Campaigners take fight to council chamber

editorial image

Campaigners representing 24,000 people have called on the Mayor and cabinet to ‘listen to the people of Doncaster’ and vote against the closure of council run care homes.

In an ‘extraordinary’ meeting held yesterday, Michelle Bailey of the Caregate group delivered the thousands strong petition to Doncaster Council, ahead of the final decision due to be made by Doncaster Mayor Ros Jones and the cabinet on June 25.

Addressing the council chamber, Mrs Bailey told councillors that people do not want these closures, adding that the group was prepared to take their case all the way to the European courts. She added: “There comes a time when people step over a line, when their actions are not acceptable. Your proposal to close the DMBC care homes is such a line.”

Her comments preceded a debate over the proposed closures, triggered by the number of signatures collected by the Caregate campaigners.

Speaking in the debate, Mayor Ros Jones said the council was committed to protecting the most vulnerable people across the borough. “We will listen to what councillors and campaigners have to say, and we will do what we think is best to deliver to care to people in this borough, now and in the future,” said Mayor Jones.

Representing Sprotbrough and Doncaster Conservatives Coun Jonathan Wood put forward an alternative motion to the proposed closures stating: “This council reminds the executive of the promises the Mayor made in getting elected - protecting the elderly and vulnerable and standing against the cut in service. We call upon the Mayor and Cabinet to step away from any intention to make any to close council run care homes.”

But councillors voted against the motion with a majority of 37, with 14 voting in favour of it. Labour councillor Craig Sahman also delivered a motion reiterating the council’s dedication to protecting adult services, which was carried.