RESIDENTS of a well-used Hampshire day service are to be moved after county councillors voted in favour of its closure.

Masters House in Romsey was recommended by council officers to be shut following an eight week consultation – in which 84 per cent of respondents voted against the proposals. Not a single person agreed with the closure.

However, despite concerns raised by locals, the decision to close the centre was approved, which, along with the closure of Petersfield’s Bulmer House, will save the council £177,000.

Currently, 13 people use the service – eight less than when the consultation started in November.

The council says one of the reasons for the closure is that the Romsey facility is operating at just 40 per cent capacity, with no signs of growing.

It stated another reason was because the way people are choosing to access care during the day is changing, with “many now preferring to receive support tailored to their individual needs, rather than traditional day care”.

Nevertheless, the service will continue to operate until “suitable alternatives” can be found for those using the centre.

Romsey county councillor Mark Cooper said: “I strongly regret the closure of the Masters House day service.

“I have had several communications with both county council officers and the cabinet member for Adult Services, Cllr Liz Fairhurst, on this matter.

“I have been assured that clients currently in receipt of the service will have an alternative provision. I did point out that the very nature of the clientele meant it was very difficult for them to cope with a changed service and a changed location, but the decision has been taken by Cllr Fairhurst in any event.”

He added: “She has told me that when the new Nightingale Lodge is completed in the Autumn of 2019 that the Masters House Service provision will take place in the new building. That’s not much help for the current clients.

“But, notwithstanding the current climate of government and county cuts, I’m determined to try and keep the day service running in the longer term.”