Thousands back campaign to save Risca care home

CAMPAIGNERS trying to save a care home threatened with closure have collected 10,000 signatures supporting their cause and have a solicitor fighting their corner.

A group fighting to save Risca’s Ty Darran have recruited Kettering-based solicitor Yvonne Hossack, who has fought and won similar cases, to study the background and present a case to Caerphilly council arguing why it should remain open.

Ms Hossack has not charged for her work so far, but should the decision be made to close the home and she has to pursue the case, Ty Darran residents will apply for Legal Aid to pay for her services.

June Price, 79, whose brother John Lewis has been in Ty Darran for 15 years, said protestors are trying to arrange transport for the residents of the home to the council’s scrutiny committee meeting on May 11 when the home will be discussed prior to a decision by the cabinet on May 18.

On Tuesday, cabinet member for social services Judith Pritchard told a full council meeting the decision would be made on the basis of a range of information.

Risca West councillor Dave Rees submitted a question to the meeting asking whether the petitions would be listened to by the authority.

The council entered a three-month consultation on the home’s future 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.

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.