COUNCIL chiefs have approved controversial plans to shut three day centres for people in Bournemouth with learning disabilities.

A number of vulnerable adults who rely on the centres and their care workers turned up to the cabinet meeting hoping for a last minute reprieve.

But despite representations from councillors and Bournemouth People First, a charity which represents people with learning difficulties, the cabinet voted in favour of the recommendations to close Darracott Day Centre in Pokesdown by the end of September and Malvern Day Centre in Moordown by December.

Cllr Lynda Price, cabinet member for health and social care, said: “In the current climate it would be foolish of the council to run three partially open day centres.”

In April the Daily Echo reported how Malvern Day Centre was given a stay of execution after the council was handed a report into how devastated people felt about the proposals.

At the meeting Cllr Chris Wakefield, who spoke on behalf of the Bournemouth branch of the Local Involvement Networks (LINks), implored the cabinet not close Malvern until it was shown to be no longer financially viable.

Councillors reassured Mr Wakefield the day centre would only be closed when the reduction in use made it no longer practical to keep open, which is expected to be around Christmas.

Leader of the council Cllr Peter Charon, said: “We have to look at how we can make things work to their most efficient.

“Money is not the prime motivator, but we cannot pretend we’re not operating in a very difficult financial environment.

“To do otherwise would be folly.”

According to health chiefs the cuts will save more than £450,000 in 2012/13.