Union calls for Leicester care home closure rethink

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Leicester City Council is not listening to the vast majority of people who oppose the closure of council-run care homes, a union leader says.

A public consultation by the Labour-led council into proposals to close eight care homes has ended.

The 14-week consultation finished on Tuesday, but Unison spokesman Gary Garner said many people had still not had a chance to express their opinions.

A council spokesman said comments on the proposals were still welcome.

£28m in cuts

A city council spokesman said: "The consultation is due to end, but we are happy to continue to accept people's views over the next few days if they have something they would like to submit."

Mr Garner said he hoped Leicester mayor Peter Soulsby will look again at the proposals.

"Up to now, we don't think people's voices are being heard - 98% of people we have spoken to are against the homes being closed - service users, our members and other people across the board," he said.

The city council said it needed to close care homes because more elderly people were choosing to remain at home or live in supported housing instead of residential care homes.

Most of the council homes were built more than 50 years ago and were costly to run, it added.

500 job losses

The homes earmarked for closure include Arbor House, Elizabeth House, Herrick Lodge, Cooper House, Nuffield House, and Thurn Court in Thurnby Lodge.

Two of the homes - Abbey House and Preston Lodge - would stay open for short stay and respite care. The other six would close over the next five years.

A final decision on the future of the homes will be made by the city council in the autumn.

The council is aiming to save £28m from its next budget with 500 possible job losses and £82m in the next four years.

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