Thursday, March 23, 2023
Burry Port Dementia Group claim ‘unfairly treated’ by Town Council

Burry Port Dementia Group claim ‘unfairly treated’ by Town Council

A dementia carers support group in Burry Port claim that they are being unfairly treated by the Burry Port and Pembrey Town Council and that the council have not fully supported them in their activities. The claim is being made by the group’s Secretary Dorothy McDonald.

Mrs McDonald claims that she waited for over two hours at a town council meeting to have her letter read out. She claims that the letter was not read out and that she was spoken to ‘very rudely’ by the Mayor. She said: “I came out of the meeting in tears.”

Mrs McDonald told Llanelli Online: “The e Mail I was sent  by the secretary-clerk did not address the issues in my letter. My home telephone number was also given to one of the council members who telephoned me and asked me if I knew about the e mail. I informed him that I had written it.

The Dementia Carers Support Group was started in November 2016 to meet a need for support for carers and people with Dementia in the Pembrey and Burry Port area.

Supporting the Dementia Support Group: County Councillors John James and Amanda Fox

Mrs McDonald claims that the group have not been fully supported by what she says is supposed to be a dementia friendly community town council. She said: “This has not been our experience with exception of a few individual councillors led by Councillor John James.”

The group claim that they put in two grant applications in March 2017. Mrs McDonald claims that despite repeated enquiries they could not get any information and were then told that the applications had been mislaid. She said that they were informed that they had been awarded £500 and that they are still waiting for the cheque some five months later.

The group also claim that the town council have not been accommodating to the needs of the people suffering with dementia who need consistency. Mrs McDonald said: “We wanted to start a second session singing for the brain on a Monday night. We were told we could only have it on certain Mondays and it would not be the same Monday each month. This was not suitable as members would not know where they were. Fortunately the Catholic church has always supported the group and we have signed a contract to use the Catholic hall for 4 hours each Monday for a total cost of £10 a week. We have been given our own key to get into the hall.”

Claiming a lack of support: Dorothy McDonald R.G.N./D.O.N. Dip Gerontology

Mrs McDonald claims that other groups have been allowed to use the hall free of charge and questioned how the town council could justify this particularly as the hall was donated to senior citizens.

She said: “The trustees all give their services free of charge and they do not claim expenses. We started the group with four members and now have 30 members. The group are organising a work shop on March 21st on making Pembrey and Burry port a Dementia Friendly Community. Local businesses are being invited and they will be given information on how they can receive staff training in order to obtain a logo.

“Professor A Bayer of Cardiff University and Llandough Memory Clinic will be the principal speaker. He is one of the foremost experts in Dementia Care in the country and he is providing his services free of charge.”

Mrs McDonald has asked if the town council would consider waiving the charge for the hall.

Llanelli Online contacted Burry Port and Pembrey Town Council to put some of the claims to them. We were told that the clerk was on leave at present.

You can watch an interview with Dorothy McDonald, the county councillors and a dementia support group volunteer here:

Burry Port Dementia Group from Llanelli Online on Vimeo.

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