Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting ECHONEWS to 80360, or email us Click here for details »
10,000 sign up to care homes fight
10:00am Monday 2nd September 2013 in Echo News
MORE than 10,000 people have signed petitions calling for two care homes to be saved.
But the massive show of support for the homes, which residents’ relatives say keep their loved ones alive, will be difficult for councillors to ignore.
John Martin, 61, whose mother Lily, 87, stays in Priory House, said: “It shows 10,000 people are asking this council to stop cutting public services, especially when they are for vulnerable people.
“They are targeting the vulnerable, with children’s centres, libraries and care homes. They don’t seem to target their own salaries.”
A petition, started by Priory House residents’ relatives, calling for the care home and day centre, in Prittlewell Chase, to be saved from the axe, has about 7,500 signatures – and counting.
Another petition calling for both homes to be kept open, started after Delaware House residents’ relatives realised the 23-bed home in Maplin Way was also under threat last month, has collected another 2,500 names.
Campaigners, many of them elderly relatives of residents in their eighties, have collected the huge number of signatures after going door-to-door across the borough.
Norma Webb, 79, of The Gables, Leigh, whose husband Colin is in Priory House, said: “I haven’t knocked at a door where people said, ‘I’m not signing.’ “People are angry they are closing down the home.
“They say: ‘Yes, I’ll sign it immediately’.”
Due to the large size of the petitions the council has asked the campaigners to hand them in on Monday so officers can begin verifying them.
The public has until Sunday to comment on the plans, but campaigners will be able to continue collecting signatures until the end of next month.
The GMB and Unison unions, which represent staff at the two homes, helped organise the second petition to ensure a united front.
Claire Wormald, secretary for the Southend Unison’s local government branch, said: “If the decision to close these homes happens, we will never get them back and the removal of the people from those homes could cause death.”
Harry Burgess, branch secretary for the GMB Southend, said: “The signatures show the support we have.”
No one was available from Southend Council to comment.
Comments are closed on this article.