UKIP county councillors join campaign to save Basingstoke's Deeside care home (From Basingstoke Gazette)
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UKIP county councillors join campaign to save Basingstoke's Deeside care home
A CAMPAIGN to save a Basingstoke care home has gained support from UKIP councillors.
Councillor Ray Finch, UKIP leader at Hampshire County Council, and his deputy Cllr Tony Hooke met relatives of residents at Deeside, in Alliston Way, South Ham, which has been earmarked for closure.
Conservative-led Hampshire County Council is proposing to shut Deeside because it would cost £2.3million to bring the 48-year-old home up to modern standards. The council also plans to close three other care homes in Romsey, Petersfield and Lyndhurst for a similar reason.
The council has opened a 12-week consultation on the plans, which could result in 40 job losses and the uprooting of 29 elderly residents, some of whom have dementia, from Deeside.
Cllr Finch, who represents Bedhampton and Leigh Park in Havant, said his party would be vocal in their opposition to the plans, and will help to set up stalls in town centres for people to give their views in the consultation.
He added: “By their own recommendation, the council would need to spend £2.3m to bring Deeside up to date, but that’s a top-of-the-line improvement.
“What we want for these people is a comfortable environment where people can be cared for and can spend their days with dignity. Closure cannot work for people with dementia.”
Terry Swait, of Manor Close, Hatch Warren, Basingstoke, whose 92-year-old mother lives at Deeside, welcomed the UKIP support.
He said: “It’s phenomenal. These are the only two councillors who came back to us and said they wished to help. The rest of the parties just want to shut it down.”
The public service union Unison has also backed the campaign.
Tim Cutter, branch secretary for Unison Hampshire branch, said: “These closures mean residents, many in their 80s and 90s and physically frail, will have to move from a place they originally chose to live in.
“One of the most dangerous and disruptive things you could do to someone in such a condition is to move them out of their accommodation towards the end of their life, especially if they suffer from dementia.”
In the county’s plan, some Deeside residents would be moved to Oakridge Care Home, which is being extended. The county is also looking to build a second “extra care” assisted housing scheme in the town to complement Newman Court, in Gershwin Road, Brighton Hill.
The county council has organised one-to-one meetings for families connected with Deeside on Wednesday, August 21, and also on September 10 at Newman Court.
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