County council leaders mark latest stage of £5m Great Harwood developments
Friday, May 7, 2021
Plaques to mark the start of building work on the site of a £5million development for two new services for people with disabilities have been officially dedicated.
Geoff Driver CBE, leader of Lancashire County Councill, Phillippa Williamson, cabinet member for children, young people and schools and Graham Gooch, cabinet member for adult services, visited the site of the former North Cliffe School in Great Harwood to see the work underway.
One of the new buildings will be a short break service for up to six children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities, which will provide overnight support. Play facilities are also being built next to the centre.
The second building will be a short break service for adults with disabilities. This service will provide overnight short breaks for up to eight adults at a time.
It was the final engagement for County Councillor Driver as the authority's leader. He ends his time in office and his service as a councillor tomorrow (Saturday 9 May) after choosing not to stand in this month's elections. He has been a county councillor since 2005. During this time, he has served the authority as leader in two stints between May 2009 and May 2013, and from May 2017 until now.
County Councillor Driver said: "It's great to see these superb new services taking shape.
"The modern facilities will offer the very highest standards of support for people with disabilities.
"Providing high quality services such as these is crucial, ensuring people who use them get the best support and the chance to take part in a range of activities during their stay. They also give families and carers the opportunity to take a break.
"I have been pleased to be involved in the development of ground-breaking facilities such as these, which are a vital part of Lancashire's health and social care system, during my time as leader of the county council.
"Marking the latest stage of such an important project is a fitting way to end my 16 years of service to the people of Lancashire."
The new children's service will replace the short break service at Hargreaves House in Oswaldtwistle and the adult facility will replace the current Hyndburn and Ribble Valley Adult Short Break services.
County Councillor Phillippa Williamson, cabinet member for children, education and schools, said: "Staff at our services do a superb job, but the existing buildings are old and it's increasingly difficult to ensure they can meet modern standards.
"These new services will offer fully equipped and modernised accommodation, with improved bedrooms, lounges and communal areas, and fully landscaped grounds.
"The children's service will also have excellent play facilities. Our highly trained staff will continue to deliver the very best services to people in Hyndburn and Ribble Valley when the new facilities open in 2022."
County Councillor Graham Gooch, cabinet member for adult services, said: "Modernising the short break services we offer is vitally important.
"They will provide a range of activities for people during their stay, with highly trained staff and cutting-edge equipment.
"The adult short break service will have modern en-suite bathrooms and the building will be on one level, offering excellent access to the site. It will be a huge improvement on the facilities at our current services, which are run from older buildings."
Voting for the Lancashire County Council elections took place on Thursday 6 May. The votes will be counted and a new leader duly appointed tomorrow (Saturday 8 May).
The results will be posted live on the county council's website, www.lancashire.gov.uk.