Council closure plan confirms the worst for worried families.

TWENTY council-run care homes will close, but there will be some reprieve for day centres, Devon County Council has confirmed today (Monday).

Beech House in South Molton; Burrow House in Ilfracombe; Lydiate Lodge at Lynton; Fairlea in Northam; and Oakwell in Bickington are among those set to close, meaning residents will now have to seek similar care from the private sector.

County-wide, only two homes will remain, specialist dementia units at Woodland Vale in Torrington and Newton Abbot.

Of the 11 North Devon day centres marked for closure, only 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 Barnstaple, Oakwell, 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.

Proposals for homes and day centres had come under weeks of public scrutiny, with many claiming the move to withdraw or transfer services would strike a major blow against the region's most vulnerable.

But an announcement today by Councillor Stuart Barker, the council's cabinet member for adult social care, has confirmed the worst for the many worried residents who opposed the plans.

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.

"The phased closure of our care homes will be conducted over a period up to 18 months, and that process will be managed case by case with residents and their families.

"No one will within reason need to move until a place at the home they choose to move to is available. The speed of their move will, to a large extent be determined by the residents themselves and the availability of their choice.

"No one will move unless they are able to do so safely."