Row deepens over home closure

A CONTROVERSIAL decision to close a care home has angered a Suffolk community.Residents in Daneway House in Leiston were only given a few weeks' notice that the facility - for people with severe learning disabilities - would close on January 31.

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Headline: Row deepens over home closure>

A CONTROVERSIAL decision to close a care home has angered a Suffolk community.

Residents in Daneway House in Leiston were only given a few weeks' notice that the facility - for people with severe learning disabilities - would close on January 31.

The residents will have to be moved to other residential homes in the county while eight members of staff could lose their jobs.

The residents, with ages ranging from 24 to their late 70s, have forged friendships, enjoyed living in the town and they are angry at being split up.

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There are also repercussions for relatives who could have further to travel to visit, depending on where the residents are relocated.

The issue was briefly discussed at a full meeting of Leiston town council in the community centre, where councillors voiced their disapproval.

The building is owned by the health authority and run by the charitable organisation United Response.

Ron Ward, county councillor for Leiston, said: “The residents come under the county council although the house is not theirs and we have a responsibility towards the residents.

“There were nine residents and two have already gone. The county council does not want to buy Daneway House, it does not meet our criteria.”

Town councillor Bing Boast said the county council should exert greater responsibility over the home.

He said: “I just cannot agree that this has got nothing to do with the county council. The funding comes from the county council and the staff are very upset about the county's response that people were being moved to 'more appropriate accommodation.'

“Daneway has a very good reputation, they do not want to leave Leiston or their friends and there is not a very happy situation there at all.”

He was supported by councillor Bill Howard who said: ''What about the future? The need for this accommodation does not go away and it seems to me that we are taking out of the community places that could be used.”

United Response is trying to find alternative work for the staff while the county council identifies suitable alternative accommodation for the residents.