Newcastle rehab centre to close in Staffordshire County Council cuts


A rehab centre in Newcastle-under-Lyme is set to close its doors due to funding cuts, despite a petition signed by more than 50,000 people.

The BAC O’Connor centre, on Clayton Road, will be closed on December 20 after Staffordshire County Council decided to uphold their decision to cut £875,000 worth of funding to the centre.

Even former addict and comedian Russell Brand appealed to councillors earlier this month to save the centre.

He said money being spent on getting people clean from drugs and alcohol “will pay great dividends in the future”.

But confirmation of the cuts came just 24 hours after the Lord Mayor of Stoke-on-Trent, Anthony Munday, said Stoke was ahead of the rest of the country in terms of its services for addiction.

He was speaking at the Insight 2016 awards, which brought together services that provide information and support for people with multiple needs, such as homelessness and addiction.

He described how the local area was at the forefront of the UK in how services were delivered and their successful outcomes.

The closure comes in an effort by the county council to save £15 million.

The centre has been open since 2007, providing support for more than 300 people a year with drug and alcohol addictions.

Founder Noreen Oliver is now worried about the strain it will put on other services including their sister centre in Burton.

Mrs Oliver said: “It was suggested that maybe the borough councils and other local authorities and the Police and Crime commissioner might be able to help fund it but we would still have to close.”

Councillor Alan White, cabinet member for health, care and well-being, defended the council’s decision.

He said: “There are around 865,000 people living in Staffordshire and we need to balance the competing demands of the people we care for.”

This includes services for children, the elderly and those with learning difficulties.

The council has already planned to reinvest £5.9 million in addiction recovery next year.


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