Protestors demonstrated outside County Hall in the fight against the potential closure of seven Derbyshire County Council-run care homes.
Save Our Care Homes campaigners gathered outside the authority’s headquarters in Matlock yesterday (December 1) to oppose the proposal to close the homes, which it claims need £27 million of repairs.
A successful campaign last year saw the council shelve its proposal to close the homes in Sandiacre, West Hallam, Clowne, Tibshelf, Brimington, New Mills and Bakewell, however the renewed threat has prompted public outcry yet again.
Mick Coppin, care campaigner and GMB Midland and East Coast Trade Union organiser, said: “Is this Groundhog Day?
“Last year, at the height of the worst public health emergency Derbyshire has seen since the second world war, Derbyshire County Council tried to close care homes in the county.
“This put hundreds of jobs at risk, as well as putting at risk a much loved and well used public service from communities up and down the county.
“These plans were rightly scrapped after local people and care home workers spoke out.”
A petition has been set up rejecting ‘the option of closure’ on the seven care homes which are currently under threat and urges the council to ‘step-back from the implied threat to the other 16 care homes, which are owned and run by the council’.
Once the petition reaches 7,500 signatures the matter can be taken before full council for debate.
Emma Roberts, regional organiser for Derbyshire UNISON branch, commented: “There are some campaigns that you run because you think it’s the right thing to do and there are campaigns like this one where you really need to get involved.
“I would encourage residents to get behind the petition and the staff and call on the council to protect staff right now.
“They shouldn’t wait.”
To sign the petition, visit bit.ly/SaveOurCareHomes.