A SUPPORT service for adults with learning disabilities will be based at an arts centre in Abergavenny and one in Monmouth – despite a long-running campaign to reopen its former home at the Tudor Centre in Abergavenny.

It has already been agreed to establish a base at the Overmonnow Family Learning Centre in Monmouth.

The decision to establish a base for the My Day, My Life support service at the Melville Centre for the Arts in Abergavenny was welcomed by an Abergavenny councillor who sits on Monmouthshire County Council’s ruling cabinet, but was described as “disappointing” by the Conservative opposition leader.

Cllr Ian Chandler, the cabinet member for social care, said the decision had been taken in line with what the 11 service users in the Abergavenny area had said they had wanted from a base, where they will be able to drop in and see friends “without feeling as if they have to ask permission”, take part in activities, and also access other activities and events in the wider community.

The cabinet had taken a decision, without consultation, at the end of November last year to permanently close the Tudor Centre in Abergavenny, that kickstarted a campaign to reopen the centre while the social services department described day centres as “outdated”.

However a review into the My Day, My Life service, which had already started, found that service users did want a base and recommended establishing two, in Abergavenny and Monmouth.

Though campaigners stepped up calls for the Tudor Centre to reopen, it was placed on a shortlist with two other buildings in Abergavenny with a recommendation to choose the Melville made in October.

At the cabinet’s meeting on Wednesday, November 15, it was agreed the service should be based at the Melville and the council will provide support to groups interested in developing community-based support for a wider range of people.

Cllr Richard John, leader of the opposition Conservative group, told Cllr Chandler: “I do think this is a disappointing report and I struggle to see how the case stacks up not to proceed with reopening Tudor Street. The recommendations are almost identical to the report you partially presented, and deferred, on October 11. I think you’ve given false hope to residents.”

He asked how service users should feel “reassured” by the consultations since the pause in October, but Cllr Chandler said the support to the community groups and the council’s position on the future of the Tudor Centre were now clearer.