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Deeside campaigners vow to continue fight to save care home
CAMPAIGNERS will look at launching a possible judicial review after Hampshire County Council decided to close a Basingstoke care home.
On Monday, members of the Cabinet at Hampshire County Council voted unanimously to close Deeside, in Alliston Way, South Ham, as well as two other care homes in Petersfield and Romsey.
Another home in Lyndhurst will remain open, but its day care facilities will close.
Deeside will close when a specialist wing is built at the Oakridge House care home, expected to be completed by next autumn. Some of Deeside’s 24 residents will then move to Oakridge.
The decision comes after months of campaigning by relatives of Deeside residents, who collected 7,301 signatures calling for Deeside to be saved.
The campaign also achieved the support of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, trade unions and opposition councillors at Hampshire County Council.
Les Wyatt, whose 98-year-old mother Eileen lives at Deeside, was one of six people from the campaign to speak at the cabinet meeting.
He said: “We were expecting this decision but we are all hugely disappointed that they (the Conservative-run Hampshire County Council) have not taken account of what anyone from Basingstoke has said.”
Members of the Save Deeside group were due to meet on Tuesday to discuss the possibility of a judicial review, and how to fund it.
Fellow campaigner Debbie Long, whose father is at Deeside, said: “The whole consultation process was a complete sham, and I felt they were trying to justify the decision when they were debating it.”
Hampshire County Council has said the care homes that will close are not fit-for-purpose, and it would cost £2.3million to renovate Deeside.
Councillor Roy Perry, leader of Hampshire County Council, said it had been a “very difficult” decision, adding that care staff will work with residents to provide choices about alternative accommodation.
He said: “We want to ensure their care needs are properly met now, as well as ensuring that care can be delivered in the best possible way in the future.
“This means offering quality care services and facilities that are fit for the 21st century.”
But Cllr Cathy Osselton, borough council cabinet member for partnerships, described the outcome as “unacceptable”, adding: “Current residents will be affected by the county’s longer-term plans and our council remains unconvinced that adequate alternative accommodation will be made available.”
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