WYRE MP Hilton Dawson is determined to champion the cause of the doomed Fylde Community home in Poulton with a special meeting tomorrow (January ).

"I think it's a mistake to close the facility and we need to get round the table and see what we can do," he told the Citizen as he prepared to meet union members and managers about the proposed closure of the children's residential home.

"Fylde Community is a really important resource for Lancashire. And the Government is completely opposed to the closure of the secure Dales unit on the premises which safely manages, away from the influence of adult criminals, young people who have committed serious offences

"Fylde is also an independent organisation so I want to be talking to the managers as they are the people who are most affected by this, and their views are crucial.

'I have no doubt that Fylde Community might need to change and develop, but I do not believe it should close."

Lancashire Social Services plan to close the facility in two years' time, but UNISON believes that is not long enough to allow consultation to take place. Branch education officer for UNISON Trevor McLaughlin said: "We have a number of concerns, not least that we are not attending the 6pm meeting with Hilton Dawson because we cannot make it.

"But we are meeting with staff and personnel in the afternoon to discuss redeployment, and the fact that this decision has been taken outside the Best Value Review which determines the future of children's residential services across the county.

"Fylde Community fulfils a vital role for the needs of young people in residential care."