One third say ‘no’ to changes to care homes

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NEARLY one third of residents, who took part in a public consultation, rejected Suffolk County Council’s controversial plans to close or offload care homes.

The authority received more than 1,000 responses during the three-month debate about the future of its 16 residential facilities with 31 per cent disagreeing with any of the options put forward.

When considering the proposals, which have been drawn up as the county slashes its budget, a further 53 per cent of people favoured selling the homes as going concerns and just 10 per cent supported closing some homes and transferring the rest to the private sector.

Six per cent thought that all the homes should be closed.

Among those considered for closure are Davers Court, in Bury St Edmunds, Ixworth Court, in Ixworth, and Wade House, in Stowmarket.

Other homes affected by the plans are Glastonbury Court, in Bury, and Wamil Court, in Mildenhall.

During the consultation period, 570 people attended meetings and the council received 122 letters and emails, 283 completed questionnaires and 28 expressions of interest.

Critics of the proposals say they were not surprised by the results.

Dr Peter Kilner has been a GP in Bury for 30 years and his mother-in-law Margaret Turner, 75, lives in Davers Court.

He said: “I felt from the outset that the options offered were really that of a rock or a hard place.”

Chris Sutton and Julie Cole have opposed the plans as their father-in-law and grandad Henry Alcock, 94, is also a resident at Davers Court.

Mrs Cole, of Elmswell, said: “This shows overwhelming support for the whole proposal to go back to the drawing board.”

Cllr Colin Noble, portfolio holder for adult and community services, said: “Getting the views of residents and service users has been an essential part of this difficult process. There is still a long way to go until any final decisions are made. I hope by working with the community, we will be able to do the right thing for Suffolk.”

Results will go to the cabinet on Tuesday.