THE Red Cross centre in Romsey will shut for good this month.

The facility will have its last day of operation on November 9, while the centre in North Baddesley has already closed.

This comes after earlier this year the Red Cross announced its decision to close 12 of its 21 facilities in Hampshire.

The Red Cross has been providing elderly and disabled people in Romsey and North Baddeley with mobility aids for years.

Red Cross bosses said Hampshire will still have more centres than any other county in the UK.

But town bosses in Romsey said it will be difficult for residents to visit centres in Andover and Eastleigh.

Mayor of Romsey, Dorothy Baverstock, said: “Geographically they do not seem to have thought this through and I suspect it is based purely on finance, not services they provide or are needed in an area.”

Celia Dowden, councillor for North Baddesley ward, added: “The Red Cross has been a presence in North Baddesley for many many years. They have provided access to advice and much needed medical aids for local residents.

“It has been run by volunteers from the community, for the community, some of whom have been involved in this service for over 50 years.

“What a sad day for them. The closure is a sign of the times.

“The long fingers of lack of funding by government reaching down into the heart of communities.”

Aaron Stevens, mobility aids manager at the Red Cross, said: “The British Red Cross needs to make sure we continue to deliver an effective mobility aids service for many years to come. Reducing the number of locations across Hampshire will help us use our resources wisely and allow us to deliver a cost-effective service reaching as many people as possible.

“Inevitably, these changes may cause some inconvenience to members of the public for which we’re very sorry.”

Mr Stevens said Red Cross is exploring other options such as a more developed delivery service.

Geoff Cheshire, head of operations for mobility aids at Red Cross, said some of the buildings used by the service were only three miles apart.

He added: “This is a very inefficient and expensive way to operate. We have therefore given notice to leave 11 NHS properties and close one Red Cross centre.

“This will allow us to continue providing vital mobility aids from nine Red Cross buildings across the county.”