Fight for homes taken to steps of leaders

Members of UNISON and the GMB unions protesting outside County Hall, Durham, against proposals to close all the council run care homes.

Members of UNISON and the GMB unions protesting outside County Hall, Durham, against proposals to close all the council run care homes.

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MORE than 60 placard-waving protesters have bid to save five care homes from closure.

Staff were joined by union representatives and relatives of residents for the demonstration outside County Hall in Durham.

Durham County Council is considering the future of the homes, including Grampian Care Home in Peterlee, Cheveley House, Belmont, and Mendip House, Chester-le-Street, with closure, refurbishment, or privatisation proposed.

Howard Pink, regional organiser for Unison, said: “Our fear is the council will put financial considerations above all else, and go for the option of closing the homes.

“We are lobbying them to take other factors into account. The homes are home to frail and vulnerable people. Forcing them to move will cause great distress and could shorten their lives.”

He added: “The jobs of 170 staff are also at risk.”

The consultation runs until January 19, with more details available via www.durham.gov.uk.