Care home closure protest steps up

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Protesters are piling pressure on council chiefs over contentious proposals to shut a care home.

Derbyshire County Council has agreed to close Derwent House, in Ulverston Road, Newbold, and replace it with up to 50 “state-of-the-art” apartments for older people on the same site.

Council chiefs have defended the controversial plans which could see the home close within six months and the 31 residents move to alternative accommodation.

Campaigners are using the social networking websites Twitter and Facebook to rally against the plans which they claim could have “catastrophic effects”.

Cllr Anne Western, leader of the Labour group at Derbyshire County Council, said she opposed the proposals and understands the new apartments will not be built until 2014.

At a meeting of the full council earlier this week, Hasland county Cllr Dave Allen submitted a motion urging the authority to defer the “premature closure until genuine alternatives are provided”.

He called on the council to recognise the concerns of carers and relatives of people living in Derwent House.

A Derbyshire County Council spokesman said the authority was not rushing its plans to close Derwent House.

The spokesman added: “We realise this is an anxious time for residents and relatives.

“We are working closely with residents at Derwent House and their relatives to find new homes for them which they are happy with and which will provide the care they need in the future.”