Fury at County Durham care homes plan
ANGER is brewing over plans to close seven care homes across County Durham.
Relatives of residents and staff at the homes are planning protests while a pensioners’ representative has accused those who voted to close the centres of “abdicating their responsibility to the electorate”.
Sean Fahey, secretary of the North East Pensioners Association, accused Durham County Council leader Simon Henig and his Cabinet members of “failing those who put them in office” after they unanimously agreed to close the homes at a meeting last week.
He said: “They have abdicated their responsibility to the electorate and allowed themselves to be dictated to by the bean counters, accountants responsible for making sure the figures balance and not the human consequences.
“We all know that local authorities have to tighten their belts, but why is it always the most vulnerable in society – those who most need the support – who are the first to suffer?
“These councillors were elected to protect the vulnerable, and they have shirked from their responsibilities.
“They argued the private sector would have to look after them in future. Like commodities, the elderly are to be parcelled off to the market place for disposal.”
Coun Nigel Martin, the Liberal Democrat leader, agreed. “The council needs to consider in more detail the growing needs of elderly residents in County Durham and produce a long-term plan that puts old people first, rather than producing an ill-thought-out plan with more emphasis on money saving than caring for people,” he said.
This Wednesday, before a full council meeting at Aykley Heads, Durham, residents and staff of the seven care homes condemned by the council will stage a protest against the decision.