CARERS are celebrating a Uturn by council chiefs who told them the people they looked after were barred from meetings due to health and safety concerns.

Members of Bury Carers Centre were outraged by the council’s decision to ban the people they care for from the centre’s meetings in November last year.

The centre in Silver Street had previously welcomed spouses, family members and friends to activities and a coffee morning with carers.

Now Bury Council has reverted to that line.

Pat Coote, vice-chairman of the Bury Carers Forum, had criticised the authority’s decision for its “lack of compassion” and said it created a barrier for carers.

She is delighted that, after an intervention by Cllr Rishi Shori, cabinet member for adult care, health and housing, an agreement has been reached.

Pat, who cares for her husband Wilfred and had regularly brought him to the centre, said: “I am absolutely thrilled with the decision. This will make such a big difference to my life and that of my husband. I’m so glad that Cllr Shori has intervened and taken the time to listen to the view of carers.

“Being a carer is tougher than people can ever imagine and you need all the support that you can get.”

Carer Louise Brook said that the council’s decision had made carers the victims of disability discrimination by association.

But a spokesman for Bury Council confirmed extra public liability insurance would be taken out to cover people who were cared for attending at the centre.

Cllr Shori said he was “disappointed” the council had got into the situation in the first place but was glad it had now been resolved.

He added: “People should not have to fight the system, it should work with them. Carers are the unsung heroes of our community and it is important that we as a council back up our warm words with the right actions.”

Cllr Joan Grimshaw, chairman of Bury Carers Forum, said: “This is a weight of everybody’s mind. We literally had carers in tears when they were told that they could not bring their cared-for to the centre and I would like to thank Rishi for his help.”

For more information on attending Bury Carers Centre or future carers forums: call the centre on 0161 763 4867.