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

Town councils demand answers over Devon care cuts

13:43 08 July 2014

Oakwell at Bickington is scheduled for closure in spring 2015.

Oakwell at Bickington is scheduled for closure in spring 2015.

Archant

Barnstaple and South Molton seek explanation as several care homes and day centres face closure.

QUESTIONS have been asked of Devon County Council’s decision to cut back on care homes and day centres by North Devon town councils – who are discussing a unified response to the closure of services.

At an emotionally-charged Barnstaple Town Council meeting on Monday, members of the public were given the chance to speak about the decision.

Councillor Ian Roome brought a motion calling on the town clerk to write an open letter to the county council, asking for the cabinet member for adult social care and health services to attend a meeting to discuss the changes.

And following an almost-unanimous vote in favour of the motion, mayor Val Elkins announced that mayors from across the North Devon and Torridge districts would meet to discuss writing to the county and Westminster to oppose the closure of local services.

Several local residents attended to speak on the plans, including Julie Glover, whose mum is at the Oakwell care home.

“When I first heard about what’s happening at Oakwell, I thought it was some bizarre joke,” she said.

“My mum is in the latter stages of dementia and we’ve had several phone calls telling us my mum had less than 24 hours to live but she’s fought to live.

“The people at Oakwell know everything about her and it’s little things with familiarity like the smell of the fabric conditioner which make a difference. Without that familiarity, she will deteriorate – you could send her to Buckingham Palace and it wouldn’t help.

“Oakwell is fantastic and it should be being used as a blueprint, not getting shut down.”

Cllr Roome said the county council’s decision to cut back on provision showed a ‘lack of respect for democracy’, and also accused them of taking the decision ‘in haste and with insufficient consultation’ after members of the public were unable to speak at a crucial meeting on June 26.

With the exception of Devon County Councillor John Matthews, councillors were united in opposing the cuts.

Under the proposals, Oakwell, Rosebank, Silverhill, Tarka, Greenfields and Oasis will all be under one roof in a new ‘integrated service’.

Elsewhere, the council intends to close Beech House in South Molton, Burrow House in Ilfracombe, Lydiate Lodge at Lynton, Fairlea in Northam and Oakwell at Bickington.

Of the 11 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.

In South Molton, town clerk Malcolm Gingell has written to county council chief executive Phil Norrey on behalf of the council, expressing concern for the residents of Beech House.

Mr Gingell’s letter highlighted that Beech House covers a large rural area, and labelled the road network to travel to other facilities ‘very limited and in a poor state of repair’.

The letter also questioned the county’s decision to build a youth resource centre three years ago – costing around £800,000 – which could soon face closure.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other North Devon Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by North Devon Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique North Devon Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Other News Stories

The scene of the accident today (Sunday).

Four vehicles involved in collision near Landkey with two people cut from their vehicles by fire fighters today (Sunday).

Read more
09:30
Keira Martin, aged nine from Locksbeam Farm, Torrington, with her organic Ayrshire, Golden Oblique Snowdrop. Picture: Andy Keeble

Order your tickets now for the North Devon Show on Wednesday, August 3

Read more
Yesterday, 23:10
Survivors Catherine Eason, Lilian Bailey, Joyce Shipman from Braunton, and Adrian Partridge from Minehead show their support. Picture: Andy Keeble

Hundreds take part in Relay for Life at rugby club

Read more
Yesterday, 11:30
Barnstaple Park and Ride service by Park School is ending

Bus passengers who used the Barnstaple Park and Ride are now being directed to a new bus stop.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:07
Teddy has plenty of affection to offer his new owner.

With Barnstaple and District Cats Protection

Read more
Yesterday, 08:07
Birdman is set to soar again. Picture: Andy Keeble

Don’t miss the free South West Birdman extravaganza next Saturday (July 30)

Read more
Fri, 22:30
Chulmleigh’s retiring town crier Eileen Dolling will be ringing in the start of Old Fair week with the town’s new crier Ben Farlam. Picture: Contributed

Traditional fair begins on Tuesday evening with queen crowning and money scramble

Read more
Fri, 17:41
Last year's Relay for Life raised £17,000 for Cancer Research UK. Picture: TidyEye PR

All welcome to join the battle against cancer and have a fund day out at the same time – Barnstaple Rugby Club from 12noon

Read more
Fri, 17:15
Coco would love a new home with lots of toys

With Dogs Trust Ilfracombe

Read more
Fri, 14:23
The new Bideford Aldi store opens on Thursday, July 28. Pictures: Sarah Howells

The first 100 people in the queue at the grand opening at Atlantic Park, Bideford next week could win a whole stash of prizes.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 15°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