A proposal that could see the closure of seven Derbyshire care homes will face a fresh layer of scrutiny next week as councillors are permitted to ask questions about the controversial plan.
Derbyshire County Council's 'future of Direct Care for Older People' report, which proposes closing the homes instead of spending an estimated £27 million on repairs to keep them open, will be discussed by an improvement and scrutiny committee in a meeting at County Hall on Monday 10 January.
The meeting, which is part of the decision-making process, was rescheduled from November after a group of county councillors successfully ‘called in’ a decision by Cabinet to proceed to a 12-week consultation over the matter.
The ‘call in’ procedure meant the decision was subject to scrutiny, however a committee ultimately rejected the challenge, with the majority voting for the consultation to continue.
The council’s director of adult social care Helen Jones has already stated residents living in the homes will have to be moved out by September this year, regardless of the consultation outcome, due to the deterioration of wiring and potential fire risk.
Protests have been held outside County Hall in opposition to the plans, with campaigners fearful the result of the consultation has been predetermined, and a petition to save the homes from closure has gained 1,200 signatures.
In the meeting on Monday, members of the public will be allowed to ask questions that have been previously submitted.
To sign the Save Our Care Homes petition, visit bit.ly/SaveOurCareHomes.