Residents Vote Yes To Save Thornaby Care Home

DISGRUNTLED residents have unanimously voted in favour of saving Thornaby’s last council-run care home – after staging an unofficial poll in front of council officials.

The future of Parkview Residential Home in Thorntree Road, Thornaby, hangs in the balance after Stockton Council announced it would cost £2m to bring it up to standard over the next 15 years.

Residents gathered at South Thornaby Community Centre as part of the public consultation process this week – where many voiced their concerns about what lies in store for the pensioners currently living at Parkview.

Peter Brennan, from the Village Park Residents Association, called for a show of hands to demonstrate the public’s united stance against the home’s closure.

Mr Brennan said: “Is this meeting for us to be consulted or for you to be consulted? Are you here to gather our opinions? If so, let’s have a vote.”

All 22 residents raised their hands and Mr Brennan said: “From a consultation point of view, I think you’ve got our opinion.”

A period of consultation regarding the future of Parkview is currently underway and Stockton Council is inviting comments from residents, families, carers, staff and local people until Monday, February 25.

Council officials are arguing there is an over supply of care homes in the Stockton area – with more than 100 vacancies currently available across the area.

At the moment, the Parkview occupancy rate stands at 78% for residential care and 34% for respite care.

Thousands of signatures have been gathered in a petition against its closure, and some residents and care home staff members have even accused the council of putting a deliberate bed block on the home.

The council’s community care manager Hazel Grant said: “The building is over 50 years old and it requires significant investment to bring it up to modern standards.

“Seventeen of the rooms do not meet the minimum standard and if it were to be modernised, we would need to make every third room something like an en suite for the rooms on either side.”

She added: “I think it would cause huge disruption for clients to see this work going on. If it took a year to unitise the building, how long is it going to take to do this work?”

Parliamentary candidate for Stockton South James Wharton said: “You are saying that it would cost £2m over 15 years to bring this home up to standard.

“That’s about £130,000 a year, which may sound like a lot of money to people in this room, but I know the council’s draft budget initially had £50,000 set aside for additional Christmas lights, so is it really a lot of money?”