CONCERNS over the future of adult day centres for people with disabilities have been raised by a Wee County parent.

Wishing to remain anonymous, they gave an account to the Advertiser following a budget consultation meeting for parents and carers by the Clackmannanshire and Stirling Health and Social Care Partnership.

The partnership, which consists of officials from Clackmannanshire Council and NHS Forth Valley, is in the midst of setting its budget for the year ahead.

Its situation is similar to that of the local authority's in that the bundle of organisations will need to make savings of an estimated £11.5m in the forthcoming financial year.

Part of this is what a savings options document simply details as a "redesign of day care services by carrying out a review of the needs of the people currently using the service and work with the third sector to identify other opportunities for support to older people".

Officials stressed no final decisions have been made yet and the budget will settle everything next month.

However, the concerned parent told the Advertiser: "Despite the meeting being billed as a consultation, it became clear that a decision, in principle, had already been made to close three of the four existing buildings [that offer provisions to adults with disabilities], retaining the only facility at the Whins Centre and offering provision for 20 adults only with the complex needs."

The parent claimed there were also "tentative plans" to introduce a service similar to Streets Ahead in Stirling, which aims to help people access community facilities.

With a range of facilities facing a potential axe for the council, however, there are fears there would be little left to access after all.

The parent continued: "Parents and carers also expressed concern about the difficulty of introducing such dramatic change for service users and also the withdrawal of a centre-based service which allows many users, who would otherwise be socially isolated, the opportunity to interact socially with a peer group."

When approached by the Advertiser, Clackmannanshire Council would not confirm nor deny the details of the proposals.

However, it has been stressed that no decision has been taken yet.

Councillor Ellen Forson, member of the Clackmannanshire and Stirling Integration Joint Board, said: "The partnership is currently consulting on a number of savings options as, like all parts of the public sector, it needs to deliver the best services it can within the resources available.

"No decisions have been made yet, and these options are only proposals at the moment.

"Decisions on future service provision will be made when the 2018/19 budget is agreed at a formal meeting of the Integration Joint Board in March 2018."