Battle to keep care home open not over

NAWN 1303072AM2 Primrose Hill meeting. Angela Morton with concerned members of residents families and members of the public who attended the  meeting. (1303072AM2)
NAWN 1303072AM2 Primrose Hill meeting. Angela Morton with concerned members of residents families and members of the public who attended the meeting. (1303072AM2)

Campaigners are calling on Leeds City Council executive members to keep open a Boston Spa care home.

After months of campaigning and having submitted a 6,252 signature petition the action group heard on Tuesday that council bosses are now proposing to keep Primrose Hill open to existing residents but will not accept new admissions.

But David Morton, who has helped lead a large group of worried relatives since it was first proposed to close the valued facility in February, said: “I just hope that executive members can see through this 156-page regurgitated proposal and follow the wishes of the 6,252 people who have said they want Primrose Hill to stay open.

“It is unacceptable. We would not be happy if they accept this latest proposal as it is not what any of us have campaigned for.

“We want it to stay open and to have the 30-year-old facility refurbished, which would not cost much, not running it down until the last person has gone.”

He said their next move depended on the decision.

“We are certainly not celebrating at the moment as we will have to wait to see what is decided next Wednesday.”

Leeds City Council proposes to keep open Primrose Hill and Manorfield House in Horsforth but will close four others to cut £4m a year from its social services bill.

Coun Adam Ogilvie, Leeds City Council’s executive member for adult social care, said: “At the very heart of this review is the welfare of our older people: the entire process has been informed by working out what will be best for them in the face of having to make incredibly difficult decisions due to massive budget cuts.

“We have said all along that we would listen to and take account of the views we heard - and we have.”

The council acknowledged that changes had been made to the original proposals after addressing families’ concerns that there are no suitable alternative residential places available in the local area.

But Wetherby MP Alec , who has backed the campaign, said of the latest proposal: “While I’m thrilled to hear Labour-run Leeds City Council have seen sense and listened to the campaign residents, councillors and myself mounted against the closure of Primrose Hill, the proposal to cap future admissions is deeply concerning.”

Local councillors have welcomed the move to keep Primrose Hill open for its current residents, although it will close when no longer needed.

Coun Gerald Wilkinson (Conservative, Wetherby ward) said: “It’s good news for the current residents, but we still strongly believe our area needs more provision for the long term.

“The Care home is home to many very elderly residents and many of their relatives who live locally are also retired, and would have found it difficult to visit if the residents were moved further afield.”

he new proposal for Primrose Hill will be discussed at the Leeds City Council executive board meeting on September 4.