MONEY from the sale of the former Dorset Enterprises factory should be spent on improving facilities in West Howe, ward councillors have insisted.

Cabinet members last week agreed to sell off the Elliott Road factory, which has been vacant since the closure of Dorset Enterprises in March 2013.

Dorset Enterprises provided work for disabled adults but Bournemouth council has decided to use the Winton-based Community Employment Service to help people with disabilities to find and maintain a job.

The sale of the empty factory is due to raise between £550,000 to £850,000 and Kinson South councillor Beryl Baxter said that money should be spent in West Howe.

“As a ward councillor I am always looking for opportunities to bring about improvements in the local area,” she said. “We want to see some money put back in the West Howe area.

“At the end of the day the decision to close the factory has been made, cabinet have made that decision.

“I could see an opportunity to speak up for the area and get what we can for the people of West Howe so that’s what I did.”

Cabinet members agreed to arrange a follow-up meeting for all Kinson South ward councillors with Cllr Jane Kelly, the cabinet member for partnerships, regeneration and public health.

They were told that of the 23 staff made redundant by the closure of Dorset Enterprises, all but one had found alternative employment.

Cllr Blair Crawford, cabinet member for adult social care, said: “The current model of supported employment is already proving in Bournemouth to be a more cost effective method for providing permanent paid work for people with disabilities compared to the previous model at Dorset Enterprises.

“It is providing a higher quality of support, meeting the needs of the individual and the requirements of prospective employers. It is delivering a service to a much greater number of adults at a lower cost, contributing towards our priority for a more efficient Council.”