In his recent letter to the East Carers Group, Mr Salmond said:
“There is a real opportunity in the medium and long term to influence the shape of the new Aquatic Centre when it is adapted for community use following the Commonwealth Games in 2014.
“This brand new modern resource could be adapted to offer a similar facility to that which you saw when you visited the Harry Smith complex.”
He added: “I have therefore asked my officials, working in conjunction with Glasgow City Council, to prepare a funding package to ensure a modern facility along the lines I have described above is created within the Tollcross Aquatic Centre after the Games in 2014 have taken place.”
It is expected that Glasgow City Council will receive £150,000 to carry out a feasibility study of the Aquatic Centre.
As the Accord Carers state in the STV story below there is still a long way to go. Their centre is set for demolition, and whatever happens with Mr.Salmond’s ‘assurance’ about new facilities at the Tollcross Centre (of which there is still plenty of doubt as Councillor Kerr expresses below), the Carers still look like being placed in the Bambury Centre for at least two years until the Games have passed in 2014. They have repeatedly said the Bambury is an inadequate downgrade from their current facilities at the Accord centre.
Mr.Salmond’s intervention is welcome, but this is not a time to take the eye of the ball, or let up pressure. Up-to-date facilities for people with disabilities are not something we should have to wait around for – they are the very least we should expect and should be accessible to those in need immediately. We would like to some some more substantial guarantee than the mere words of a politician.
What does Mr.Salmond mean when he talks about the Harry Smith Complex? From what we’ve heard the complex, in South Lanarkshire, is very popular with users and those who visit. Why don’t we have more facilities such as these throughout Glasgow? Take a look here or pasted below.
The Accord campaigners will be agitiating to make sure that the Scottish Government and the City Council meet Mr.Salmond’s ‘assurance’, and we’ll be monitoring the story, along with many others, all the way. The struggle for social services is not just their fight but everyone’s.
The Harry Smith Complex
The Harry Smith Centre is a modern state of the art day care centre which provides services for adults with learning disabilities and is available for community lets in the evening and weekends.
The centre offers a number of general purpose rooms, an arts room, dance studio and two large community halls which can cater for social events and functions for up to 120 people. Lets can also hire the adjacent cafe area for serving food or for use as a bar.
During the day a Starbucks Cafe is operated by the Coalyard training organisation and this can be accessed by all members of the public.
The Day Support service within South Lanarkshire Lifestyles, Harry Smith Complex caters for up to 80 adults with learning disabilities each day. This purpose-built facility offers state-of-the-art accommodation for people with a wide range of both learning and physical disabilities including;
- a computer controlled multi-sensory room
- a number of general purpose rooms
- a dedicated art room
- a training kitchen
- personal care areas
- a purpose-built dance studio
- two community halls
- a Starbucks Coffee bar
- an internet cafe with full internet access
The centre acts as a meeting point and base for clients who then make full use of all of the facilities that the local community has to offer. The rooms and facilities can be hired for use by private individuals and community groups out of Support service hours.
This facility can be used for a variety of community, social and commercial activities including but not restricted to Courses and Classes, Arts and Crafts, Sports Activities, Community Meetings, Birthday Parties, Engagement Parties, Discos, Wedding Receptions, Slimming Clubs, Martial Arts etc.