“WE ARE all at breaking point.”

That’s the cry from embattled campaigners who are continuing their fight to bring back an axed respite centre.

Carers were given a major boost last week when civic chiefs performed an unexpected u-turn and revealed plans to reopen Kentish Road Respite Centre at weekends – three months after they controversially closed the Shirley-based facility.

But carers have since been told they will have to wait until July before the service returns.

And campaigners, who protested outside the Civic Centre on Sunday, are now pleading with council chiefs to open it sooner.

Lisa Stead, whose son Harrison previously went to Kentish Road, said: “We can’t wait that long.

“We are all at breaking point.”

Amanda Guest, whose daughter Victoria used the service, said: “It’s having a very detrimental impact on carers both physically and mentally.

“I love my daughter to bits but being a carer 24/7 can be very demanding.

“You need that break.”

Campaigners say as many as 50 people took to the Civic Centre steps on Sunday to voice their anger at the latest development.

The group are also campaigning for the council to spend some of its tax hike on bringing the centre back full-time.

As previously reported in the Echo, the authority plans to raise tax by 5.99 per cent this year – the highest possible amount without triggering a city-wide referendum.

The hike is expected to bring in an extra £2.5 million this year.

Of that, three per cent will be ring-fenced for adult social care.

However, civic chiefs say all of the extra money will be spent on the rising costs of council care services.

Ms Guest is now appealing to council leader Simon Letts to invest some of the next year’s annual budget into Kentish Road.

She said: “We want them to use a proportion of that tax increase to be spent on Kentish Road.

“We have a lot of people supporting us.

“I think if people knew their money was going towards Kentish Road I think they would be pleased.”

Meanwhile, Conservative council leader Jeremy Moulton has promised to spend £250,000 on bringing the centre back up-to-scratch.

He said the service could then be run by a charity or care provider.

Councillor Moulton also described the July opening date as “ridiculous”.

City council leader, Simon Letts, said: "We are working with a number of respected local charities to establish a long term use for this site.

"We are committed to keeping it available to support adult social care."