used by families who care for adults with complex needs such as Autism or Down’s Syndrome.
Following a personal intervention by Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond, who came to an agreement with Glasgow City Council Leader Gordon Matheson for the day care centre users to go to the nearby Bambury Centre when the Accord Centre is closed, many families are disputing the Bambury was ever a real option.
But Glasgow City Council say it is erroneous to claim the Bambury was rejected by Accord Centre users. Said a spokesman: ‘The majority of carers actually supported a move to the Banbury centre back in March, but plans fell through just two weeks before the intended move was due to take place because serious financial difficulties emerged on 11 March, which forced the Bambury into the administration. This put a question mark against the long term future of the centre, with the administrator only able to offer a lease on a month-by-month basis. In these circumstances, with no guarantee that a long-term lease could be secured, Social Work concluded that it would be inappropriate to move to the Banbury and made it clear that the Accord Centre would remain open as an alternative in the meantime. In other words, Social Work had no wish for people to move only for them to have to move again because a short-term lease had expired.’
He continued: ‘The financial issues at the Banbury have now been resolved and the council is now looking to move forward and secure the centre on behalf of the Accord service users. The council is hopeful that as care plans based on the move to the Banbury centre were completed only recently, these plans can be implemented without too much difficulty. These care plans are created in conjunction with carers and service users. It should be borne in mind that the Accord Centre has been a place where people meet in the morning before leaving to take part in activities in the community during the day. These activities include access to leisure services, education, training and work experience and can take place in venues such as Kelvinhall, Tollcross Leisure Centre, John Wheatley College and Reidvale Neighbourhood Centre, where many people with learning disabilities work in the cafe.’
He added that special support equipment had been removed from the Accord in order to be re-located within the Riddrie Centre in time for those Accord Centre service users moving over to Riddrie Centre to be able to use it. ‘These are service users with the highest and most complex support needs,’ said the spokesman.
Council Leader, Gordon Matheson has written to all families who use the Accord Centre to outline the ‘potential solution’ made between him and Alex Salmond. He stressed that the Council intends to buy the Bambury Centre which was ‘ the preferred option for the majority of service users until it became unavailable earlier this year.’
He added that it had been accepted between the two leaders that other local groups which might need to use the Bambury Centre when it was not used by the Accord families, should continue to be able to do so. But the Accord Centre users were to have dedicated time in the Bambury.
In conclusion Gordon Matheson said: ‘It will take a little time to finalise the purchase of the building and to plan the transition and the Council will keep you advised of developments. I know this has been a tense time for many families involved with the Accord Centre but I would like to think this proposal is a positive outcome for service users and their carers. I sincerely hope that you also consider this proposal a positive one.’
A spokesperson for the Accord centre users who have rejected moving to the Bambury Centre said: ‘The Bambury was rejected by the majority of people in March when it was mooted. The financial crisis meant the offer was not formally put on the table and we were glad about that because it was not an option for us. We think the Council is trying to solve two problems in one – the problems of the Banbury centre and the problem of where to put the large number of Accord Centre users who have not found it acceptable or convenient to go to Riddrie Centre.’
Glasgow Rocks have added firepower to their line-up with the arrival of Michael Crowell.
The six-feet-seven-inch forward is likely to join Sterling Davis’s squad for the 29 November encounter with Worcester Wolves at Kelvin Hall.
The arrival of the US/German player is timely, as Davis will sit out a one-match ban while his team take on the West Midlands outfit.
Crowell, who graduated from Division 1 Idaho University has played in Spain and Germany. He spent last season with Weissenhorn of the Basketball-Bundesliga.
Player/coach Davis said: ‘Michael will give us a little more depth offensively, especially with his ability to knock down the three-point shot in bunches.
‘He’s got a good size to him, especially for his position, which is always a plus for any coach because it causes such huge match-up problems when time to defend, but also works to our advantage defensively to be able to have a bigger defender on the perimeter.’
He added: ‘It’s hard to believe that a guy with his talent is still out there and has been throughout the course of the summer. I think he will definitely be an asset to what we are trying to accomplish here.’