CONTROVERSIAL day centre charges look set to be increased by 258 per cent after councillors backed the plans.

Oxfordshire County Council’s ruling cabinet agreed the proposals on Tuesday.

The cost of attending day centres will rise from £4.18 to £15 from September.

The plans now need to be approved by full council.

And the fee for being taken to the centres will go up by 82p to £5 for a return journey, a 16.4 per cent rise.

Liberal Democrat councillor Jenny Hannaby raised concerns that some elderly people could lose an important lifeline.

She said: “I believe that a lot of people will stop using the day centres and the viability of them will reduce.”

Speaking after the meeting she said: “There will be a group of people who drop out and in two or three years’ time it will lead to a review over the viability of some centres, which could then close.”

Cabinet member for adult services Arash Fatemian defended the plans and said there was “misinformation” floating about.

He said: “We value day centres as an important part of the community.”

Mr Fatemian added the aim was to increase the quality and keep the day centres viable.

He said the charges would be introduced gradually over a two-year period from September 2013.