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Doomed Southend care homes Delaware and Priory House headed for closure
CAMPAIGNERS trying to save two Southend care homes were dealt a bitter blow after councillors rejected their calls to scrap the public consultation.
This is despite more than 10,000 people signing petitions to save them.
On Tuesday Southend Council’s cabinet rejected calls to rerun the consultation, which had been described as a farce.
Protesters picketed yesterday afternoon’s meeting, but it made no difference.
Instead, the cabinet agreed the questionnaire had “no defects or deficiencies”.
Mr Holdcroft said earlier this week calls to rerun the consultation from opposition councillors were “a cynical attempt on the part of its supporters to play party politics.”
The Independent group on the council has asked a professor of politics to look at the questionnaire and provide evidence that it is flawed, but he is yet to report back.
The results of the consultation will be analysed next month and a final decision is expected later this year.
The council ordered a review into its two remaining care homes last year to look at the costs of running them.
The six-month review reported in March and recommended Priory House, in Prittlewell Chase, and a day centre on the same site be closed as it needed more than £1million of repairs.
The cross-party group of councillors recommended Delaware House be demolished and a new care home, supported accommodation and homes built on its oneacre site in Maplin Way North.
A consultation launched in June, but was criticised by opponents for being confusing.
In July the council voted to scrap and redraw it.
That vote was rejected yesterday, so the results of the consultation will be out next month.
DEFIANT campaigners aiming to save the last two care homes are holding out hope that councillors will eventually see sense.
Many are convinced the controversial closures will cost lives.
Stan Saunders, 85, who lives in Canterbury Avenue, Southchurch, has collected a 4,500-strong petition against the plans.
His wife Vicky, 84, has been in Delaware House since February, suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s.
He said: “The care there is fantastic. My wife has calmed down a lot since being there and the staff have become her family.
She knows them better than me now. She will be so upset if she has to move, it’s all I can do to carry on collecting signatures against it.”
John Martin, 61, of Eastern Avenue, Southend, whose mother Lily, 87, is in Priory House, said: “I do hope they’ll listen to our protests and what we’re asking them to do.” Kevin Harrington, 52 of Ronald Park Drive, Westcliff, whose mother Margaret, 77, sufferers from dementia, said: “Councillors have got to listen to the public, that’s what they’re there for.
“If they move people out of the homes, their health will suffer.”
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