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Thursday, 24 July 2014

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Security costs £5k at disused Ulverston facility

THOUSANDS of pounds have been spent on security at a disused dementia facility, almost two years after it closed.

Gill Rise, a 20-bed assessment unit in Stanley Street, Ulverston, for people with dementia, was closed in July 2012 when its services were moved to the Dane Garth facility in Barrow.

Since it closed, the facility has become a target for vandals and a popular spot for antisocial behaviour.

A freedom of information request has revealed that Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which owns the property, recently paid £4,745 for a CCTV system to protect the building and its contents.

The site, which is being used by the trust to store surplus furniture, was broken into by teenagers in October.

Since then, police records show a number of incidents of antisocial behaviour in the area, including criminal damage and a group of young people who were seen attempting to set fire to rubbish.

A spokesman for the trust said the cameras had been installed “in response to incidents and advice from the police and our own security assessment.”

The trust is still considering its options for the future of the building.

A spokesman said: “We are considering putting it on the market to see what interest there is to bring it back into use.”

Sonia Mangan, chief officer for Age UK South Lakeland, said it would be preferable if the facility was used for its intended purpose: “The best place to support people with dementia and other stressful problems is in their own homes.

“But for some, it gets to the point where care is needed on a 24-hour basis and if that option is taken away then it is a blow.

“If you move someone a distance away from a community like this then the other person who is left behind has to travel and that can be very difficult particularly in this area.

“However, we do know you can’t keep ironing the same pound, you have to be realistic.”

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