Reprieve for care home is hailed as victory for ‘people power’

SAVED -- the Bishop's Court residential care home at Ollerton.
SAVED -- the Bishop's Court residential care home at Ollerton.

The decision to save an Ollerton care home for the elderly from closure has been hailed as a victory for ‘people power’.

Bishop’s Court, on Tuxford Road, Boughton, was one of six homes, run by Notts County Council, that were earmarked for the axe as part of multi-million pounds worth of savings. Now it is one of three to be given a three-year reprieve.

Unison, the union that backed a public campaign to stave off closure, which threatened dozens of job-losses, praised the thousands who fought to keep it open.

“People power has brought good news for residents, carers and staff,” said Unison convenor Pete Watson. “It is a tribute to those who signed petitions and campaigned vigorously.

“However, it’s still bad news for the other three homes. More than 10,000 people signed petitions against the closures. If the council can’t protect our most vulnerable people, who can?”

Those other three homes include Kirklands at Kirkby, a 29-bed residential centre which, like the 45-bed Bishop’s Court, supports elderly people with dementia and disabilities.

When the closures were first announced, county councillor Rachel Madden (Lib Dem), of Kirkby, said: “Kirklands is the only council facility in our area, so people are understandably worried.

“Residents and their families would have to travel far away if it closes. It would cause a heck of a disruption.”

The Labour-controlled council issued a reprieve for Bishop’s Court while it investigates alternative methods of care in Ollerton for its residents. These include providing residents with personal support in their own homes or in purpose-built housing as part of a scheme known as extra care.

The council is expected to ratify the revised plans at a crunch budget meeting on Thursday 26th February.

Coun Kay Cutts, leader of the Conservative group, said: “The council is clearly backing down. The campaign against all six closures must continue.”