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  1. ITV Report

Britain's oldest prisoner of war 'being forced out of his home'

Robert Clark, 96, with his son Mike. Photo:

A 96-year-old World War Two veteran said he is being forced out of his home of 50 years after his local authority decided not to continue paying for his at-home carer.

Robert Clark, 96, is originally from South Shields but now lives in Burnt Oak, North London.

A petition calling for Brent Council to allow Robert to keep his house has reached more than 165,000 signatures. The council said the cost of a carer coming to his home is too expensive.

For the last two years, Robert, who is blind and deaf in one ear, spent his £50,000 life savings on part of the cost of his £960-a-week live-in carer.

But the council, who currently pay just £350 towards his care, are refusing to up their contribution, and now there is a campaign, led by his son Mike Clark.

During the Second World War, Robbie was one of the lucky few captured soldiers who survived Hitler's 1,000-mile 'Death March' retreat across Europe in 1945.

His son said being sent to a care home is like being taken to the POW camp all over again:

We have thousands of people who are calling for the council to look at my father's case as an individual and they are refusing point blank.

My father fought for democracy and this is the one thing which Brent is failing to provide. This is causing my father to be very anxious and he is unable to sleep.

We have enough money to pay for around three more months of care but we have no idea what is going to happen after.

We are not looking for a lot of money just for the council to do the right thing.

– Mike Clark, Robbie's son

Phil Porter, Brent Council's strategic director of adult social care, added:

Mr Clark owns his home, so there is absolutely no question of Brent Council evicting him despite what has been suggested in this petition.

We recognise Mr Clark's contribution to this country and sincerely empathise with the situation that he and other older people like him across the UK are in.

However, the problem arises as the care package that Mr Clark is choosing is not affordable to council taxpayers given the constraints of local government funding and the need to be consistent for the 2,900 people we support.

– Phil Porter, Brent Council

The council says the maximum they can spend per resident is £451-a-week, but even if he moves into a care home, the former soldier will require specialist help which costs much more.

We have been working very closely with Mr Clark and his family for a number of years now, and will continue to do so.

We want to find a solution which meets his eligible social care needs, provides value for money for the taxpayer, but also reflects the choices he has made and the additional cost this creates.

– Phil Porter, Brent Council