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HONITON:Respite centre to reopen

Tuesday, 08 July 2014

A Honiton respite centre for people with learning difficulties is set to reopen in September. Pine Park Respite Centre was seriously flooded in December last year and forced to close. Its future was unclear, but Devon County Council eventually decided to embark on a £130,000 repair programme. A DCC spokesperson said: “The hygiene and clean up work at Pine Park is almost complete, but the council’s plans include new floor coverings, replacement kitchen and bathroom units, and the reconstruction of damaged walls. “Other maintenance to the building is also required before it will reopen.” West Hill couple Eileen and Bob Gaiger were worried that Pine Park House wouldn’t reopen. Their daughter Laura, 30, attended Pine Park House on a regular basis until flooding forced the closure. After the decision to reopen, Mr Gaiger said: “We are obviously very pleased, but sympathise with users in Exeter.” Pine Park’s lifeline means that services at a centre in Exeter will be suspended. The DCC spokesperson said: “With the cost of repairs at Pine Park estimated to reach £130,000, at a time when the council has to save £110 million by 2017 due to government funding cuts, the council can not afford a larger bill of £311,000 to make equally necessary repairs to another of its respite centres in Exeter, Haldon View.” County councillor Stuart Barker explained: “We have looked at the number of people and families currently using respite and the frequency of their visits, and the fact that all four of our respite centres have ongoing spare capacity. “But given the estimated cost to carry out necessary work at Haldon View, and because we have two respite centres in Exeter, we will reopen Pine Park Respite Centre in Honiton and temporarily suspend the service from Haldon View.”

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