Bridgend care home campaigners fighting on

Protesters say they will continue their fight to save a care home from closure. Bridgend council has decided to shut Troed y Ton in Kenfig Hill despite strong local opposition.

Campaigners against closure, who held demonstrations and gathered 10,000 names for a petition, say they are taking legal advice.

Bridgend council said the extra care housing that would replace Troed y Ton would offer “high-quality specialist homes for 70 people”.

Troed y Ton residents are due to move out by September, while the new housing scheme is expected to be completed by April 2011.

Howard Grant, whose 88-year-old mother Mair lives at the home, said he was “gutted” when he heard the decision.

“My mother’s got dementia and I can tell her things and a minute or two later she will forget,” he said.

“I think moving my mother to a strange place when it’s time to go will be very confusing for her and it will be very upsetting for her.”

An action group was formed when the council planned to close Troed y Ton and a protest march was held in February.

Bridgend council said the decision was taken following an “extensive period of consultation with residents and staff” at the home.

Council leader Mel Nott said: “Bridgend County Borough Council will provide around-the-clock support for all the 17 residents of Troed y Ton.

“Council staff will work tirelessly to ensure a comfortable move to a new home which will continue the same level of excellent and compassionate care that Troed y Ton has always offered.”

Extra care housing is similar to sheltered housing but offers residents more support with daily living to allow older people to remain independent.

The council said the £2.3m funding for the housing from the assembly government was “specifically to develop an extra care facility on the Troed y Ton site” and could not be transferred to another site.

Mr Nott said: “Demand for places in traditional residential care homes is falling because more people want to remain independent within their own homes for as long as possible.

“Extra care allows them to do this by offering specially-designed apartments and facilities while also making sure that staff are on hand to provide expert care and assistance.”

Ian Jacka from Kenfig Hill, who set up the action group and whose wife works at the home, said the council had failed to listen to families’ concerns.

“There are several families who want to fight on. The ages of the residents of Troed y Ton are between about 84 and 99. To move people of this age is ridiculous,” he said.

He said he was taking legal advice with a view to challenging the decision.