Link centre closures leave mental health services in a critical condition

17 Mar 2024

Phil Hutty, Lib Dem Parliamentary candidate for Torridge and Tavistock, has added his voice to those dismayed by the closure of northern Devon’s Link Centres in Bideford, Ilfracombe and Barnstaple.

Mr Hutty said, ‘This leaves our rural mental health services in a critical condition. It’s short-sighted and a mistake. This Tory led Devon County Council has picked away at funding for mental health in the last few years and their decision to close these services will leave vulnerable people without a critical part of their support. The argument that the Link Centres duplicate other services just shows how little they understand about the complexities of mental health support.

As a Social worker, I have seen at first hand the importance of the right support for people. We cannot keep expecting other agencies to pick up the pieces of cost cutting because you can find some technicality to not do it. The government has ruthlessly cut budgets to local authorities whilst expecting them to take on more responsibility. It is time to fight back and say just because we live in a rural community it doesn’t mean we should get a third-rate support service.’