8,000 say ‘save Risca care home’

THOUSANDS of people are backing the campaign to save a care home which faces the axe. More than 8,000 people have signed petitions to save Risca’s Ty Darran, which could get the chop next month.

Protestors handed in the first 4,000-name petition earlier this month, with another 3,800 names delivered to Caerphilly council chief executive Stuart Rosser on Monday.

Combined with 600 people who put their names to the online petition at www.dontevictus.com and 164 people who joined the ‘Keep Ty Darran open’ group on Facebook by yesterday, protestors are doing everything they can to show the strength of feeling to the council.

June Price, whose brother John Lewis has been in Ty Darran for 15 years was behind the petitions.

Every Saturday for five weeks, campaigners hit the streets of Risca, Newbridge, Blackwood and Caerphilly gathering signatures.

Mrs Price, 79, said the response has been “tremendous.”

She added: “I am completely amazed at the support we’ve had – if the council are listening, this says ‘hands off Ty Darran’ It will be criminal if they close this place.”

The council entered a three-month consultation on the future of the home in January saying parts of Ty Darran, which is home to 13 people and has 28 employees, are not fit for purpose.

It said redevelopment of the 36-bed home would cost £500,000, with annual running costs of £444,000.

Risca West councillor Dave Rees, who is part of the fight to save the home, said this was evidence the people have spoken.

He said: “While the campaign has been extremely stressful and emotive for many residents and their families, at all times they have acted with great determination and dignity.”

The consultation follows a shortage of residential and nursing care for people in 2005 when plans were made for an independent company to run council nursing homes after it block-bought beds.

Now, the council says there is an excess, with 85 empty beds for the elderly in the borough in August and 263 spare across Gwent.

The nearest council-run care home is Ty Iscoed in Newbridge and the only other one in the old Islwyn area is Beatrice Webb in Blackwood.

A report on the future of the home will go to a scrutiny committee on May 11 before the cabinet meets to make the decision on May 18.