Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Make your care cuts fury heard, says councillor

14:31 25 June 2014

Springfield Day Centre in Bideford is among those destined to close.

Springfield Day Centre in Bideford is among those destined to close.

Archant

Councillor’s call to arms over day care centre cuts.

Lobby your councillor now, says Frank Biederman, independent Devon County Councillor for Fremington Rural.Lobby your councillor now, says Frank Biederman, independent Devon County Councillor for Fremington Rural.

‘MAKE your county councillor hear you’ is the message ahead of a crunch challenge tomorrow (Thursday) to the controversial decision to close council-run care homes and day care centres across Devon.

People are being urged to lobby their local county councillor ahead of the special Peoples’ Scrutiny Committee meeting at County Hall in Exeter tomorrow at 2pm.

But there was fury after it emerged no members of the public would be able to speak at the meeting, which was confirmed after

Liberal Democrat and non-aligned county councillors have ‘called in’ the Conservative-led cabinet’s decision.

Frank Biederman, independent county councillor for Fremington Rural, has urged people to lobby their own county councillor for support.

He told the Gazette committee chairman Sara Randall Johnson had said she was not prepared to allow worried friends and relatives to have their say at the meeting:

“They’re refusing to let the public speak or call witnesses,” he said.

“I am mad about it, because if we can’t ask professional witnesses what the impact will be on the families affected, how can we make a judgement?

“It’s not democracy as I know it. It’s not how local government should be run – it should be about the people they represent, not their political masters.”

The cuts will see Beech House in South Molton; Burrow House in Ilfracombe; Lydiate Lodge at Lynton; Fairlea in Northam; and Oakwell in Bickington close, with residents forced to seek care from the private sector.

Of 11 North Devon day centres, five will go – Springfield and Quayside in Bideford; Beech House in South Molton; Burrow House in Ilfracombe; and a hub at the Plough in Torrington.

Oakwell in Bickington, and Barnstaple-based Rosebank, Silverhill, Tarka and Greenfields will be retained as a new ‘integrated service’ at a site still to be decided.

The future of the Oasis day centre in Barnstaple is still unclear.

Mr Biederman added: “They call it ‘Tough Choices’, but to me we are going for the easy targets and the most vulnerable. I would urge my Conservative colleagues to actually stand up and serve those who elected them.”

But Councillor Stuart Barker, the council’s cabinet member for adult social care, said a phased closure of homes and day centres over the next 18 months was the ‘only way’ the authority could plug a £200million Government funding gap.

He said: “Nothing will happen immediately. This is a process that will take time and we will do this with great care and sensitivity.

“In taking the decisions I want to ensure that everyone who is entitled to have a service from us gets it, be it residential care or a day service, and that they will continue to receive a service that meets their needs.”

Find your local county councillor by going to https://new.devon.gov.uk/democracy/councillor

Related articles

Other News Stories

08:46
Saunton Beach will be packed with wartime vehicles on Friday and Saturday, June 3-4 to commemorate the anniversary of D-Day

Don’t miss Devon D-Day on Friday and Saturday, June 3-4.

Read more
What's on in North Devon this week?

This year’s annual Braunton Village Fair will celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:00
Jacqui and Ben, the two winners.

Former runner up is crowned chef of the year in North Devon competition at Petroc.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:00
Fire fighters will be walking around various fire stations in North Devon for Children's Hospice South West.

The group of fire fighters will be walking from Okehampton fire station to Lynton fire station over 24 hours, in full kit and breathing apparatus.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:00
The Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon is bidding for a £1.6million extension. Picture: Andy Keeble

Members of the public asked to give their opinions on plans for a £1.8million extension of the Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon.

Read more
Fri, 16:32
Staff at Caen Medical Centre in Braunton celebrate receiving a rating for outstanding

Inspectors full of praise for local GP surgery and how it works with the community

Read more
Fri, 13:50
The new riverside walkway has opened at Anchorwood Bank in Barnstaple. Picture: Andy Keeble

Members of walking group take a stroll with dignitaries as footpath opens

Read more
Fri, 12:30
Mike Aitken passed away aged 81.

Bideford Bridge Rotary Club members form guard of honour at funeral of staunch supporter Mike Aitken.

Read more
Fri, 11:00
The walkway at Anchorwood Bank.

Anchorwood promenade will open to the public at 1pm following completion of safety checks

Read more
Fri, 10:55
North Devon Beer Festival organiser Tim Webster hopes the pints will flow this weekend

Great local ales and fantastic live music on offer at two-day beer fest

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 19°C

min temp: 12°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications