DAY centre users across Dorset are being urged to have their say on a range of cost-cutting ideas.

A whole raft of suggestions, which aim to save the county council £600,000, will come under the spotlight at a series of public meetings across the county.

Together, the proposals seek to modernise day care services and reduce the financial burden on the council’s budget, primarily by removing vacant posts or cutting staff hours.

Services in North Dorset, Christchurch, Ferndown, Swanage and Wareham could all see a reduction in staff. At the same time, staff and users have been asked to come up with ideas to maximise the amount of income generated at sites and these suggestions include opening up services to more people, hiring out rooms and introducing cafes or shops on site.

Andrew Cattaway, the council’s cabinet member for adult social care, inset, said: “We know that day services are highly valued and make a vital contribution to meeting people’s needs.

“We want to ensure these services can be maintained and developed for the future. But this means that some changes will be required, both to operate within the tough new financial constraints and also respond to changing demands in the kind of support people want. We have listened to what service users want and it is great that the plans focus on improving services.”

The consultation will run until July 31 and the results will be brought to cabinet in November.

The dates for the public meetings are Dorchester County Hall on June 26, Swanage Christian Centre on July 3, Barrington Centre Ferndown on July 5, Corn Exchange Blandford on July 10, St John’s Ambulance Hall in Bridport on July 17, Shaftesbury Town Hall on July 19, Wareham Corn Exchange on July 24, 1a Beaconsfield Road, Christchurch on July 25. All meetings start at 7pm and will end at 8.15pm.