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Friday, 25 April 2014

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Care home petitions given to council

Protesters against plans to close two West Cumbrian care homes were due to lobby county councillors yesterday.

Campaigners fighting to save Richmond Park in Workington and Park Lodge in Aspatria were due to present petitions bearing thousands of signatures at a council meeting in Kendal.

The Richmond Park petition has attracted 6,289 signatures, and 3,579 have been gathered for Park Lodge.

The presentations came two days after the end of a three-month consultation on plans to modernise care services.

The county council has proposed to close the homes, and Woodlands at Distington, because they are said to be no longer fit for purpose.

Residents, families, staff and supporters, however, fear that closure would be detrimental to residents, especially in Aspatria which has no other care home.

They argue that improvements could be made to the homes and that en-suite facilities are not needed.

The council’s plans include the upgrading of dementia wings at Parkside in Maryport and Inglewood in Wigton, improving home care services and providing an extra-care housing facility in Workington, with private flats in a care setting.

All responses to the public consultation have been sent to an outside firm which will produce an independent report for councillors.

The council’s cabinet is due to make a decision before the summer.

Richmond Park campaigners Maggie Bober, Ken Congdon, Lynne Harkness and Carole Local were due to attend yesterday’s meeting.

They planned to tell councillors: “Richmond Park’s day and respite care services contribute to maintaining people in their own homes for as long as possible which is precisely what Cumbria County Council are hoping to achieve.”

They challenged the claim that the home was not fit for purpose or that staff struggled to meet current needs of residents.

The campaign group Park Lodge – The Future, called on people not to stop airing their views because the official consultation has ended.

Iris Stobbart, of the group, said: “People are not bound to put their views only via this consultation.

“We are asking people who have views on how Park Lodge can remain as part of adult social care in Allerdale, and who would support an alternative to closure, to make their views known to the council as soon as possible.”

Park Lodge – The Future is developing alternative proposals which it plans to present to the council before its cabinet makes a final decision on the future of the care homes on March 15.

A council spokesman said: “We’ve had many comments and suggestions both for and against the proposals and they will be reflected in the final report.”

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