Haringey promises adults with autism will be accomodated after legal threats

Autism campaigners have made their voices heard

Autism campaigners have made their voices heard - Credit: Archant

Autism campaigners are triumphant after Haringey Council promised to salvage essential disability services following legal pressure

The popular Roundway Day Centre in Tottenham for adults with autism will still close, but carers have won assurances that all Roundway users will be accomodated.

The Ermine Road service in Tottenham will be expanded and operate as a community “hub” offering activities in the centre and outside, including swimming and bowling from December.

Beverly Tarka, director of adult social care, promised there will be no break in services in a letter sent to carers last week.

Autism trained staff will be provided, and may even be hired directly from the Roundway centre.

Save Autism Services Haringey campaigner Mary Langan said: “We were horrified when Haringey first proposed the day centre closures back in November 2014.

“We were particularly concerned at the threats to exclude people in residential care from day services and at the absence of any detailed proposals about what services would be available to current day centre users.

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“So we are delighted that Haringey has made a positive response to the case made by families and carers for maintaining high quality day services.

“This outcome is a tribute to a long arduous campaign, supported by families and carers, the National Autistic Society and other local campaigns.

“It is a pity that it took the threat of legal action to make Haringey face up to its social and moral responsibilities to vulnerable adults.”

Two Roundway centre users were represented out of court by solicitors Irwin Mitchell.

In a letter to the council, the solicitors noted carers were perplexed by plans.

“It is clear to us that there is a significant amount of confusion and anxiety regarding the proposed changes...

“Families do not know what is going to happen and when, whether there will be a place for their family member at Ermine Road, and what the service might look like.”

A Haringey Council spokesman said: “As part of our plans to transform adult social care in Haringey we have always been clear that day support and opportunities will be available to all residents who are eligible for them. This situation has not changed.”