A COUNCILLOR claims the future of two disability centres is under threat after a controversial report was given the thumbs up.

Cllr Vic D’Albert has slammed colleagues on the executive for backing proposals that could lead to the centres, Whittle Pike Day Centre in Ramsbottom and William Kemp Heaton in Bury, being demolished, adapted or refurbished so elderly people can be looked after there.

Despite the concerns of Cllr D’Albert and several of his colleagues, the report was backed, but only on the proviso that consultation was carried out with affected groups.

The outcome has opened up a rift between councillors serving on the executive committee and those in the group set up to monitor it.

According to Bury Council, William Kemp Heaton in St Peters Road has 22 places for individuals with complex needs and 38 places for individuals with moderate needs and Whittle Pike Day Centre in Hazel Street offers a variety of activities according to need.

Controversy began on January 22, when members of the council’s joint scrutiny commission were asked to recommend the report on the future of residential homes for elderly people.

Speaking after the meeting, committee member Cllr D’Albert said: “We had before us a fine report outlining proposals to offer 21st-century choices to our elderly citizens.

“Myself and other councillors noticed a small reference to Whittle Pike and William Kemp Heaton.

“The proposals suggested using these facilities to provide new services for the elderly by either demolishing, adapting or refurbishing these sites.

“The report was flawed because there was no mention about the impact on services for people with learning disabilities.”

When the executive met last week to consider the report, Cllr D’Albert’s request for the report to be withdrawn was rejected.

Afterwards, Cllr D’Albert said: “It is now clear to me that learning disability services at these two centres are under threat.

“A reasonable request to withdraw the report was met with cynicism.”

Cllr Beverly Sullivan, executive member for health and wellbeing, said: “There is nothing in this report which makes me concerned and there will be consultation with various other interested parties.

“If we delay it, we delay consideration of what is going to happen to the elderly of this borough.”