The closure of five elderly care homes in County Durham has moved a step closer.
At a meeting this afternoon (April 8), councillors heard recommendations to close the homes in Stanhope, Belmont, Ferryhill, Peterlee and Chester-le-Street.
The council says it needs to save money. Campaigners say the stress of moving elderly residents could cost lives.
A final decision will be made next week.
Protests have been taking place against Durham County Council's plans to close five care homes.
The council says it's being forced to consider the closures to meet saving targets. Campaigners say the stress of moving older residents could cost lives.
Members of Unison and the GMB union are gathering outside Durham's County Hall to lobby the council over proposals to close five care homes. The unions have invited the families of those who use the care homes to join them. They'll lobby councillors attending a meeting of the full council.
The future of five care homes in County Durham is up for public debate from today.
The council says budget restrictions means it is considering a number of options for the future of the following homes.
- Cheveley House, in Belmont
- Feryemount, in Ferryhill
- Grampian House, in Peterlee
- Mendip House, in Chester-le-Street
- Newtown House, in Stanhope
The options being considered are:
- Retain the five homes and carry out repairs and maintenance.
- Close the homes and find alternative accommodation for the residents.
- Look for other interested parties who may want to take over the management of the homes.
The trade union Unison said it would fight the possible closure of five care homes in County Durham "all the way".
Durham County Council announced yesterday it was considering the future of the homes. It will consult with the public about whether to retain the homes, transfer ownership to external organisations, or close them and move residents elsewhere.