Beds, Herts & Bucks

Bedford care home closure plan raises parents' fears

Proposals to shut a Bedford care home for children with learning difficulties are to go to consultation after parents raised concerns about the move.

Objections were voiced at a public meeting called to protest against the closure of Foxgloves Residential Home, as part of a £10m cuts package.

Bedford Borough Council say they will save £500,000 if they close the "unsustainable" respite care home.

The planned cuts also include 200 job losses at the local authority.

Conservative councillor for Clapham Jane Walker said: "We need some respite care for families of children with the most complex needs. We have to have overnight care.

"At the moment there is nowhere else. If we close Foxgloves, what will families do?"

'Excellent' staff

Katie Crawley, whose son Karnel attends Foxgloves, said: "The school is very important to us.

"They have the facilities to deal with children with special needs.

"Karnel is safer there than at home and the staffing is excellent. I just couldn't imagine my life without Foxgloves for me or my son."

Liberal Democrat councillor and lead member for Bedford's children's services David Sawyer said that if the proposals went ahead it would be "particularly difficult for vulnerable children and families".

He added: "We are conscious people like what they've got at the moment.

"Change is always disruptive, so we will do everything we possibly can to make that transition as run smoothly as possible."

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