Deputy council leader says loss of Oakwell is a ‘disaster’.

THE deputy leader of North Devon Council has slammed Devon County Council’s decision to close local care homes.

Councillor Rodney Cann told the Gazette that the announcement to close the Oakwell Care Home in Bickington, while ‘retaining’ some day centre services was ‘a bitter pill to swallow’.

“It appears to be a part of a cynical strategy by DCC to threaten the worst and then offer a compromise in an attempt to divert attention of the public the reality that the services are being slashed to the bone.

“From young to old, from libraries to pot holes, all basic services are being cut back to an unacceptable level and in return we are being offered little more than compromise skeleton services in a vain attempt to disguise the folly of the cut backs and the pain they are causing to residents of Devon.”

Mr Cann said loss of Oakwell was ‘a disaster’.

“It stands out from other Devon County Council care facilities that are now to be closed in Devon,” he said.

“Its uniqueness is in the wide range of dementia services that it provides for the vulnerable and elderly who are most in need of specialist care in North Devon. It is a much loved and integral part of local life.

“Closure of Oakwell would prove to be a false economy, providing only a short term saving with no acceptable and viable alternative offered to replace it within the locale.”