Hampshire Mayor Slams ‘Cruel’ Care Home Plans

Controversial plans to close a Lymington old people’s home have been described as “cruel” by the town’s mayor.

Pauline Elsworth hit out at the county council’s decision to reject a 3,000-signature petition and axe the much-loved Linden House. Residents, many in their 90s, now face the prospect of being split up and transferred to other homes in the New Forest.

Cllr Elsworth said: “It will be devastating. Moving them at this stage in their life is really cruel.”

The mayor rejected claims that Linden House needed major refurbishment that could be achieved only if the residents were temporarily moved out.

“With a few alterations it should be possible to bring it up to modern standards,” she said.

As reported in the Daily Echo, the county council has decided to close the facility and find alternative accommodation for the 23 residents.

Transferred About 15 pensioners have been allocated places at two other residential care homes in Lymington – Solent Mead and Belmore Lodge. The others will be transferred to the Forest Court complex in Totton.

The county council is also attempting to find other jobs for the 42 staff.

Diane Maidment, whose mother is among the residents, said that the pensioners broke down when they heard that the battle to save Linden House had been lost.

She said: “The staff were in tears and so were a lot of the residents.”

Another woman with a relative at the home said: “Everyone is disgusted with the county council’s decision.

“Nothing has been spent on Linden House for the past seven years and now they have the cheek to turn around and say it needs renovating.

“The residents are old, frail and bewildered. Something like this is dreadfully scary at their time of life.”

The decision to close Linden House was based on a report prepared by Rea Mattocks, the county council’s director of adult services. She said that it was built for younger, fitter residents and was not designed to take the more dependent people admitted today.