Thrift Farm consultation meetings get underway

The first consultation meeting on the Future of Thrift will go ahead at 6pm this evening (20 February). The meeting, one of four planned throughout the next few weeks, will be held in the cafe at Thrift Farm. Other meetings will take place as follows:

– Friday 1 March 2019, 2pm-4pm
– Wednesday 13 March 2019, 5pm-7pm
– Wednesday 20 March 2019, 4pm-6pm

The meetings are open to services users, their parents and carers, as well as local residents [local to Thrift Farm] and customers of the farm. Talkback, a local learning disability charity, will be holding separate sessions at the farm with service users so that they can be helped to give their views too.

The consultation, which began on 13 February, is already seeing people give their comments via an online survey. To complete the survey and have your say on the future of Thrift by following this link

Lin Hazell, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said:”We would like to see Thrift Farm taken over by someone with a viable plan to keep the service and farm running. If there is anyone out there who thinks they can make a go of it, I urge them to get in touch without delay.

“This is a difficult time for everyone involved and I know people are worried about the future. I want to reassure them that, whatever happens with the consultation, nobody will be left without a suitable place to go. As part of our Better Lives strategy we are committed to helping people develop their skills, build on what they can do and be as independent as possible. If they cannot do that at Thrift Farm we will find somewhere that they can.”

Any individual, group or organisation wanting to submit an expression of interest can do so via the SE Business Portal here – this will remain open until the consultation ends.

The decision to consult on the future of Thrift Farm was made by the Cabinet on 4 February, this was based on a report that highlighted; location, health and safety risks, and financial viability as challenges for the council in running the service.

The consultation on the future of Thrift Farm is scheduled to end on Tuesday 9 April 2019. Any decisions on the future of Thrift Farm, following consultation, will be taken by the full Cabinet.

For more information about why the consultations is being held and how to give your views go to