We are going back to the dark ages, says chairman of council's advisory group
Aberdeen City Council's plans to relocate older people suffering from learning disabilities came under renewed attack last night.
Alastair Williamson, chairman of the council's own disability advisory group, denounced reviews allegedly intended to decide whether the disabled people should remain in special units or be transferred to old people's homes as "deplorable".
He was reacting to fears sparked by a letter from the council to relatives informing them reviews would be carried out to see if those with learning difficulties aged over 65 could be moved to old people's accommodation to secure "best value".
Mr Williamson, of Gilcomstoun Court, said: "We are going back into the dark ages.
"I was always led to believe disabled people should be given the best possible quality of life, but moving someone with multiple sclerosis into accommodation which has not been adapted for them is absolutely diabolical."
He added: "They want to hide them away and pretend they don't exist in homes where they will never be seen."
Earlier Aberdeen South Labour MP Anne Begg denied a charge that she had been "scaremongering" in raising concerns about a policy she claimed meant "people with learning disabilities who are over 65 are to be ripped out of their homes in order to save money".
The attack on her came from Bridge of Don Liberal Democrat Councillor Gordon Leslie, the lead councillor on social work issues, who later stood by his remarks.
A council spokesman later sought to calm fears about the policy, insisting that many who have been subject to the reviews have not been moved.
The intention was to ensure people were in the accommodation best suited to their needs, he said.
It was not to do with saving money.
Miss Begg said councillor Leslie's remarks made her "even more worried".
She said: "Councillor Leslie accuses me of 'scaremongering' but then goes on to confirm that the council are doing exactly what I had dreaded they were."
The Press and Journal, 25the February 2009