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Hundreds protest plans to close Hove care homes
Hundreds of people have now protested against plans to shut two Hove care homes in a bid to cut costs.
Brighton and Hove City Council is currently consulting on closing some of its smaller homes, claiming the move will save £600,000 a year.
The local authority claims changes have to be made to the service, which it says has been running the same way for 25 years, if it is to combat Government cuts and improve care.
But campaigners, who have collected a petition of more than 1,600 signatures, claim it will have a detrimental effect on the lives of some of the most vulnerable people.
Sue Beatty, of Brighton and Hove Unison, said: “While acknowledging the difficult financial times councils face, it cannot be morally right to close homes for those service users who are probably the most vulnerable adults in our city purely for financial reasons.”
The latest preferred option is to close the homes in Old Shoreham and New Church Road, both in Hove, and move clients to other care homes. The home in Ferndale Road will now not be affected.
This would put between eight and 13 jobs at risk although existing permanent staff are expected to be relocated.
Other options include maintaining the current system, handing the running over to the private sector or increasing the capacity at its current homes.
Rob Jarrett, the chairman of the council’s adult care and health committee, said: “We need to refocus and improve our service in order to deliver the best possible support to our most vulnerable residents.
“We are acutely aware of the sensitivities around asking people with learning disabilities to move house.
“Should the plan be agreed, we are committed to working in a kind and considerate manner with our clients and their families to do this in a way that minimises disruption and treats them with dignity.”
Labour councillor Anne Meadows said: “The closure of these care homes highlights once again that the Greens are struggling to look after the public purse.”
A decision will be taken at the council’s committee meeting today at Hove Town Hall at 4pm.