My update on Broomhill Day Centre in Penicuik

Tuesday February 27th 2024


Christine Grahame MSP writes her monthly column for Midlothian View

There has been a lot of traffic on Twitter and elsewhere concerning the fate of Broomhill Day Centre in Penicuik and rightly concerns that it might simply be shut down.

That is not the case and myself and Councillor Debbie McCall have been busy sorting out fact from fiction, meeting management with officials.

Now I have high regard for the staff and volunteers and defend to the hilt the need to keep such a facility going and indeed developing as demand will undoubtedly increase. So, the good news is that the council the design team met recently with staff and Debbi McCall who attended in her capacity as a member of my staff. (I have been off with a rotten ear infection and cold).

The report is that it was very positive and there is a commitment to continue adult social care either at that setting or a new build but that it is very much up to the Management Committee and what they want. Given that the current building is pretty much not fit for purpose, it may be that a new build is the solution. But again, that is up to Broomhill management team who are the experts here.

There would also be an opportunity for the Centre to tie in with Penicuik High in providing an opportunity for senior pupils perhaps considering working in the Care Sector as a profession to learn what that entails from a collaboration between the Centre and the school with pupils learning as it were hands-on.

It is early days, but I hope you take comfort from this news.

I see this as a golden opportunity to do the staff, volunteers and the families and elderly people they serve, and indeed Penicuik, proud.

Moving from the elderly to the very young I have learned that Labour led Edinburgh City Council seem to be proposing that if you are not a resident of Edinburgh but commute in to work from say Midlothian, then you will not be permitted to access private or independent Scottish Government funded childcare in the city. The option of a council facility would however remain an option.

Seems like blackmailing commuting parents to either let that funding go to Edinburgh council coffers or else. That also destroys the notion of choice and indeed the council option may simply not be suitable let alone available.

I know of a good few Midlothian parents who use Edinburgh because of a lack of places in local facilities.

I am already pursuing this to see if it is kite flying or a serious proposal which must be in any event distressing parents.

I would also suggest to the council apart from this proposal being wholly unfair, employers won’t actually be too pleased to see staff upset indeed some if the commuting staff might even work for the council and if indeed there are spare places at council facilities they might like to enquire why.

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