Families fear closure of Leeds care home as council tries to save £64 million

  • Video report by Jon Hill

Families of elderly residents say they may not survive if their care home closes as part of a cash-strapped council's cost cutting measures.

Knowle Manor Care Home in Morley is at risk under Leeds City Council's proposals to save £63.9 million in the next year.

Almost 30 residents could be left homeless.

Carol Allen's mother Barbara, who turns 90 this week, lives at the care home.

Carol said: "I don't think my mum would survive anywhere else. It's too traumatic. Not just for my mum but it is traumatic, it's like being evicted from your home."

Sharon Martin's mother, Margaret, 85, is another resident.

Sharon said: "They are all very vulnerable people. A lot of them don't have family and friends coming to visit, so the people in the care home and the carers, they are their family."

85-year-old Margret lives at the care home

Council leader James Lewis blamed the council's predicament on "14 years of austerity".

He said: "We are in a situation now where we have a further £60million reduced from the council budget and that means we have to make some very hard decisions including closing some much loved council facilities."

More than 2,000 people have signed a petition to save Knowle Manor.

Cllr Jane Senior said: "It's the last council run home in Morley and we need it for our community and our residents.

"It's the impact it has on the residents now, having to move at such an old age and they thought this was there forever home."

Knowle Manor is under threat as part of Leeds City Council's cost-cutting plans. Credit: ITV News

A council spokesperson said a consultation was underway on the care home's future.

They added: "We will continue to work with the residents and their families to understand the impact on them and provide ongoing support, should the decision be approved in the summer.

"This proposal is part of the broader financial context of the council needing to deliver annual savings in the next year of £63.9million."

A government spokesperson said: “We recognise councils are facing challenges and that is why we recently announced an additional £600million support package for councils across England, increasing their overall funding for the upcoming financial year to £64.7 billion – a 7.5% increase in cash terms.

"This additional funding has been welcomed by leading local government organisations, but we remain ready to talk to any concerned council about its financial position."

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