CAMPAIGNERS have been given fresh hope in their fight to save a soon-to-be-axed respite centre, after councillors demanded an 11th hour rethink.

Civic chiefs will now have to reconsider their decision to close Kentish Road Respite Centre, in Shirley, at an emergency meeting on Thursday.

It comes after the authority's Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee enacted rarely used powers to order a rethink on the future of the facility, which is due to close this weekend.

The committee, chaired by Conservative leader, Jeremy Moulton, will now discuss the cabinet's decision on Wednesday.

Ahead of the meeting, councillor Moulton said: "The decision to call something in like this only happens once every two years or so.

"We wouldn't call it in just because we don't agree with the decision.

"We feel the business of the decision is fundamentally flawed."

Councillor Moulton said he was yet to see concrete plans about the council's proposal to open up a smaller respite centre on site, named '32B Kentish Road'.

He added that if the plan was to go ahead, the council would have seven respite beds in two buildings, rather than the eight currently at Kentish Road.

The Conservative councillor said that splitting the service "didn't make sense".

One of the lead campaigner in the fight to keep it open, Lisa Stead, said she was pleased with the news.

She also called on civic chiefs to rethink the closure and listen to service users.

The councillor responsible for the decision, cabinet member for housing and adult care, Warwick Payne, said he would go into the meeting with "open ears".

But he added it was "unlikely" that anything new would arise that would prompt the authority to reverse its decision.