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5,000 signature petition to save Deeside care home handed over to UKIP councillor
DOZENS of campaigners protesting against the possible closure of a Basingstoke care home gathered outside to present a petition of nearly 5,000 signatures.
Members of Save Deeside waved placards and wore T-shirts with their slogan as they handed over the petition to Hampshire County Council UKIP Councillor Ray Finch.
Several Deeside residents who risk losing their home also joined the campaigners outside.
The petition was presented ahead of a public meeting this Monday, at which Councillor Roy Perry, leader of the county council, will answer questions about the plans to close Deeside, in Alliston Way, South Ham.
Cllr Perry refused to accept the petition outside Deeside, for fear of creating “a very disturbing scene” for residents.
He told campaigners: “I think it is too much to risk the wellbeing of the elderly residents.”
Cllr Perry did, however, offer to accept the petition at the public meeting on Monday.
Les Wyatt, whose 98-year-old mother Eileen is a Deeside resident, said: “We never intended to go inside the home. This was always going to be outside. He (Cllr Perry) knew that. We wanted to be in control of this whereas Monday night we won’t have control.”
The county council wants to close Deeside because it argues that the £2.3million cost to bring it up to modern standards is too expensive.
Under the council’s plans, some Deeside residents would be moved to Oakridge Care Home, which is being extended.
The council also wants to build a second “Extra Care” home in Basingstoke to complement Newman Court, in Gershwin Road, Brighton Hill.
A consultation on the closure plan is due to end on October 21.
*See next Thursday's Gazette for a report on Monday's meeting.
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