PROTESTERS fighting to save a respite centre in Shirley feel “extremely positive” it could stay open after further recommendations to save it were sent to Southampton City Council’s cabinet.

The city council had earmarked Kentish Road respite centre in Shirley for the axe as it looked to save around £300,000 a year.

However, following a long-fought campaign the centre’s users, their families remain confident Kentish Road can be saved.

At an Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee last Thursday, delegates voted at passing recommendations to cabinet, which include keeping the service open as well as identifying the assumptions the cost savings are predicted on if it was to close.

The final decision on the centre’s future will be decided at the cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

Following Thursday’s meeting, Amanda Guest, who along with Lisa Stead has co-ordinated the campaign, said “new signs of positivity were appearing”.

She said: “It’s been embarrassing for the councillors involved in this decision because it is going backwards and forwards.

“It’s especially bad for Cllr Warwick Payne (portfolio holder for adult social care) as he is in charge of the decision.

“Afterwards we asked him whether he really wanted to leave this as his legacy, ignoring the most vulnerable in the city.”

So far, the campaigners have carried out a string of events to rouse support for their push including handing out mock £20 notes with Cllr Payne’s face on it, a lotto card and marching through the streets of the city.

On Wednesday, the Daily Echo reported that the centre faced the axe after the authority’s leader, Cllr Simon Letts, held crunch talks with the activists.

The Labour chief reportedly told campaigners the authority would be closing the centre to save funds.

His comments were confirmed in a report, released on Tuesday, which is set to be discussed by the cabinet.