Leeds & West Yorkshire

Leeds care homes and day centres closure plans approved

People protesting outside Leeds council offices
Image caption About 100 people attended a demonstration against the closures, which affect 76 residents

Plans to close four care homes and day centres run by Leeds City Council have been approved by the authority amid protests by campaigners to save them.

Residents at Amberton Court, Burley Willows, Fairview and Musgrave Court would be moved to other accommodation.

Day services at Doreen Hamilton, Naburn Court, Queenswood Drive and Burley Willows are to also cease.

The Labour-run authority had said it needed to make "incredibly difficult decisions due to massive budget cuts".

Earlier about 100 people attended a demonstration against the closures, which affects 76 residents.

'Bit of a state'

Pat Billbrough, whose sister lives at the Burley Willows care home, said she was "absolutely furious".

"If my sister has to move then she's not going to live. She's very upset.

"She has dementia and Alzheimer's.

"At the moment she's in a bit of a state because she knows something's wrong but she can't quite understand what it is.

"She's so unsettled."

The GMB union said residents from all four care homes could not attend the protest or the public council meeting, where the plans were being discussed, because the authority "would not put on transport and release staff" to take them.

However, the council said residents had been free to attend the meeting but would have had to be accompanied by family or friends, and staff needed to remain at the care homes to carry out their normal daily duties.

'Stay together'

According to the union, all four care homes are staffed by a total workforce of 180 people.

A council spokesman said there were "no redundancies" planned as a result of the closures.

Councillor Adam Ogilvie, the council's executive member for adult social care, had previously said residents affected by the closures would be allocated a worker to help choose a new centre and accommodation and would "not be financially disadvantaged".

The authority added it would do "everything possible" to ensure "groups of friends could stay together and be supported by staff they know and trust".

A date for the closures has not been set.

The authority has said it needs to save £55m in the next financial year.

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