A councillor has slammed a health group, calling it “the worst public service” he has ever seen.

Watford Borough Council Cllr Mark Watkin of the Liberal Democrats gave Herts Valley Clinical Commissioning Group this title in reaction to how they have handled the closure of a disabled children’s centre.

Nascot Lawn Respite Centre had been due to close at the end of the month, as part of the group’s venture to save £45 million this year.

The service, which looks after disabled children with high medical need so that their parents, who are full-time carers, can rest or spend time with their other children.

The decision to cut funding has come as providing overnight stays is not a health cost, and as many health services are facing cuts, the group have said they cannot justify spending £600,000 a year on something which should be covered by social services.

The county councillor and opposition spokesman for children’s services was joined by chorus of voices while speaking at a full council meeting last Tuesday.

Cllr Watkin said: “In all my time representing my residents this is the worst public service I have ever seen.

“I have no confidence that the recent engagement meetings that have been held by Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning to meet their legal duties will make any significant difference.

“The sheer cynicism of their approach is that they now blame the County Council for not being ready to take on this responsibility when it has only had weeks to assess what these needs are.

“The tragedy continues. The families have no idea what respite they will receive and the CCG is washing its hands of them.”

The group will decide the future of the centre by a panel at some point after November 6, when all proposals for alternative funding will have been submitted.

In a public engagement meeting with parents, Chief Executive of Hertfordshire County Council John Wood confirmed that a decision for the council to provide some of the funding would be confirmed yesterday.

Hertfordshire County Council have been contacted for comment.

Deputy Mayor of Watford, Peter Taylor said: "The parents of children at Nascot Lawn have managed to save the centre for a few months because the initial CCG consultation was completely inadequate.

“Given this, I would have expected them to conduct a full, belts and braces, consultation this time. Instead they are overseeing a second, flawed consultation.

"The CCG's so-called engagement document lacks basic information and includes inaccuracies. Once again, there is insufficient time to genuinely engage with the parents who continue to fight so valiantly for this vital facility."