Apology after kids group told to move

DCC has locked a parents support group out of the centre where they meet at the Youth and Community Bungalow in Langley Mill

DCC has locked a parents support group out of the centre where they meet at the Youth and Community Bungalow in Langley Mill

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A support group for the parents and carers of children with special needs has found a new base after it was mistakenly told to leave the centre it had used for five years.

Frantic Families met weekly at the Youth and Community Bungalow on Dalton’s Close, Langley Mill, until it received a phone call on February 28, telling the group it had to go and that the locks would be changed the next morning.

Derbyshire County Council has since apologised for the message, saying the group was misinformed, but has confirmed the centre will close.

Founder Leigh Morton said: “The caretaker was told he had two hours to get out of the building and the locks would be changed the next day. We are out of pocket now because of someone else’s mistake.”

After the call, Frantic Families made a financial commitment of £20 a month to a new venue and booked it for a year.

Leigh added: “We have found somewhere else and we are having to pay rent. The council told me it will probably close by Easter but they will try and find us somewhere rent free. That’s no good to us now.

“Someone has blundered, we have acted on it and now we are in the a mess. I know the council have to do cutbacks - but the way they have gone about this is wrong.”

Cllr Mick Fowkes, chairman of Aldercar and Langley Mill Parish Council, offered to pay two months’ rent for the group at a new venue. The group is now to meet at the Welfare pub.

A spokesman for the council said: “We would like to offer our apologies to the group. The lock was not changed. Cabinet took the decision to close the building, but it will not close until we find a new home for them.”