Dementia care homes in Kirklees saved from closure after public protests

Many family members of those living in the care homes protested against the proposal. Credit: ITV News

Two care homes for people with dementia that were earmarked for closure by a cash-strapped council will stay open following public protests.

Kirklees Council proposed closing Castle Grange, in Huddersfield, and Claremont House, in Heckmondwike, to offset a budget shortfall of £47million.

The council said the closures would save more than £1million over the next financial year, but the proposal was met with backlash by some of the families of residents.

Following a 12-week public consultation, the council has now pledged to keep the homes open. The decision means none of their 42 residents will need to move.

The council said it had been approached by independent sector operators and it would continue to explore transferring the homes to private ownership as an option.

Council leader Cathy Scott said: "I want to thank everyone who made their voice heard during the consultation.

"I understand how unsettling the last few months have been for residents of both homes and their families. I hope this announcement gives them some peace of mind.

"Social care is in crisis across the country. Demand for services far outstrips resources and councils are facing increasingly painful decisions."

She added that social care "needs a long term solution rather than short term, last minute, funding announcements that make planning very difficult".

Cllr Scott added: "We have always said that we would prioritise local people who need our help and support most within a very difficult financial position.

"By continuing to run the two care homes, whilst exploring alternatives to them being operated by the council we believe we are staying true to that promise."

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know.